Roadbook: The Way to San Jose
It’s a strange meeting place, this one—an open field alongside a country road in the middle of nowhere. We see evidence of horses, as if we were in the old west. Yet Apple and Google and a ton more tech firms are basically just down the street from here.The Open the Road Tour riders begin to assemble, as do hoards of cycling fans that’ll be boarding shuttle buses en route to the mountaintop Stage 2 finish.
The most beautiful part of the Open the Road Tour is the unique and fascinating story behind every rider. Whether you’re a pro, a beginner or a lifelong bicycle industry insider, it is easy to become lost in a bubble, but these rides have an ability to bring a fairly diverse group together via a common passion.
After the group leaves for its ride, the Open the Road Tour crew maintains the trailer, other bikes and assorted extra inventory. The eTap® equipped bikes that are left behind become the focus of attention for the people waiting for the next shuttle to the stage finish. They pull brakes and play with the shift levers. They ask to see the derailleurs in action. Bikes are incredible machines, after all.
SRAM: So you got your first real race bike in April of 2014, started racing and have never looked back.
AM: I have not looked back, not even a little bit. I decided that I wanted to be a pro racer. And I was looking for a role model. I was trying to see if there were any other women—African American women—who’d been in the pro ranks in road racing, and I couldn’t find any, so I was like, “Alright, I’ll do it. Why not?” I’m really big on representation, and just creating positive images around people of color—which there aren’t enough of. It’s not that they aren’t out there, it’s just that they’re not being documented. So I made a point of documenting my journey on my website, aquickbrownfox.com. It just took off from there. Now, I’m a Cat. 2, and I just finished the Redlands Bicycle Classic, which I’m super proud of.
SRAM: Which is no easy feat.
AM: No. It’s super hard and the weather wasn’t kind. The field was really tough—they had some top girls out there. They didn’t hold back, but I fought for it, and I made it. And I’m really proud of that.
SRAM: What is the proudest moment of your cycling career?
TK: Probably the one that caught the most limelight—and maybe for the right reasons, in hindsight—probably the way that I handled my departure from the 2013 Tour de France. There was a lot riding on it; I had a great team; it was my first Tour; family and friends were coming over, and paying attention. The story is that I was involved in a crash on Stage 1 and broke a scapula, covered in road rash, separated a shoulder. Any other race, you know, you quit right then and there, but I soldiered through for a couple more days. I got to Nice, got to the team time trial, and finished over the time cut by seven seconds—having ridden an individual time trial in a team time trial event.
And, I mean, I thought that was sort of the end of it—you play by the rules and you think that’s the end. But then, all of a sudden there were people reaching out. David Millar and Christian Vande Velde were saying, “Hey, we can possibly help talk to the commissaires and reinstate you.” And there was a big social media push.
It didn’t happen, and I feel like I could have kicked and screamed and booed the jury, but…at the end of the day, it ain’t the worst thing in the world.