Behind the Wheels with Alison Tetrick
WRITTEN BY: Equator Coffees
We recently caught up with Alison Tetrick — Tiger Collective member, professional cyclist, and independent entrepreneur. Read some of our conversations below to see what keeps her fueled up and ready for the road ahead.
What do you do for work?
I am a professional cyclist and entrepreneur that loves storytelling and building communities and companies for positive impact.
What was your first job?
Growing up on a cattle ranch, my parents “employed” me at a young age to feed the horses, close up the chickens and check on the cows. But my first “real” job was teaching tennis lessons at the local tennis club where I practiced. It involved everything from running tennis camps and plyometric drills to folding towels and working at the front desk.
How did you get into cycling?
I grew up on a cattle ranch in California and could dream as far as the surrounding landscape. School and sports were important to us, as my dad was a UCLA football player and my mom is a gifted athlete. I played NCAA tennis and have a degree in Biochemistry. As I was working as a scientist in a laboratory in Boston, I still had that athletic drive within me. I wanted to find physical challenges outside of the mental challenges at work. I started running. My grandfather, who was in his 70’s at the time, would keep encouraging me to try cycling. Cycling felt like a foreign concept to me, but I did dabble in triathlon and qualified for the World Championships. My grandfather, “Grampy”, was an avid cyclist in the later years of his life winning 17 National Championships (even after he was 80 years old) and goaded me to unlock my potential on the bike. I signed up for my first few bike races, and that was the end and beginning of a beautiful journey on two wheels. I won my first few races, and was sent to the US Olympic Training Center, and became a member of the USA National Team. I have won races all around the world but I always carried a piece of my family with me. It was wonderful to be able to share this experience with my Grampy as we found a language of love through the bike. He was always the first person I called after an event and he taught me that sports are for life. Sports are timeless and they make us better.
What’s your coffee drink of choice?
I go with hot French pressed dark roast Jaguar Espresso with a dash of cream - and if I am feeling naughty, a splash of Irish cream instead!
What is the best thing in or about your home?
I have to say my bed! I was traveling so much for racing and events the last 10 years, I wanted to create a slice of heaven for myself when I got home. I wanted to miss home when I was away, so I created the most comfortable sleep oasis to crave while on the road. I invested in a HUGE and fancy CalKing mattress with the world’s most luxurious sheets and down comforter and then paired it with a beautiful frame that was made locally here in Petaluma. My bed is where I enjoy my first cups of coffee in the morning and dream of more adventures at the end of the day.
What is your most cherished coffee product?
My Equator coffee! Every good day literally must start with coffee. Without the coffee, I will accomplish nothing.
Finish this sentence: The coffee I make at home _____.
Is strong and dark!
Where do you go to be alone?
My bike! I just hop on my bike and head west into the open spaces of Sonoma and Marin counties. I can talk to all my critter friends out there, enjoy the rugged coastline and pastoral tapestry, or just talk to myself while I try to solve all the world’s problems—starting with my own internal dialogue. Bike therapy is real.
What has been the most rewarding project of your career?
Last year, we started Saga Ventures to launch the AMT bandana project to raise money for scholarships for opportunity and equality in cycling, starting with the NorCal High School Cycling League. I really wanted to do something with purpose and give back to this community that I love so much. We have already secured two scholarships for a full season of racing and mentoring for young women. As we wait to see if youth sports will occur, we are also getting equipment and clothing for the riders. I can't wait to ride with these students and help promote education and the power of the bike. We are expanding our bandana program with NICA along with Outride to continue to get more kids on bikes. Using my "other" profession in communications, marketing, and brand activation, we will expand Saga Ventures to engage with our community on other projects that have a positive social impact. And as opportunities arise, Saga Ventures might just be expanding into new fields, and of course, bring the joy that is cycling into those new areas.
Where is one place in the world you would love to visit next?
If 2020 taught us anything, it is the ability to adapt and focus on the important things in life. As we are dreaming of summer adventures with our friends on all the gravel roads, I am also googling hot springs in the Eastern Sierras only accessible to 4x4 vehicles and... bikes! Building our truck for camping and overland excursions has been a fun project and has given us the ability to explore rugged and remote parts of California. I mean, I don't even camp but now I have an RTT, an MTB, and I'm told I get to test out the rock sliders on the truck when they arrive (should I be nervous? I think I should be nervous), who am I? And with the possibility of less travel, that's more time to spend at the ranch checking the cows with my dad on mountain bikes. I am already plotting a gravel route to connect Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen. Mountains to climb and cows to say hi to!
How do you relax?
Relax? What is that! I am a big believer in a bubble bath and a glass of wine method to attempt this elusive thing you call relaxation.
How would you like to be remembered?
She made a difference. She left the world a better place and created a future of opportunity for those behind her. She knew no barriers. She was bold.
COFFEE RAPID-FIRE ROUND:
- Milk or Black? Milk
- Single Origin or Blend? Blend
- Light or Dark? Dark
- Cold or Hot? Hot
- Pour Over or Drip? French Press
- Croissant or Donut? Donut
- Pizza or Burger? Burger