Meet Megan Caldwell, Danielle Thoe, Laura Bliss, Kelsey Holder, Morgan Smith, and Helen Han--the RideOn 2011 bikers.
Megan Caldwell is a junior from Lafayette, California majoring in Policy Analysis (SPEA) as well as Near Eastern Language and Culture. A VP of Membership for SAA, Caldwell wanted to bring a Little 500 team to the organization so more IU students could have a team to cheer for during the “world’s greatest college weekend.” Caldwell has had experience riding in the Little 500 in the past, riding for Relativity—a team that disbanded later. Caldwell enjoyed riding in the race a lot last year and cannot wait to start another season, and begin a new tradition for the members of SAA.
Danielle Thoe is a Public Management and Art History major from Plymouth, Michigan. In addition to being a dedicated biker, Thoe can also lick her elbow. Thoe decided to race in the Little 500 this year in order to get more involved in the traditions here at IU. And, in her words, “there is nothing more important during spring time at IU than the Little 500.”
Laura Bliss is a junior from St. Louis, Missouri majoring in Communication and Culture. Additionally, Bliss is also a member of the LAMP program. Bliss chose to participate in Little 500 this year because she loves being an active member in her community and participating in the activities that make that community unique. Her involvement in both SAA and Little 500 demonstrates this. For Bliss, SAA has provided an opportunity to be more involved in several communities: the tight-knit SAA community and the IU community as a whole. SAA offers members endless opportunities to get involved; intramurals, families, etiquette dinners, and Homecoming festivities…the list goes on. When Bliss is at SAA events, she does not feel as though she is wasting her time. Rather, she feels she is making the most of her time by engaging in community events and activities she is interested in—with people whom she wants to be with.
The Little 500 has been a similar experience for her. Bliss saw this incredible event, one of the major traditions that IU holds, for the first time two years ago and decided that she had to be a part of it, no matter what.
As a former member of IU Student Foundation, she has been able to both contribute to the planning of Little 500 and see the action up close. The excitement, passion and dedication put into the race has been contagious for her.
Additionally, biking has been a part of her life for several years. She spends her summers biking across the country, and loves riding her bike for fun, exercise, and with friends—all the time! Being able to bring this love of biking to IU is something she appreciates greatly. For her, biking with RideOn will undoubtedly be the ultimate combination of things she loves, and she could not be more excited to see the team succeed!
Kelsey Brooke Holder is a sophomore journalism student at IU. She grew up in Fort Branch, Indiana and has spent many summer afternoons riding her bike on back road hills. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys striking up intimate conversations with strangers and exploring her surroundings during long walks. She is an avid Hulu watcher, drinks what she considers to be “too much Diet Coke” and loves working a good Sudoku puzzle. When stressed, she enjoys painting and believes that the best gifts are crafted by hand, from the heart.
Morgan Smith is a freshman from Bloomington, Indiana majoring in marketing and minoring in graphic design. Not previously a biker, Smith decided to participate in the Little 500 this year in order to be a part of a great Hoosier Tradition—an opportunity she feels that she simply could not pass on. When she is not training for the race, Smith enjoys playing golf and her violin—activities that she also did during high school.
Helen Han is a sophomore majoring in Economics and minoring in Spanish and Psychology. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Han moved to Bloomington when she was 11 years old. Han decided to race in the Little 500 because she loves biking. An experienced biker, she started getting involved with biking in summer 2008, with deCycles. DeCycles is a 3-week cross-country bike trip held annually. With deCycles, Han has ridden 1,350 miles through Arizona, Utah and Colorado, 1,700 miles in a loop around Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as from Seattle to Los Angeles through pacific mountains. On these trips, there were roughly 65 riders ages 13 to 60. The bikers rode approximately 90 miles a day in pace lines of 7 or 8 riders. However, although Han has a lot of experience riding her bike, she has never actually raced before. She feels that this will make Little 500 very different and challenging for her, and is very excited to race as a part of RideOn this year!