Q & A with Squirt Cycling Ambassador Mel Westmoreland.
As part of Women's History Month, we find it fitting to interview our Squirt Cycling Ambassador Mel Westmoreland - a lady that does a lot for women in the sport of cycling.
If you visit Mel’s social media pages you’ll quickly discover that she is eager and willing to share her experience, knowledge and generally helpful cycling information. She introduces new bikers to the sport, takes them for rides, and teaches them all the basics required to become a capable cyclist.
She is also one of our most active ambassadors, creating loads of insightful content in a way everyone can relate to.
Mel, thanks for everything you do not only for ladies in cycling but for the sport in general.
So let’s hear what makes this lady tick.
Who is Mel Westmoreland?
I love to be outside in nature. I get restless if I’m inside too much. I play bikes more days than I don’t. I ride, train, and race mostly on gravel, but sometimes on road also. I am that bike friend that has everything in one of my pockets and can probably fix your bike on the ride enough to get us back so you can get to a proper mechanic (does this make me a bike paramedic??). I enjoy teaching the community, especially women, how to take care of their bikes, too. This makes me keep learning, which I love. I’m always learning something and meeting new people.
I have two sons who aren’t nearly as in love with bikes as I am, but they are always proud of me and how much I ride and train. They are the best little cheerleading squad I could have.
Where is home?
Boca Raton, Florida
When did you fall in love with bikes?
Riding my mom’s (too big for me) Bianchi when I was in high school and needed to get to band practices.
What is it that attracts you to the sport?
The smile it puts on my face, all the ways I can challenge myself and grow, and the people. Cyclists are my people.
Yes. Seriously, don’t make me choose. The last hour of a long ride is often spent planning what I’ll make and eat later.
Strangest food you were thinking of while riding?
Shiokara — a Japanese condiment made with salted squid guts. I’ve not tried it, and I was wondering if I was hungry enough to like it, because I was pretty hungry. I’m an adventurous eater, but the texture of it turns me off.
My RoadID bracelet
What do you always take on a trip?
Music I picked out for that trip
What would you be if you were not a racer?
I’m always drawn to endurance type activities no matter what, so I think I’d have ended up somewhere or another in the endurance community.
Your favourite Squirt Cycling Product?
Once I discovered Barrier Balm, it became my favorite. Took me a little practice to figure out how much I preferred to use, but it was worth it.
Best tip for MTB/gravel beginners?
Have fun and don’t fight the bike. Sometimes you’ll be in sloppy mud or loose sand, just relax, let the bike lead, and pedal through in an easier gear.
I like my coffee...with cream and sugar
I would love to go ride with…my cousin
The secret to happiness…is a great therapist
My greatest exhilaration…Type 2 fun
I fear…the time it takes to heal from injuries now that I’m in my 40s
Passion…growing women’s cycling in the little ways I can
When I wake up…I start thinking about coffee
I wish…mental healthcare was more accessible
I rage…that so many men feel so intimidated by women’s success
Name: Melissa Westmoreland
Birthdate: March 8
Birthplace: New York State
Shoe size: 41.5
Social media handles: @gravelcycology