- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2023
- Hometown: Austin, TX
- School Year: Senior
- Major: Environmental Science
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello! My name is Alicia, I am a fourth year Environmental Science major with a minor in English. I am most happy when I'm outside: you can find me taking aimless long walks through North campus, hammocking with a book, gardening at the UT Microfarm, camping/hiking Texas State Parks, or having picnics with my lovely friends. I also love collaging, board game nights, and hitting the rock climbing gym. Analog media has me in its clutches, I hoard books faster than I read them, buy DVD's for all my favorite movies in case every streaming service dies, have a shelf for CD's and cassettes and a milk crate for my records. I love dogs, hearing how people's parents met, and the smell of rain on pavement.
If ever I am exceptionally outgoing, I am just doing my best impression of my brother, the most sociable person I've met. I get my diverse music taste from my post-punk dad and soft folk mom, as well as his sarcasm and her ceaseless car singing. My family and my amazing friends have all left their own imprints on me and I am endlessly grateful for every one of them.
Why I Ride
I grew up intensely curious about people’s pasts. The biggest victim to my incessant question asking has been my mom, who for most of my life was the one to endure car rides of me conducting interviews. She, being the saint she is, loved it. I know all about her childhood, the chronology, the stories good and bad. Much of her family life in her teen years was defined by her younger sister’s diagnosis. Jodi, the fourth of six children, was told at seven years old that she had months to live, but when she made it to thirteen, she was declared cancer free. It came back in her twenties, and she passed away a few short years before I was born. I have witnessed her life through the photographs and stories my mom gifts me, I feel her in the heirlooms my grandma sends to me, Jodi’s harmonica, her paintings, her blankets. I have never met my aunt, but I have piled into the backs of cars with dozens of cousins all born after she passed, headed to the cemetery to talk to her (we refer to her grave fondly in these scenarios as her ‘apartment’). Every year on the anniversary of her death, my mom sheds a few tears, hugs me, and lets me ask away about the life of her sister until we are both laughing.
I ride to share my aunt Jodi's mischievous, creative personality with the world, and for my grandpa who passed away in 2020 from complications with COVID who has been reunited with her. He was a smooth-talker and a hardass. He enjoyed banter (making fun of you) and being quippy (making fun of you), and for reasons unknown to me still, he always called me Myrtle the turtle. I ride for Lin, my third grandma who came into my life through my mom's friendship with Lin's wonderful daughter Amanda. In my head, I spent every weekend with you guys. I did not know they weren't so abundant, and I didn't think they would ever end. I can still see it all clearly, the smiling water towers showing us we were almost to your house, Dexter and Newton’s kennel, the painted rocks and the bubble bath soap and the tea party set, and that purple cup you knew I loved and always gave me, with the squiggly straw. Jerry and Amanda, you and Lin were the best of friends to us two goofy kids, Justin and I. You are, indisputably, part of our family. Amanda, I can’t wait to ride to you and your home in Alaska. I ride for Ashlee's mom, a flower of a woman who created one of my favorite people. I ride to support the people who keep their fight against cancer private, for them to know I support them and that it does not have to be faced alone.
If you have a cancer story you would like to share, or someone you would like me to ride for, my email is linked above, and I would be honored to hear your words.
To Alaska and Back,