Ayesha McGowan came late to competitive cycling. An accomplished violinist, she didn’t enter her first organized biking event until after college. Despite riding an old steel bike with a milk crate on the back and wearing jean shorts in a peloton of spandex, she impressed the other women, who encouraged her to start competing. A year later, she took fifth place in her first race, then kept winning on the amateur circuit. Now she’s aiming to be the first African American female cyclist on the pro tour, and gets closer to that goal every day. In this second installment in a four-part series looking at inclusivity in outdoor communities, journalist James Edward Mills sits down with McGowan to talk about her fast road to success.
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