Women on Bikes Series: Shannon Renick

Meet Team Tough Chik Co-Captain, Shannon Renick! Shannon is passionate about many things, especially encouraging women to get out there and pursue the things they love.

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When did you first start riding a bike?
I started riding in my early twenties when my boyfriend (now husband) wanted to get back into mt. biking. He had ridden his whole life. He bought me a Trek hardtail Mt. Bike and I started on the multi-use paved trails by our home. I was terrible, honestly…the worst!

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
Equal doses of passion and tenacity! I am not a natural cyclist, I am clumsy and accident prone but I am too stubborn to quit and when I get rolling…it is pure bliss!

Have you competed in events? If so, what were your reasons for competing?
I have competed in road races and triathlons. I really love pushing myself and testing my limits. This summer I completed my 3rd Half-Ironman triathlon, I have my sights set on a full.  It will happen someday, I just need to make the time to train properly. I am not sure if I am ready for those 4:30 wake up calls quite yet!

What would be your favorite competitive biking event?
My favorite was ALC or AIDS Lifecycle, although it is not a competitive event, it is challenging. ALC is a 575 mile 7 day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The route is breath taking, the people are amazing and it is a week you will never forget. 

What kind of riding is your favorite? (paved, gravel, mountain, etc.)
I am a roadie, give me some flat, fast asphalt and I am a happy camper! I live in a very hilly area of Southern California, so if I can find a flat stretch to hammer…it is a gift!

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride? (If not a mountain biker, how about first commuter ride, paved trail ride, gravel, etc.)
My first mt. bike ride was terrifying. In fact, I have always had to combat fear on the dirt; any Mt. Biker can tell you that is not a great way to ride.

If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
I still after 12+ years riding struggle with this on a mt. bike. The best way to overcome any insecurity on the bike is to keep riding and build your confidence. If you can find a beginners women’s group ride or clinic, DO IT! You will not regret it and you will meet ladies just like you.

Do you use clipless pedals? If yes, what are some tips/suggestions for beginners that you would share? If no, are you thinking of trying it out at all?
Yes!  I love clipless. Note that you can adjust the tension on most pedals, so you can make it easier to clip in and out at the beginning and tighten the tension once you get the hang of it. For me, the hardest part was “finding” the cleat on my shoe. If you are a mt. biker, start off in a grassy field and for roadies; put your bike on a trainer and practice. You will fall.  It will be slow and hurt your ego way more than your person. Don’t let that prevent you for trying clipless. It is SO worth it!

Have you had a bike biff/accident? If so, how did you recover on a physical/mental/emotional level?
I have had many, but only landed in the hospital once and it was a doozey. I ended up with a compound fracture in my right forearm (yes, I am right handed) and spent a few days in the hospital. Luckily, the accident was 100% my fault and I knew exactly what I did, so it was easy to get back on the bike and just “not do it again”. I was riding the day I was cleared from PT. The longest 4 months of my life!

What do you love about riding your bike?
I love the freedom I feel when I am on my bike. I know it sounds cliché, but I really feel like I can handle anything that life throws at me when I am on my bike.

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
I have a Focus Izalco road bike and a Niner Jet9 Mt. bike. I picked the Focus because the geometry of the frame worked with my shape and riding style, plus I want to try out electronic shifting. The Niner was more fate. I had decided that I want to try a 29-inch Mt. Bike and a gal in a local club was selling her frame. I was able to build it frame up by swapping out some components with my old bike and getting exactly what I wanted.

What clothing/bike accessories do you love? What would you recommend to your friends?I always recommend the Selle Italia Lady saddle; it is an affordable saddle that you can ride for hours and hours. I am also a huge Honey Stingers chews fan. When racing long distances, fueling is key and finding something that sits well with your stomach can be difficult. I have raced with Honey Stingers chews for a long time!