Making Us Proud: The Race of Her Life

How many other firsts are you up to now?

Well, I’m the first Puerto Rican woman to complete Paris-Brest-Paris, a 745-mile bike ride where cyclists must complete the course in less than 90 hours. I did it in 89. And the other is the Tour de France, where I was the first Puerto Rican ever to do that race. Next up, I’ll be the first Puerto Rican woman to participate in the first all–Puerto Rican four-person team (my teammates are men) to bike in Race Across America (RAAM). In 2014, we’re planning to break the team record for the fastest time. Setting these records definitely motivates me to keep going.

What does your family think of all this?

My parents have always been supportive of everything my sisters and I do. They never missed one of my high school cross-country competitions. My own kids say I’m crazy, but in a good way. I’ve been teaching them to follow their dreams, so they don’t question my own choices. At most, they’ll complain, ‘Oh, you’re going to ride your bike again,’ but that doesn’t happen too often. I feel very lucky that my kids get it.