October 5, 2017
Sometimes it takes a simple realisation to create a life-changing goal, and for competitive cyclist Ayesha McGowan – also known as ‘A Quick Brown Fox’ – it was a lack of female African-American professional cyclists.
Not your usual tale of childhood passion, Ayesha’s interest in cycling began much later in life while studying at college. “I needed a way to get to class that was inexpensive, fast, and less frustrating than taking the train,” Ayesha says. “A friend suggested a bike, so I gave it a go.”
Ayesha fished her mother’s bike out of the garage on a friend’s suggestion. Cycling first became as a mode of transport, and then became a vehicle for convenience and fun. Ayesha began learning more about the mechanics of the bike, working as a cycle courier for a short while.
It was after her move to New York and getting involved with cycling groups there that she finally considered making the move from commuter to racing cyclist – participating in a racing clinic at the Kissena Velodrome.
Since then, she’s spent the last few years competing, improving her rank in competitive cycling. It became more apparent as Ayesha raced that there were no female African-American pro cyclists, which gave her a goal to achieve: determined to earn her pro licence and motivate more women of colour to get into competitive cycling.
It’s apparent when reading of her recent races on her website, hearing her speak in public or listening to her podcast FIBJ she records with her friend Laura Solís that she has embraced her new passion with gusto – and quite an amount of hard work. Don’t forget to follow her on Strava.
A proud Cycliq ambassador, Ayesha loves using her Fly12 and Fly6 for training and fun, stating “I love the footage at the start of the rides where you see my upside-down nose or intent face looking directly into the camera. It makes me laugh every time.”
When asked what she could never leave home without before a race, Ayesha simply says “my bike”.
Ayesha’s final words of encouragement for others to pick up riding is quite straightforward: “Go for it!”