Madeline Kreider Carlson

‘A lifestyle I truly believe in’: member spotlight on Katie Macarelli

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This month our spotlight is on multitalented member Katie Macarelli: commuter, mom, cyclocross racer, Colorado native, Feedback Sports marketing whiz and former Bicycle Colorado educator extraordinaire.

Getting hooked on riding (and becoming a cyclocross cowgirl)

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Katie is the bowl-cut blonde on the end

When did you get hooked on riding? One summer day my sister and I wanted to go to the pool. Our mom told us if we wanted to go, we could ride our bikes. It took at least three hours. When we finally arrived, dehydrated and very sunburned, the pool was closing. The lifeguards took pity and stayed open 15 more minutes—small town kindness, I guess! Despite my sunburn, I realized that on a bike I could get somewhere ALL. BY. MYSELF. I loved that!

Fast forward to now: what’s your favorite race or ride? I’m a huge fan of cyclocross, and there’s a race called Mile High Urban CX Chaos (MUCCY) at the Stock Show grounds. You ride in and out of the arena and the stanchions. It’s flat-out ridiculous how tricky it is. Even more amazing, it’s the only cx race that offers an adaptive course for athletes with disabilities. I am always humbled when I see adaptive athletes ride what I just whimpered over and struggled with.

Bikes as a family lifestyle

Family pinning - websizeOn bikes as transportation and riding with her family: I commute most days regardless of weather—it’s only about five miles. This was very much by design. When choosing a place to live, we wanted to be close enough to walk or bike so we wouldn’t have to rely on a car. It’s as much for our children as for ourselves.

Whether it’s choosing a dentist, organized sports or after-school activities,​ we always ask: “Can we ride there?” I didn’t use my bike for transportation until my mid-thirties. I hope our kids don’t take so long to make riding a daily practice.

Why are you a bike advocate? [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Parenthood] has made me a bike advocacy zealot. You’ve never seen someone more passionate about better infrastructure and bike safety than a parent. We can’t afford not to care about advocacy. I always tell people “If advocacy isn’t your thing, don’t worry. There are groups who do it better! They will do it FOR YOU!” That’s Bicycle Colorado.

Fields, forests, industry and community: cycling in Colorado

Pro challenge websizeWhat do you love about riding in Colorado? I can ride to Boulder and see fields and farms that resemble the place where I grew up. I can ride Lair o’ the Bear and enjoy the delightful pine smell and the shadows of the forest. ​I can ride our local cross racing course and greet the herd of elk that likes to call it home.

What’s it like working in the bike industry? The best part is marketing products and a lifestyle I truly believe in. How many people get to do that?! The worst part…well, my parents think I just ride my bike all the time, which is false! Being a woman in the bike industry has its share of challenges. The experiences I’ve had in this area (good and bad) are excellent learning opportunities for my daughters. Thankfully I work for a very positive, forward thinking company.

What’s your vision for the cycling community? A true cycling community shares information and resources, encouraging and embracing all who want to join. We all ride and love bikes, right? No need to be a Judgy McJudge-pants about which one is best.

Adventures and misadventures

Fruita websizeWhat are your most memorable moments on the bike? I’ve been blown off roads, I’ve been chased by cars and dogs. I’ve had lovely conversations with construction workers. I’ve high-fived the UPS guy getting out of his van. I’ve cleaned up blood from myself and my kids. I’ve been lost. I’ve cried on the bike. I’ve whooped for my daughters as they led me to the grocery store, following all the rules of the road.

But perhaps the best and most recent: I met my husband in the middle of the crosswalk for a kiss. We were both on bikes: I was on my way to work and he was heading home from a morning ride. ​I laughed after. Wonder what that must have looked like to the cars stopped at the light!

Tell your story!

This is part of a series of Bicycle Colorado member profiles. Let us know if you’d like to be featured! Not a member yet? You can be part of the movement to make Colorado a better place to live and ride. Join today![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Madeline Kreider Carlson

About the Author: Madeline Kreider Carlson

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