FFFC: Please introduce yourself.
SN: My name is Shylice Nelson. I am married and a mother of 2 girls age 8 and 5. I am a pharmaceutical sales rep and a beginner biker.
FFFC: How and why did you get started?
SN: My friend Lisa Vaughn-Spence came up with the crazy idea for us to do the Iron Girl triathlon.
FFFC: Which type of bike(s) do you prefer to ride?
SN: I currently have a Trek 7.3 hybrid. When I first signed up for the Iron Girl, I did not even own a bike and had not been on a bike that wasn’t bolted to the ground for spin class in about 15 years. The hybrid was a good transition into biking because it is more stable and sturdy than a road bike, but lighter than a mountain bike and more budget friendly. That being said, I plan to upgrade to a road bike before my next race.
FFFC: What do you like most about riding?
SN: I love the feeling of strength and power. There is an enormous amount of pride when you get to the top of a really tough hill.
FFFC: What is the furthest distance or longest time you have ridden?
SN: Furthest distance is about 19 miles. But I have signed up to do the Baltimore Tour du Port 25 mile leg ride at the end of September.
FFFC: Do you belong to a riding group?
SN: I am not in a riding group, but I have ridden with ladies from Live Now/Tri Now and Sole Tri sisters. I have been pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of support and encouragement there is out there for new riders.
FFFC: What do you do to stay in riding shape?
SN: Last year I was so focused on getting through the race by any means necessary. This year I am taking a more focused approach to my training. Right now I am working on strength training. Building my core strength in particular. Also staying hydrated. I had a few bad rides this summer because I was not properly nourished and hydrated. My eating habits are an ongoing battle, but I am in for the long haul, so the battle continues.
FFFC: What was the biggest challenge when you started riding or still is even now?
SN: Hills, hills, and hills! It is amazing how much power you need to ride up even a small hill. I have gotten a lot better because I know how to use my bike and my gears better, but they are still hard. Another challenge that I have not even attempted yet is clipping in. Maybe by next year I will be able to add a bit about that. Lol.
FFFC: Do you have any upcoming races or races planned?
SN: I just completed The Iron Girl Columbia in August. I will be doing the Tour du Port in Baltimore at the end of September and I will do the 140.6 indoor Tri at Supreme Sports club in November. That will be it for 2013. For 2014 hope to go for the Iron Girl Triple Crown!!
FFFC: Who helped you as you learned the ropes of riding?
SN: The greatest help was from Danielle Crump and Tiffani Tyer. They went out with Lisa and I at 5:30 am and rode side by side with us helping us to learn how to use the bike and ALL the gears. It totally changed my riding experience. For the first time I was able to actually ride up all the hills vs. pushing up the hill.
FFFC: Any advice for someone interested in starting to ride?
SN: Get a Good bike and get properly fitted for the bike. If you are in an ill fitted bike, it can make for a miserable experience. Also get involved with others that ride. I learn something every time I ride with someone else.
FFFC: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
SN: Iron Girl Columbia!!!
FFFC: Who are some of your riding idols?
SN: Danielle Crump. She is a regular person just like me with a husband, kids and a job. But I so admire how she makes time for her training and how she has brought her entire family into the life. Her daughter and her often race together as mother daughter team. I love that!
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