Three years old, riding a tricycle in the buff around the pink slate
patio behind her family's home in New Rochelle, New York, is her
earliest memory of cycling. Gradually, she outgrew her exhibitionist
tendencies and learned how to ride a bicycle. Through the years, cycling
was a favorite pastime, but not a passion.
Fast forward to 2005,
she was living in Northwest DC and working for KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines; she owned a Specialized hybrid bicycle, which she rarely rode,
because she could not find anyone to ride with. All that changed,
following a serendipitous phone conversation with Ed Hazelwood. She
learned that Ed, a long-time aviation industry acquaintance, was an avid
cyclist and Potomac Pedalers member.
For the first four cycling
seasons, she and Ed rode together, mostly on bicycle trails; Capital
Crescent, Mount Vernon, W&OD, to name a few. Ed taught her all the
cycling basics, from changing gears on a hill, to changing a flat tire,
to riding a century. She traded in her tee shirts, shorts, and sneakers
for proper cycling attire and upgraded from her Specialized hybrid to a
Cervelo R3 road bike.
One awesome, once in a lifetime cycling
experience occurred in Paris, in July 2007: Monique was a guest of the
former Team CSC (now, Team Saxo-Tinkoff) cycling team. Early in the
morning, on the last day of the Tour de France, she rode Team CSC member
Stuart O'Grady's road bike through the streets of Paris, around the Arc
de Triomphe and along the Champs-Elysees! Wow!
In 2009, she and
Ed participated in several Potomac Pedalers group rides and she joined
the club. She met lots of great people, many of whom were ride leaders.
After a few seasons, she was inspired to give back to the club. She
asked Ed to co-lead a B level group ride with her. Since then, during
the cycling season, she and Ed have been co-leading rides in Maryland,
one Sunday a month. Currently, she leads the B group and Ed leads the CC
Every Wednesday evening, from the beginning of April to
the end of August, Monique leads a slightly shorter B/CC group version
of the Downtown Breakaway (DTB) ride. The ride leaves promptly, at 6:00
p.m., from Mitchell Park (S Street NW, between 22nd & 23rd Streets)
in DC. It's a great workout and hill training ride, through lovely,
tree-lined, low-traffic neighborhoods, with a flat and fast return on
In September, for the third year in a row, she will co-lead the B-level, 100 mile group for the club's Back Roads Century ride.
it's once a week, once a month, or once in a while, she encourages
every Potomac Pedalers club member to consider leading a ride. It's easy
to sign up online, it's a fun way to meet people and it's greatly
The more you ride, the more experiences you have, the more experienced you become. So, keep on pedaling!