Coffee Makes the World Go Round

There are five little words that make my world go round: family, cookies, sunshine, cycling, and coffee! Ok, so there might be a bit more depth to me than those five words can convey but its a good place to start. I began cycling professionally five years ago and it’s been quite the adventure ever since. I grew up in Utah and have loved sports and the outdoors for as long as I can remember. Winters spent skiing with my Dad and summers spent camping, fishing, and exploring the woods around the cabin my Grandfather built, planted a deep love of everything outdoors in me.  Every other waking moment of my childhood I spent kicking a soccer ball around the backyard or being shuttled to and from practice.  From outdoor soccer in the summer to indoor in the winter, soccer was always a constant.  I loved sports and always dreamt of being a professional athlete.  When I was eight years old I idolized Picabo Street and daydreamed constantly about what it would be like to compete at the Olympics.

When I was 10 it was all about Mia Hamm and the 99ers!  I had posters of Mia and Brandi Chastain, and yes I too wanted to score the tournament winning penalty kick and celebrate by tearing my jersey off, sliding on my knees, and getting tackled by my teammates.  As much as I daydreamed, and as hard as I practiced, soccer was not going to be how I achieved sporting success, but thankfully I never stopped dreaming.  I found cycling while attending the University of Utah.  I had been searching for a way to let off some competitive steam and cycling turned out to be the perfect outlet.  Right from the beginning something major clicked and I knew I had found my place, my sport, and a platform for all those childhood dreams.

Cycling has given me the opportunity to travel the world, meet incredible people, and connect with many different cultures and communities. Coffee culture is one such connection that has truly changed my life. Coffee rides are sacred in cycling, a sort of rest day reward for all the hard days spent slogging up mountains, into a headwind, and completing interval after interval. It was on these coffee spins that I began to fall in love with coffee culture and wanted to get more involved. When I met the incredible team at Equator Coffees and got a true tutorial in all things coffee, I was in heaven!  The more I learned about coffee, the more I loved it; everything from sourcing and processing methods to the roasting and brewing techniques and how each person’s palate and coffee preference is unique.  My partnership with Equator to develop the Tayler Wiles Blend is much more than just a wake-up call.  It is a daily appreciation of art, facilitating conversation and connections and providing a unique outlet for creativity.

My life as a professional cyclist is that of a nomad.  I live part of the time in Fairfax, California and the other part in Girona, Spain.  However during the racing season (January - October) my location changes constantly.  For example, in the month of August, I will travel from Spain, to France, back to Spain, to Sweden, back to Spain, to Holland, and then back to Spain again.  Traveling around Europe used to mean many mornings spent drinking dirty water disguised as coffee.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible little coffee shops around Europe. I have been to many fantastic ones in Ghent, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Frankfurt, and of course Girona, but I’m talking hotel coffee here. Keep in mind these are not 5-star hotels by any means, walk it back a few stars, we are talking women’s cycling, think Ibis or Campanile. It is the kind that comes out of a machine or that they make behind the scenes with a kettle and some instant coffee powder. 

Thankfully, with the help of my Equator family this is no longer my reality. With my love and education of coffee came the ability to brew up an incredible cup from anywhere in the world. I now travel with a hand grinder, scale, Equator Hario V60, my trusty Equator roaming Tiger mug, and of course delicious Equator coffee! Life on the road as a cyclist can be tough, as we spend so much time away from our families and away from the familiar, so finding the faintest bit of familiarity and joy can make such a big difference. Starting the day with a top quality cup of coffee brings a deep and satisfying smile to my face and to me it is the small things in life, it is these smiles, that add up to big happiness.

Brew tip: It’s all about the bloom! When making a pour over don’t just dump the water over the grounds and call it good, take care my friend!  Pour slowly, adding only as much water as double the weight of the grounds you are starting with (for example, if you are making a cup with 24 grams of ground coffee, add 48 grams of water to start) and let that beautiful bloom form over 30 seconds.  That 30 seconds makes the bloom and boom you're off to a killer start. Then add the rest of the water slowly. For more tips be sure to check out Equator's Brewing Guides.  Enjoy!

Training tip: The timely selection of bicycle gears is crucial!  Try to anticipate what gears you may need by keeping your head up and looking ahead at the terrain.  Shifting gears too late or the under use of your full range of gears is a common mistake made by new cyclists. It can result in the loss of momentum and speed, getting bogged down on climbs, or leave you spinning out like crazy on a decent.  Practice looking ahead and if you see an incline, gear down to give your legs an easier load.  Then the opposite is true for descending but first get your cadence higher before shifting to a harder gear.  Timely gear selection helps you save energy and be more efficient on the bike.  Practice this is training and you’ll be flying before you know it! 

Cheers,
Tayler Wiles
Professional Cyclist
Orica-AIS
www.taylerwiles.com