Professional cyclist, Colavita/Bianchi Women’s Pro Cycling Team
Erica Allar began riding bicycles in 2002 and has won two Espoir (under age 23) National Criterium Championships and multiple Collegiate Track National Championships representing The Pennsylvania State University. Since its inception in the domestic race scene in 2012, Erica has been the only female racer to win the National Criterium Calendar overall title.
What motivated you when you wanted to quit?
I was not raised in a family that was athletically driven. I found cycling after dabbling in gymnastics, soccer, and track and field. When I was younger, I never committed the time and energy necessary to be a competitive athlete. It has taken a lot of hard work and a great support system to help me develop into the cyclist I am today. I am driven and motivated by my curiosity of what I can achieve.
What challenge did you face and then kicked ass?
Tulsa Tough is the biggest three-day criterium event for women, offering stellar spectators and large prize purses. In 2013, during the first race, a crash sent me to the ER for sixteen stitches above my eye and several more in my knee. I was not confident that I would be able to continue. I was medicated to ease the pain of road rash and slept for fewer than four hours, but I knew I was one of the most physically and mentally tough women in the event. I was cleared by the doctor to race, and I chose to line up the following two race days. On the second day, I finished third by inches and I placed twelfth on the third day and most difficult course of the weekend.
What’s your advice for women?
Find what propels you internally. Live life with a level of tenacity that will enable you to seek out and own with confidence what drives you internally. Once you are fulfilled internally, everything you would like to achieve externally will follow.
What do you swear by for staying fit?
To stay sharp, fit, and healthy, I commit at least thirty minutes a day to me. Whether it be to exercise, read, nap, or reflect, I prioritize time for myself. I prefer to take my thirty minutes first thing in the morning with a great cup of coffee. It helps wake me up and sets the tone for a successful day.
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PHOTO: SCOTT KINGSLEY