Team TIBCO announced the addition of Lauren Stephens of Dallas to their women’s pro cycling road squad.
The 26-year-old Texas native’s palmares this year includes a win at the National Criterium Calendar’s Charlotte Presbyterian Crit, and a 3rd place finish in the overall GC standings at the NRC Joe Martin Stage Race. She is currently ranked top 6 in both the NCC and NRC individual standings, and took 7th in Sunday’s Philly Cycling Classic.
But the thing that caught my eye in the press release? This sentence:
By day, Stephens is a full-time high school math teacher who commutes via bicycle daily and spends her weekdays training near White Rock Lake.
I followed up by asking Ms. Stephens about her commute, and she is indeed a five-day year round bike commuter. Her commute is nominally three miles, but she loops around White Rock Lake to make the commute closer to 9 miles. “On my longer days I will leave early and get in a good hour at White Rock Lake before wrapping up at work,” she says.
Stephens normally rides her road bike as she combines training with transportation, carrying her clothing and lunch in a messenger bag. “I keep my ‘teacher’ shoes at work to cut down on the amount of stuff I have to carry,” says Stephen. She switches out to a fixed gear bike during the winter “to change it up bit.”
“My bike commute is very short but I love it. I’ve made friends on the road. I see some of the same people at lights and stop signs and they wave or roll there window down occasionally to comment on how they see me every day and when they don’t they wonder where I am.”
I asked her for tips for prospective Dallas bike commuters. Her advice: “Avoid high traffic roads. Establish your position in your lane. Dallas is more bike friendly than people realize.”
Stephens races for what I consider to be the premier women’s cycling team in North America, Team TIBCO sponsored by TIBCO Software.
2013 marks the team’s eighth year of operations, and will see additional expansion into Europe as the team furthers its mission of providing a long-term platform for riders to become top international competitors. The team has added top international talent including 2012 Olympians Shelley Olds (USA) and Jasmin Glaesser (CAN), Giro d’Italia and Tour de L’Aude winner Claudia Hausler (GER), Irish National Road and Cross Country Champion Melanie Spath, and rising Dutch star Chantal Blaak. Three-time Olympian Jo Kiesanowski (NZ) returns to the squad for 2013.