#200women200miles: Amanda (Panda) Nauman

#200women200miles: Amanda (Panda) Nauman

Amanda works in aviation and aerospace testing, is a rising cyclocross star, and 2x Queen of DK200!

Tell us about your biking: I was an age group swimmer my whole life through college. That led me to racing triathlons, which led me to employment in the bike industry, which led me to a broader horizon of bike racing and eventually realizing my love of racing in the dirt.

Tell us about your bike: The ride’s foundation is Niner Bikes, a BSB9RDO size 47 frame. The ride is smooth and controlled thanks to Easton Cycling and spins effortlessly with Kogel Bearings. The ride has peace of mind because of Orange Seal. The ride is shifting smoothly by Shimano and power delivered through Crankbrothers pedals. And, finally, the ride is cushioned by my longest-supporting sponsor, SDG Components.

 Where do you ride? At home. Anywhere with a good view. On the dirt. Up steep climbs. Down fun descents.

What barriers did you face when getting into cycling? A lack of community or other people to ride with. When you’re first entering the sport, it’s very hard to be motivated and enjoy the riding completely alone. Sharing the adventures with other people can be much more rewarding. The biggest obstacle for me was finding like-minded people to ride with.

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How did you overcome those barriers? After I finished school, I was hired by a bike company in southern California that employed a few avid cyclists. Those employee relationships I made then branched out to more relationships within the local cycling community and expanded my network of friends to ride with. Now I’m able to reach out to many different people to enjoy rides with.

What advice do you have for others face the same barriers? If the community doesn’t exist, create it! If you look for something that isn’t there, put yourself in a position to make it happen. Find a bike shop or club and look for ways to create community around that. We live in a digital age where it’s easier than ever to build a community around like-minded individuals. Cycling is exponentially more fun in good company.

What have you done to get others into riding? I try to be influential by example. I’m not extroverted in a way that’s cheery and in-your-face to get more people riding or racing. I just want to go out there and give everything I have in the races I line up for. If more women see that drive to be the best and see the willingness to endure huge obstacles in the name of self-fulfillment and achievement, then I would hope that in turn will inspire more women to get on a bike and set their own goals.

How can others get involved? Give 100% dedication to your goals on the bike. Even if that means setting a goal to commute to work on a bike every day, make it happen. Find out why the bike is important to you. It can be fitness, health, thriftiness, transportation, meditation, or competition. Whatever it is, set a goal around that and fulfill it. I truly believe that sharing your personal achievements with friends and family can be the most motivating way to get others involved with the community and riding bikes. And one accomplished goal will lead to another while we all continue to grow in happiness on the bike. For instance, if we work toward telling the stories of the women who ride through Kansas for 200 miles, perhaps we’ll make their personalities and lifestyles more relatable to any women questioning their ability to set a goal in the Flint Hills.

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