Name: Shannon Petitjean

Age:42

Occupation: Retail Sales at Patuxent Adventure Center  Mom of 2 boys Road captain for my cycling club

Bikes: Moot’s Routt, Specialized Camber Comp, Trek Lexa

Q: When and how did you discover cycling?

A: I started riding when I was a little girl. I road bikes up until I got my license. I road everyday, everywhere!  In my late 30’s I was introduced to Triathlon races, and rediscovered riding.  I bought a road bike, and started riding with a women’s ride at the shop I work at now.  

Q: Has your inspiration to ride changed since then, and what is it now?

A: My inspiration to ride is really for my mental well being.  I feel like riding makes me happier, and I am better to myself, my family and friends and the community as well.  

Q: How would you define your style of gravel riding?
A: I don’t to want to define my style of gravel riding.  It is local so far, but plans to venture out on some gravel rides this fall, for sure!
Q: Describe an ideal day on the bike.
A: I love getting to the ride early, meeting up with friends, and setting out to ride. The sounds of nature, the hum of the bikes, the rest stops.  I can always tell when I’m having fun because I start telling everyone how great it is that we have such great weather.  Even when it is pouring down raining, thunder clapping around me I can still find something to be thankful for.  Mostly for the chance to ride my bike. It really means so much to me. Short pulls, long rides and the end of the ride fist bumps and plans for another ride.  Last but not least are photos! I love taking photos!

Q: What are some notable trips you’ve done to enjoy cycling? 

A: I have raced a few triathlons in other states.  I have stayed very local, but that is all subject to change.   I look to venture out this fall to climb in the mountains of West Virginia, and head out to skyline drive in Virginia.  Looking to do some gravel rides this coming fall.

Q: You’re a Barnstormer Chapter Leader. What does that entail, and is there anything you hope to help other riders find within the club?

A: As a BCL I hope to organize and lead many rides. I want to set up a gravel ride for kids in my neighborhood, and teach them the importance of bike maintenance. Organize rides and encourage the new riders to step out of their comfort zones.  I want other people to dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.

Q: Everyone who rides has something unique to offer. Do you know what you might offer, in that regard? 

A: I am a mother of two boys with active schedules.  I always find a way to get in a ride. After losing 196 pounds, quitting smoking after 23 years, quitting drinking and fighting depression and anxiety, I feel like I am more empathetic that most people.  I feel what they feel, and have an open mind to people that have fear, doubt and insecurities about riding!

 

Q: What role does cycling play in your current lifestyle?

A: I deal with my demons thru cycling. Cycling cam back into my life 7.5 years after my lifestyle change. It is my social time. It is how I fit in. It is my happy hour.  My fitness goals have been to get faster.  To climb more. To do a mountain bike race. To ride a gravel race.  To explore all the no’s I keep telling myself.  I also maintain my weight loss by riding!  When I ride I eat better, and feel better!  But my ultimate goal is to ride until I die. I am currently riding 5-6 days a week. I always feel so much better knowing I am going to ride.  It keeps me grounded.