Profiles in Leadership: Allison Arensman

Our Profiles in Leadership series will introduce you to some of the great people accross North Carolina who have been inspired to join the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League in our mission to get #morekidsonbikes.  We need YOU to help.  If you’re inspired, please consider attending our Leadership Summit on September 10-11, 2016 in Greensboro, NC.  Registration is open (and discounted through August 1st) – so please take the next step and register here.


Where are you from/what is/are your “home” trails?Allison Arensman
I am originally from the foothills of North Carolina in a town called Valdese, but I started mountain biking when I started attending Brevard College in Brevard NC back in 2014. I now live in Brevard and our local trails are in Pisgah National Forest (300+ miles of single track) and DuPont State Forest (100s of more miles of single track).
How long have you been mountain biking?
I started riding and racing in 2011 but didn’t pick up mountain biking until 2014.
What involvement do you have in the cycling or youth development community?
I mentor and coach several juniors on the Evolution Development Cycling team (NC based junior team) year round.
What elements of cycling do you hope to pass onto the kids that participate in NCICL?
Cycling is and will always be a way to push your own limits, physically and mentally. It’s freedom and speed, it’s sometimes extreme and it’s a blast. I hope the kids in NCICL will get to taste all the diverse elements of cycling and become more rounded, better people because of it. One of the best parts of being a coach is helping others grow.

Tell us about a time when a coach made a positive impact on you.
I’ve only had one fitness coach for the entirety of my cycling career–Sonni Dyer from Studio7 Multisport. He has instilled in me the importance of enjoying the ‘process’ of getting to the goal rather than making my goal the ‘results’. It’s called having a growth mindset and it has helped me take ‘failure’ in any part of my life and see it as an opportunity to improve instead of a scar on my character or aspirations.

What have you learned about yourself through cycling?
I have learned that I am never in control of the situation, whether in the middle of a mud covered cyclo-cross race, descending a gnarly downhill in Pisgah Forest, or racing at 25-30 mph in a peloton of 150+ other riders. I must rely on the fact that God has put me in cycling; He holds every situation firmly and has a reason for me being there and going through the fun and the pain.

I have also learned that I am tenacious and, even though I have God-given strength that has helped me rise to the pro ranks quickly, from here I have to work super hard to keep rising. There are many other riders out there who have a great deal more talent than I do, but that doesn’t mean I can’t outwork and surpass them.
What makes you want to improve?
I want to see how far I can go…My dream has always been the Olympics.
What can you teach others through cycling?
To push your boundaries, to see what’s really inside of you, what you’re capable of. You can never reach ‘the top’, there’ll always be a harder feature or race, a smarter competitor who will push you. I want to teach others to not fall into complacency with developing yourself, because this applies to life, not just cycling! Keep striving, exploring, seeking. Enjoy the journey.

We need YOU! Please consider attending our Leadership Summit on September 10-11, 2016 in Greensboro, NC.  Registration is open (and discounted through August 1st) – register here.