New Naked Womens Cycling rider, Dana Platin, describes how she is adjusting to life back in America after 17 years in South America. Read about her journey and how she has found her place as part of this squad.
A couple of weeks ago, I was telling some work colleagues how excited I was to go pick up my new juice for cycling, I got a few empty stares. I go home that day and tell my husband the same ‘my juice has finally arrived, I am going to get so strong this cycling season.’ Another 3 second stare. That would be Naked Juice as I am a newcomer to their cat 4 Naked Women’s Cycling race team for the 2015 season!
Impressions and aspirations of a cat 4 ‘newbie’
I moved to Colorado a year and a half ago after living in South America for the past 17 years. While living in Ecuador, South America I was working with the Peace Corps, scaling the Andes Mountains, racing triathlon as well as discovered my passion for cycling. After some wear and tear from a running injury, I bought myself a road bike and found myself cycling in a velodrome and with the peloton at 9,000 feet elevation where the air was of so thin. I fell in love with cycling and spent my weekends riding long distances with girl friends and later raced road races on a women’s team. I found the camaraderie, community, and teamwork exhilarating, I was sold!
After being out of the country for so many years, coming back to the U.S. was at first scary, confusing and a bit overwhelming. I will never enter a Super Target again :). It took some time to readjust. As part of my readjustment stateside, I decided to set two goals and make ‘em happen in 2015:
- Find a women’s cycling team that I could race with and
- Surround myself with strong women who would help me grow as a cyclist
Thus far, I have accomplished both as I recently joined Naked Women’ s Cycling to race cat 4. My first impressions have been so positive. I know I am surrounded by some of Colorado’s toughest gals; they have all been so welcoming, supportive, encouraging and humble!
My goals for this first race season are to work hard for my team, learn and continue to help women’s cycling grow and flourish.
As I continue to adapt and adjust I am re-learning cycling language in English. As I first picked up a road bike living in Ecuador and learned all about cycling in Spanish, I still require a second in my head to translate that ‘plato grande’ is actually the big gear and ‘piñon’ is the cog, and when I want to yell ‘libre’ I need to actually say ‘clear’. Crossing borders and crossing finish lines have taught me that you can adapt, overcome and achieve.
And yes, I have found my juice!