The Accidental Cyclist
My name is Lyndsey Helske and I’m an accidental cyclist. I didn’t mean to get into cycling, it just kind of happened- but I couldn’t be more grateful that it did.
If you had told me that I’d be riding a bike to work or even own a bike 6 months ago, I would have laughed in your face. I’ve never been super outdoorsy. I was always the one who would rather be inside reading a book or singing on a stage rather than set a foot on any type of field, trail, or court. However, I couldn’t be happier that my life journey has brought me into the Red Rock Bicycle community. When I took the job as the Remote Rider Engagement Specialist at Red Rock Bicycle Co, I came in with wide eyes and the vision to market the product to the best of my ability. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. The bike world is extremely complex. But what I knew even less was that I was stepping into one of the most amazing communities that I have ever seen. The support and encouragement that I have felt as a new rider has been indescribable.
Cycling At Newport Beach
I remember looking at the job listing for my position and seeing the phrase: “everybody that works at Red Rock Bicycle rides” and although I applied, I knew that I would never get a job there. I used to ride my bicycle out every Sunday with my family and have fond memories of riding my little hand-me-down bike with my cousins and grandfather on family bike rides. But nowadays, I cycle maybe once every two years when my family goes to the beach and we rent beach bikes for two hours.
I happened to get an interview for the position and when I walked into Red Rock Bicycle Co., I was intrigued. I had never really been in a bike shop and walking around, I couldn’t help but think “what am I doing here?” but also thinking “wow- this place has such a cool vibe”. I’ve worked in the sporting industry before and there’s something special about stepping into Red Rock for the first time. Everything has a place and there are stories being told everywhere. I went to my interview and was completely truthful about my lack of cycling knowledge but my eagerness to learn. When I left, I was sure that I had blown it and that I would never get the position. Then I got the message saying that I had been chosen and I couldn’t have been more excited and nervous at the same time.
Now, you have to understand that I came from the world of outdoor recreation. I had worked for a company that sold playgrounds, kayaks, basketball hoops, and so much more for four years so I was no stranger to being part of a world that I knew nothing about but cycling seemed different. It seemed like there were a trillion things to learn and that I would never learn them. I began to research cycling and found that there wasn’t much out there for beginners. How do I start? What do I need? And what the heck is this “saddle” I kept hearing about?? (It’s a seat btw).
My first day rolled around and I walked into the store completely sick to my stomach but then I started talking with Lukas, Ryan, and Joey. About twenty minutes into that conversation- the butterflies in my stomach stopped fluttering around so much and instead started to float around and I knew that while I had a lot to learn, the cycling community was going to make sure that I learned it. These are women and men who are extremely passionate and want more than anything to help you to find your own path with cycling. That’s one thing that really surprised me to be honest. I had no clue how much others would just want me to be happy and to find what works for me- and they understood that not everything would!
Freedom To Ride Clinic With My Husband And Grandpa
Since working here, I’ve had the opportunity to go on group rides, learn at store clinics, take pictures at the Intermountain Cup races, and talk to riders at the Ride Southern Utah events. The energy that these events is unlike anything else. I felt really intimidated to go to all of these events because of my lack of experience and knowledge but I’ve found that as I’ve attended and talked with the riders there, I’ve learned so much and I am beginning to feel more and more comfortable.
Here at Red Rock Bicycle Co., the motto is “changing lives two wheels at a time” and to be honest- when I first heard that I might have snickered in my head a little and thought “how much can a bike actually change your life?”. At the time, I had no clue how much the bike would change my own life going forward. As I worked here longer and longer, I began to see that motto in action and see the lives that were changed each and every day- including mine.
My First Ever "New Bike Day"
My advice to anyone who is thinking about getting into cycling is to just ride. I know it sounds cliché but everyone starts somewhere and you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start. If you have questions, don’t be shy. Ask them! There’s always someone in the community willing to help. And remember- there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Before my first test ride with the ebike that I bought, I had to ask how to use the shifting system. I had never been on a bike with gears. I felt shy about asking and was surprised that the person that I asked didn’t skip a beat and didn’t make me feel dumb at all. I’m still asking questions every single day. There’s a lot to learn and the cycling industry is constantly evolving which makes it an even more daunting task. I’ve just learned to push through and to keep riding. It will come eventually! You’ve got this!
*Written By Lyndsey Helske