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April Skater of the Month

Name: Allison Link

Nickname: Alli

Age: 48

Marital Status: Divorced

Have been skating for how long: I'm actually not a skater... yet! I might get the courage up one of these days, but I am a cyclist and I LOVE riding my bike on the veloway! It's great to see other HCIC members out there and be part of such a neat group of people.

Equipment Brand and Type: I ride a mixte bike from the 1980's that was made by Puch. It needed a bit of work, but is now in great working condition.

Life Philosophy: I try to do the right thing and I love the Maya Angelou quote - "You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better"

Favorite Time of Day to Skate: Daytime! Haha! I will ride my bike in the early morning, the heat of the day or the evening. I have terrible night vision so I avoid night rides.

Favorite Skating Events:I love the Thursday beltway HCIC meet up skates/bicycle time. It's relaxed and casual and a fun time to see great people and get my ride in too. I'm enjoying getting to know the other HCIC members better.

I also really enjoy the HCIC participation in It's My Park day each March when we clean up the veloway of trash and weeds and plant new trees and flowers and hang up butterfly and bat houses and other cool things. It's a great event and so positive!

Awards / Competitive Wins: Haha! I nominate myself for most falls off my own bike with no one else involved! I'm clumsy, but riding is making my balance better.

Most memorable incident / Biggest skating adventure:My very first ride on the veloway last year was my most memorable so far as it was a comedy of errors. It was my first time riding my bike more than 100 yards and I didn't realize I was missing a front brake pad. I also had no practice mounting, riding, turning, stopping...anything.

My first ride was a Moonlight Skate/Ride and I didn't realize how poor my night vision was even with a full moon and a clear path to travel. Needless to say, I fell down three times and the biggest was when my brakes failed and I missed a turn and ended up in the 3 foot weeds on the of the veloway.

I was embarrassed and bruised and covered in stickers and had to laugh at myself lying on the side of the veloway with my bike, in the dark, hidden in the weeds! I still had fun and I've learned a LOT since then! And Nicole and others were very supportive of me despite my clumsiness. I felt welcome even though I knew nearly nothing about cycling! That was in June of 2014 and I have grown to love every bit of my bike and the veloway and being part of the HCIC group.

What do I get from skating:I love riding my bike because being outside clears my mind and relaxes me. I enjoy riding on paved surfaces in parks and the veloway is number one! Seeing all the wildlife and breathing the fresh air fills me up and riding makes me stronger and healthier.

Would like to do this year in skating: I would like to be consistent in riding my bike even when my job gets crazy! It is something positive I can do for myself that adds strength and balance to my life.

Coolest Accomplishment: Very simple... I am learning more and more about my bike and am still a beginner, but changing my first tire out on a trail and continuing my ride filled me with confidence!

Other sports / hobbies you enjoy: I enjoy walking my dogs, scrapbooking, quilting, gardening and reading as well.

Favorite skating gadget / tool: My favorite cycling tool is my tool pouch as it's big enough for a tire changing tool, new tube, a snack and my keys and has a clear sleeve on top for my cell phone. It's compact and makes me feel prepared.

Mentors:I have several cycling mentors, but the biggest is my Dad, Art Link. He has been a cyclist his whole life and done the MS 150 multiple times and he restores vintage bikes. When he was a professor at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX he even did a ride with a young Lance Armstrong... and determined immediately that he was NOT a nice guy.

My Dad is also the one who decorates the veloway with multiple Christmas trees and turns the shed into a gingerbread house from Thanksgiving through the first week of January. He's fun like that! :)

What do you enjoy about being a member of HCIC:I enjoy meeting people who are interested in being outside, in helping one another and in sharing their knowledge and experience. Everyone I've gotten to know in HCIC has been very welcoming and generous with their time and even kind when I have to be reminded of their names again!

Helpful Advice to Beginners: Come join a group event! There are many different things to choose from and there are indoor and outdoor choices all year long. The group has members as young as single digit kids to folks in their 60's and beyond. I have found everyone to be kind and easy to be around and I am shy.

Favorite Quotes: My favorite quote is the one above by Maya Angelou, but a close second is by Benjamin Franklin - "Well done is better than well said".

Allison Link