A Game of 20 Questions with Alison Keple

This weeks feature is Alison, who is an age group triathlete (since 1995!) and avid cyclist. Outside of cycling she is the Principal of a large high school on Vancouver Island. Alison and her husband Jason have known Noa for 8 or 9 years now, so we are excited to have her play our game of 20 questions! 

Meet Alison Keple

Location: Duncan, BC

YOB: 1970   

Follow Alison: @kepsicle

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1. How long have you been riding bikes?

My whole life! Literally!

2. How did you get acquainted with cycling?

One of my earliest memories is ripping around the driveway on my tricycle. I remember getting my training wheels off my first "real" bike (complete with banana seat and streamers) in 1975 at a family reunion. When I was 16, some friends and I decided to spend our summer break cycling from Regina SK (where I grew up) to Expo '86 in Vancouver. We thought it was pretty rad that we rode 3000 km that summer! I dabbled in road racing in high school. In 1995 I did my first triathlon, and have been involved in multi-sport ever since.

3. What kind of riding do you do? (track, mtb, road, cx, all of the above, etc)

Right now I am primarily on my TT bike for triathlon. Road cycling is my first love. I also love spending time on the trails on my mountain bike. I have a cx bike but I don't race it often (I don't have those fast-twitch fibres!)

4. How many bikes have you owned throughout your time cycling?

A LOT! No idea.

5. How many bikes do you currently own?

Four: TT, road, mountain, and cx. I need a gravel bike, and it would be so fun to have a beach cruiser to ride to the pub in the summer (complete with a basket of course)

6. What is your dream bike?

It depends on my current mood! A month ago it was a Canyon gravel bike. Right now it's a Quintana Roo PR6 disc with SRAM eTap.

7. What is your most memorable cycling experience?

Cycling halfway across Canada when I was 16 is definitely up there. More recently, a friend and I did the Seattle-to-Portland: 325km in a single day (it took us 12.5 hours). That's a lot of saddle time! Last year, I discovered the Belgian Waffle Ride in California, and it's the most fun I've ever had riding!

8. How many of your friends ride bikes?

All of them!

9. Do you prefer riding alone, in a small group or a large group?

I do most of my riding alone, mainly because I am fitting it in around my work and meetings. I have a solid group of 3 friends I ride regularly with as well.

10. Have you ever travelled with your bike? Where?

Yes! Mostly to races in various parts of the US and Canada. I am proud that I can disassemble, pack, and reassemble my bike on my own.

11. What is the biggest challenge you faced when you started riding bikes?

Good question! I am going to go with when I started mountain biking: my fear factor was pretty high! It still is, but I have learned that I am happy on flowy trails, rather than trying to ride stunts.

12. What are your cycling goals for this year?

Be consistent - last year was a big race year for me, so this year is taking stock and staying fit, and setting new goals.

13. What is your post-ride ritual?
Eating 

14. Bibs or non-bibs?
Bibs!

15. Do you believe that your socks should be at least 5” long, or, short?

Depends on the bike. Road & mountain: 5". TT: short

16. What is your hairstyle preference while cycling?

Low messy bun.

17. What snacks are always in your jersey pocket?

Stroopwaffles.

18. Cycling specific sunglasses or casual glasses?

Cycling specific. Save the casual glasses for post ride.

19. Bar tape loud and bright, or black and classic?

Loud and bright - lets have some fun out there!

20. What advice would you give to other women who are just starting out?Just get out and ride! Don't worry about whether you have the perfect bike, right sock length, valves lined up with tire labels etc. Just get out and pedal and have fun. Once you have a bit of riding under your belt, find a group. Take a basic maintenance class, and definitely learn to fix a flat.

Photo credit: Finisher Pix photo

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Stay tuned for next week's feature... If you want to be featured, fill in our ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. We would love to feature ALL women who ride bikes, regardless of where they are from, their age, ability or experience level.