Strava: Tara’s Strava Profile

Little known tidbits about Tara

  • Fastest 10K – 40 minutes (on foot, not on a bicycle!)
  • Finishing 23rd in the Iron Women division of Eppie’s Great Race with a broken kayak paddle
  • Former Executive Director for the California Native Plant Society
  • Daily running and/or cycling regime since 1980
  • Bike to work addict since 2009
  • My resting heart rate is less than my age of 56

 Athletic History and Why I Ride with Cycle Folsom

About 36 years ago, I took up running to lose weight. I lost weight, and kept on running. As a runner, I became a driven, self–motivated athlete that transitioned into cycling about 15 years later.

I bought my first bike – a used steel frame Univega 10 speed – to compete in Eppie’s Iron Woman in 1995. I did the bike leg wearing my running shoes because I hadn’t yet learned how to clip in. After Eppie’s, I kept riding and fell in love with cycling. The initial attraction was how much farther I could get and how much more of the outdoors I could experience on a bike than on foot. I rode the old Univega for 15 years before upgrading to a lighter, faster bike. On the lighter bike, my love for cycling grew.

After my daughter left for college in 2010, I started cycling more, a lot more! I took up commuting to work on my bike, first to Sacramento from my home in Arden Arcade, and later to and from Roseville. I had mostly ridden solo along the American River Parkway while my kids were still at home, and after 2010 started doing longer, tougher rides in other areas such as Crater Lake, scenic rides along the California and Oregon coasts, Marin County, and Whidbey Island. I was hooked on cycling!

But in March of 2014 – I lost my long-term friend and soulmate to cancer. A brilliant engineer, conservationist, clinical psychologist, and volunteer, Dr. Jeffrey Phipps was an extraordinary man and had a profound influence on my life over the 16 years of our relationship.

After Jeff passed away, I started spending my weekends at his home in El Dorado Hills to take care of the young blue oak trees, native grasses and foothill shrubs on his property near Folsom Lake. Although I had my bike with me on those weekends, I just didn’t have the heart to ride alone.

A couple of months later, in May 2014, I found Cycle Folsom on Meetup after seeing cyclists wearing the kits around Folsom and El Dorado Hills. I decided to join, and signed up for a Chutes and Ladders ride led by Mike Lemberg. I pounded the hills. It was a start forward.

Those first few months were tough, I was dealing with a lot of grief. But on just about every ride, someone would reach out and talk with me about our common love of cycling, goals around cycling and cool places to ride, and all sorts of other topics. I was consistently challenged athletically – and was getting to know the area on my bike with new Cycle Folsom friends. Riding with Cycle Folsom helped me work through my grief in so many ways I can’t begin to cover them all here.

After making the decision to sell my home in Sacramento and move permanently to El Dorado Hills, I’m still riding with Cycle Folsom. I recently married a wonderful man – fellow nature lover, volunteer, and cyclist (Alan Roush), whom I met and grew to love over the last two years. Together, Alan and I continue to care for the native oaks and foothill plants on the property near Folsom Lake, run the trails around Brown’s Ravine, and ride with Cycle Folsom.

Leading rides for Cycle Folsom is an honor and an opportunity to share something I truly love doing. My goal is to engage as well as challenge cyclists on every ride I lead. Because cycling is such a great way to meet new friends AND experience the outdoors, I try to start most of my rides with introductions, and point out interesting wildflowers and sights along the way.  I also focus mostly on climbing rides that start in the El Dorado Hills area, as the big climbs provide opportunities for each individual to test their limits and build strength, as well as experience the incredible scenery and views in the area.

If you love a challenge, want to push your limits as an athlete, and meet other cool people that love to cycle, please come out and ride with us! Hope to see you on a ride soon.