Finding My “Place”

Octubre 16 — 2019 | Santa Cruz, CA

Juliana Bicycles

Lindsey Watson is the resident Juliana bike mechanic. She's just finishing up her second season with the team, she is ready to trade out bike shoes for snowboard boots to hit the Colorado high country. 
 
You will likely never find a more determined and skilled mechanic, but you will certainly never find a wittier mechanic anywhere!
 

 

“Place” can mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a physical location where you feel most alive and fulfilled. But for me, it’s a mental and emotional space where community, purpose, passion, and desire all come together and I feel most alive and fulfilled.

Juliana Bicycles

 

I recently finished my second season as the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team mechanic. What an incredible and unexpected ride it’s been! As I look back on my journey, I’m reminded of the unpredictable ways in which life works, and how opportunities can come and go and why we seize some while we let others pass us by. Some opportunities that don’t seem like much at first, end up giving us some of the most life-giving experiences of our lives – those that motivate us to be better, contribute more, and ultimately, dream bigger.

I’m still not exactly sure what contributed to fudging my way into being a team mechanic at Sea Otter more than two years ago. I’ve never had a deep desire to be a mechanic but thought, "Sure I can learn to wrench on some bikes," not thinking it would turn into much. I spent over a month convincing myself and everyone around me that I was on track to becoming a professional mechanic. I watched YouTube videos on how to bleed brakes, how to bleed a seatpost remote, how to adjust shifting, how to true wheels, and how to service suspension. Then I practiced on all my friends' bikes pro bono. I told myself, “Just get through this race, don’t mess it up, and no one will ever suspect you of being a fraud.”

Well, I survived. In hindsight, little did I know what “fudging" my way into being a mechanic would turn into and, more importantly, what I would find along the way.

So, here’s my confession - it was never about being a team mechanic. Sure, I love bikes and I enjoy working on bikes but it’s meant so much more to me than washing bikes, changing tires, and lubing chains. It’s been about being part of a team, a family... and traveling around North America with my best friends competing in a sport we love while experiencing the moments that will forever be engrained as "remember that one time...".

I owe all of my gratitude to Juliana Bicycles, SRAM, Kelli Emmett, and the incredibly talented women on the team. Juliana is a company that believes in advancing women’s mountain biking and creating safe spaces for women like myself to find our “place” and feel a part of something bigger than yourself. Kelli is the driving force who works tirelessly, day in and day out, to bring this program to life. She took a HUGE risk the day I convinced her I was a mechanic and invited me to Sea Otter. SRAM allowed me to expand my reach outside of the four walls that consume my time and energy five days a week to pursue this endeavor. And to the girls who were pushing themselves to no end at every race - Alex, Porsha, Britt, Clare, Emily, Morgan, and Erin - thank you for always bringing the laughs, the tears, the dirty and clapped-out bikes, and for letting me be part of your life journeys. You inspire me.

 

Juliana Bicycles

 

Whether or not it was me seeing an opportunity and seizing it, or a friend seeing potential in me and giving me a shot, I am more fulfilled and motivated because of it. I’ve been able to see more of the world, get outside of my comfort zone, feel a part of a “team”, make life-long friends, and help advance women in a sport that consumes my passion and my profession. I’m forever grateful for the “place” I’ve found and the experiences I’ve had while being the Juliana-SRAM Pro Team mechanic.

 

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