Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meet The 2012 Ride On Team!

Coach Laura Horvath
Hello!  My name is Laura Horvath, and I am the coach for the lovely ladies of RideOn!  I am extremely honored to take part in assisting these young women in preparing for the World's Greatest College Weekend...the Little 500!

While at IU, I participated in the Little 500, riding in 4 races under the team name Cycledelics.  I graduated with high honors in 2006 with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation and went on to earn a M.S. in Occupational Therapy from IUPUI in 2009.  I am currently living on the south side of Indianapolis with my dog, Rudy (8 lb mini dachshund), and working at a hospital as an Occupational Therapist (OT).  As an OT, I work with adults (who have had an illness, injury, or disability) to assist them in maximizing their independence and quality of life with daily activities (bathing, dressing, cooking, laundry, etc).  In my free time, I enjoy running, reading, watching movies, traveling, and of course, cycling!

I was introduced to the Little 500 my freshman year of college after transferring second semester to IU from Ball State.  A childhood friend of mine was the assistant coach for a men's Little 500 team, and he invited me to hang out at the Little 5 track so that I could meet more people.  He introduced me to all the riders and explained the race.  I was always really involved in sports growing up (cross country and track since age 9 and swimming from age 7), so I quickly became fascinated with the Little 500!  Since it was too late to join a team, I waited until the summer and bought a bike.  My friend who coached the men's team had some of his riders take me out on the roads of Bloomington.  They informed me there used to be a women's team who trained with them called Cycledelics.  They offered to help me get the team started again so that I could participate in the race.  They also encouraged me to go to rookie rides (rides designed for new people to learn the rules of the road).  At the rookie rides, I met a girl named Bri.  She was an awesome rider for Teter who ended up going on to set track records and become a member of the Little 5 Hall of Fame.  Bri was kind enough to take me under her wing and helped me find more teammates.  That year, my team (Cycledelics) rode with 4 rookies and finished 12th place!  We went on to finish 8th, 10th, and 5th respectively over the rest of my Little 5 career.

Through my 4 years as a rider (2003-2006), I learned a lot about the joys, hardships, and disappointments of the race and of growing up.  The lessons I learned from Little 5 still stick with me to this day as I venture out into the "adult" world.  When I think back on my college career and what led me to where I am today, one thing that stands out as a highlight is participating in the Little 500.  Although I would consider myself an average rider, I was very fortunate to have a lot of success on and off the bike.  My greatest accomplishments included being named team captain for all 4 years of racing, being elected to rider's council for 3 years (veteran riders who assist with safety and education of other riders for the race), serving 1 year as rider's council president, earning a Little 500 Women's Colloquium scholarship, and being named an All-Star rider (MVP) by my peers/competitors.  Now, six years later, I am thrilled to add to my accomplishments being named the coach for RideOn!!!

I am extremely grateful to have such a wonderful, dedicated group of young women to share my experiences and knowledge with for this season.  I can't wait to see all of their hard work pay off throughout the spring!  I have always wanted to give back to the race as much as it gave me, so this season, my goal is to help these amazing women walk away from the race with as much love and passion that I have for it.  I hope they are able to look back on their college career with a smile, and appreciate the honor of being one of 132 women to participate in the Women's 2012 Little 500!!

Kelsey Holder
I'm Kelsey Holder and a junior here at IU. After a lifetime of indecisiveness, I finally settled on the majors of journalism and criminal justice. As for what I want to do after I graduate in a year and a half, what don't I want to do? Travel to every continent, teach skiing in Colorado, write for a magazine, write an ethnography on school systems, combat human trafficking, ride my bike across the United States, write a personal memoir under a pseudonym... I rode in the Little 500 last year and fell in love with everything about its connections to IU tradition and spirit. My bike + IU + a race = the best college experience I could have.

Julia Meek
Hi! I'm Julia Meek, a senior double majoring in Journalism and Italian Studies. Originally from Bloomington, IL, I made my way to IU-Bloomington, IN after falling in love with the campus and the programs offered here. Sophomore year, I had the opportunity to ride with the Collins Little 500 team and I have the scars to prove it. Riding in the Little 500 was an incredible experience that I would not  trade for the world. Junior year, I studied abroad for an academic year in Bologna, Italy. I was able to cheer on the newly formed SAA team via skype and talk with the team throughout the season. I am very excited to see what the team is able to accomplish this year!
Morgan Smith
Ciao! I'm Morgan Smith, a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Anthropology. Currently attempting to learn Italian, my dream job is to write and travel with National Geographic. Born and raised a Hoosier, I have been around everything IU since I can remember. After transferring home to IU from Syracuse University, I immediately joined RideOn where I fell in love with the girls and the track. After all the amazing memories from last year, I can't wait to see RideOn compete this spring! 

Danielle Thoe
My name is Danielle Thoe, I am a Senior from Plymouth, Michigan. I am majoring in Public Management at SPEA with a minor in Art History and an Urban Studies Certificate. Currently I'm working as a Teaching Assistant for a couple of SPEA classes, as a transportation planning intern for Campus Bus, and serving as President of IU's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter. After graduation in May I will be attending graduate school for dual master degrees in Urban Planning and Public Policy. This is my 3rd year riding Little 500, but due to my extremely lengthy (and ridiculous) injury history I haven't yet made it to race day. So this is my Senior year, my last shot. I continue riding because the culture behind this race, the experiences I've had, and the people I've met training for it have been incredible!! Now I just need to take that last jump to be on a bike on race day! 

Molly Carroll
Hi!  My name is Molly Carroll and I am from the tiny town of Shelbyville, IN.  I am a Junior majoring in SPEA Management, getting a certificate in Journalism, and minoring in Communications!  I am a Bartender at the Bluebird, so if you’re 21 and feeling a little thirsty, come see me! I am the director of intramurals and IUDM for Committee of the Whole for the Student Alumni Association.  In my free time that barely exists, I like to go skydiving, travel, go geocaching, riding, and hiking with my overly affectionate Boxer/ Mastiff pup, Beau.  This is my first year riding with RideOn and I couldn’t be more excited! 

Mary Horton
Hello! My name is Mary Horton and I am a senior from Fort Wayne, Indiana majoring in psychology. I grew up riding my bike and I have fond memories of scraping gravel out of wounds due to a propensity to fall and crash. One fall day I was feeling particularly nostalgic for these times and decided to take up cycling. It then seemed natural for me to join a Little 500 team so I didn't have to ride alone and change flats by myself. As a result, I have developed a sincere passion for cycling and am more than stoked for Rookie Week to commence. I'd like to note that the friendships and camaraderie that I have developed with my teammates has been added benefit, though one that I certainly did not expect. My additional hobbies include tennis, underwater basket weaving, trainer workouts, spinach smoothies, and Mario Kart. Currently, I am engaging in a bidding war on eBay to purchase two additional Nintendo 64 controllers for use after prohibition. I cannot wait to take part in one of the nation's most prestigious college traditions. 

Helen Han
Hey! My name is Helen Han. I’m a junior majoring in Economics with minors in Spanish, Mathematics and Psychology. I like turtles, Harry Potter, and coffee, and enjoy drawing graphs for my economics classes.

 I’ve been cycling since summer 2008, and this is my second year as a part of RideOn. I was never a competitive person.  However, after riding in last year’s race, all I could think about was Little 500. I’m so excited for the rookies to go through this amazing experience, and can’t wait to see RideOn’s presence on the track as a returning team.

Cycling and I have love-hate relationship. I always think about how much I hate riding my bike during my ride, but the next day, I can’t wait to hit the road again. It’s called “Cycling Amnesia.” I only remember the good things! This is why, after countless accidents, lots of freezing weather, bruises from exchanges, and taking cinders out of my legs with a needle, I’m still a part of RideOn. 

Laura Bliss
Hey everyone!  My name is Laura Bliss, I am senior studying Communication and Culture, and this will be my 2nd year riding for RideOn.  Originally from St. Louis, MO, I grew up attending summer camp where I would go on bicycle tour trips that lasted anywhere from 5 days to 3+ weeks at a time.  My involvement on the Committee of the Whole with the Student Alumni Association has been the brightest highlight of my college experience, so combining that with my love of biking was an obvious choice last year when the team was created.  This year I have the honor of serving as a member of Riders Council, where my job is to serve to teach and inspire new Little 500 riders and act as a liaison between IUSF and the Little 500 community.  I love everything about Little 500: the great tradition, the competition, the excuse to explore Bloomington, and, of course, my amazing teammates.  I'm excited to see all of our hard work pay off this spring!

No comments: