Trek Women
September 4, 2007

My inspiration…

So, how did this whole Trek thing come to be for me? Well, a little over a year ago, I signed up to receive emails about Trek Travel. I pictured myself cycling through the French countryside or maybe exploring New Zealand. Then one day, an email arrived in my in-box announcing the “Trek Women Who Ride Contest.” I immediately started writing about how I became a woman who rides again. I wanted to convey that my story doesn’t have a “the end” (I lost weight, the end.); rather, it’s “to be continued…” After tweaking sentences relentlessly for a couple of weeks, I finally submitted it to Trek with some “before” and “after” photos, and the rest is history. Here’s my contest essay I titled My Inspiration, I hope you like it.

“I never could have imagined that I would be that woman who rides. For years, I neglected my Trek mountain bike, which I stashed away in storage after grad school. It had once been my source of transportation before it became a sad reminder of the person I once was. I was severely overweight, out of shape and knew deep down that I had to do something about it.

In August 2005, I started exercising again and eating lighter. For my birthday nine months later, my best friends, Russ and Wayne, overhauled my reliable, old bike. We began riding every weekend, slowly adding miles and increasing our pace. I started bike commuting a couple of days a week — about 32 miles roundtrip from my apartment on Capitol Hill to Bethesda, Maryland. In September 2006, I rode in my first century on a borrowed road bike. There was not a doubt in my mind that I was going to finish those 100+ miles. I was so excited to be there, I probably could have ridden 100 more.

Today, I’ve lost more than 130 pounds. I hit my goal weight on March 13, 2007! It’s been the easiest and hardest thing I have ever undertaken. Easy, in that I love the exhilarating feeling I get from being strong and fit. Hard, in that I’ve had to learn how to be patient and navigate the physical, mental and emotional challenges that arise when you change your life from the inside out. My journey is far from complete; but, I know that I will continue to make healthy choices and maybe find love along the way too.   

Thankfully, now I believe (and I truly didn’t before) that I can accomplish anything. You can chase me on the trail, work it out on the uphill, keep up on the flat. Come along and catch my draft. I’ve transformed myself into that woman who rides. My Trek is now a source of inspiration.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                            Laura MacLean, Trek Rider                                                                                                                                                                     
P.S. This winter, I’ve been spinning with the Marines at the Marine Corps. Barracks at 8th and I in DC. The 20-year-olds in class are always shocked that I can kick their you-know-whats. I am also training for my first triathlon and planning out the centuries that I want to complete this spring/summer/fall. I can’t wait!!!

After a trip to Italy last June (I travel to Europe 2-3 times a year), I’m itching to ride Tuscany — those killer switchbacks in Chianti are calling my name. I also think it would be amazing to bike Iceland’s ring road when I go there in early October.

P.P.S. I consider myself very lucky to have wonderful friends riding right alongside me. It would be an honor as a Trek representative to be able to share my experiences and hopefully help other women out there who want to grab life by the handlebars and be riders too.”


I hear Bob Costas in my head when I read your blog. Luckily nothing tragic like some of the Olympians that Bob would talk about, but rather a personal, uplifting and inspirational story of perseverance and dedication.

Thanks for sharing how it all began for you - the life transformation and the Trek Women Who Ride contest. I can't wait to keep reading the "to be continued" story. (That means more blog entries please!)


Posted by: Becky | Sep 4, 2007 4:36:33 PM

You are an inspiration to me and all other women out there. You rock!

Posted by: Susan | Sep 5, 2007 2:44:03 PM

I really enjoyed reading your story as I'm struggling to regain myself by losing excess weight. My husband and I met in a bike riding club 14 years ago (and many pounds ago). We've both made a commitment to get back to our healthier selves and biking seemed a natural way to do that. We've been riding our Trek mountain bikes (leftover from Southern California off-road days) but today I went into our LBS to get a new Trek 7.2 -- to be able to pump out on the roads and cruise along the bike paths that are all around us. He's still happy with the mountain bike, although I bet that changes when I can race by him on my new bike!

I can't wait to see what the future holds in store for you!

Posted by: Ginger | Sep 10, 2007 3:18:31 PM

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