Inside the mind of… Ayesha McGowan

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Ayesha McGowan is a woman on a mission to become the first African-American pro road cyclist. Here we go inside her brain to find out what drives her...

Known as the “quick brown fox” thanks to an effortless pedalling style that helps her fly, Ayesha McGowan is seriously fast and furious on a bike and – despite being a relative latecomer to the sport at 26 – she started her racing career with a bang, winning a state championship at her first attempt.

Ayesha’s goal is bigger than awesome finish times, though. “I’m going be the pro I couldn’t find in this sport,” she says. “I owe it to all the little girls who look like me and have the potential to become great.”

Here, we take a look inside her mind to see what makes her tick.

What takes up the majority of your brain space?
So many things: my family, bikes, music, travel plans, transportation advocacy, my podcast, the list goes on...

And what about whatever is left?
I love podcasts and fruit!

I’m going be the pro I couldn’t find in this sport. I owe it to the girls who look like me who have the potential to be great…

What drives you to do what you do?
A lack of doubt that I can. 

What helps you along the way?
I have an amazing tiny group of friends, some really good music and FRUIT (really, fruit is the best). 

How does riding make you feel?
Like everything is as it is supposed to be. 

What do you tell yourself when you’re having
a tough day on the bike?

C’est la vie!

What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I sleep like a rock. 

Can you remember your last dream?
Nope, but my brain gets pretty creative when I’m sleeping.

What makes you different?
There’s only one me. 

How do you smash through the barriers?
I keep showing up. 

What’s your dream ride and who would you ride it with?
If my dad were still alive, I’d love to ride bikes with him. Pretty much anywhere. A nice quiet bike trail would be great. With foliage. Maybe something in New England!

What do you want your legacy to be?
I want folks to know they can do anything they really set their minds on.

Get more inspiration from Ayesha on her blog 

Photography: Damien Maloney

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