The general public is tired of cycling because it’s so serious. These days, the rhetoric is so scientific—everyone is talking about how much weight someone lost or how much power the last guy used up the mountain. There aren’t “normal” people reading cycling articles because it’s a language that only resonates with a small group of people. I’m trying to change that.

Last year (also my first year with Holowesko|Citadel) I was reminded of what’s really important: cycling should be fun. This team encouraged me to be me and helped me to come into my own. It started with the turquoise necklace that I wore to team camp. Other teams would have told me to take the necklace off, but here, they embraced it. So I kept wearing it. The Native Americans say that every crack in the turquoise represents negative energy being pushed away, and that’s what the turquoise began to represent for me—positivity. Others started noticing the turquoise and asking about it, so I began handing out turquoise bracelets, and somehow it became a “thing.” For me, it’s all about spreading good vibes. I find a lot of peace and happiness in the turquoise, so I want to share that with others.

I believe everyone has a purpose, and in the past year, I’ve found mine. My purpose is to spread happiness and love and peace. And the only way I can really do that is by winning races, because when I win, I get a microphone, and then I can spread the positive vibes to others.

I realize how lucky I am. At the end of the day, I’m riding a bike—it’s unreal that I get to do this for a living. We may have hard training days or stressful times, but we are so fortunate to do what we love on a daily basis. The crazy, spiritual meditations I get when I’m riding … that’s what I try to reach every day.