About Me


  • Route: Rockies
  • Ride Year: 2023
  • Hometown: Fredericksburg, Texas

About: Hi !!
My name is Elena- I’m a senior, pursuing a triple major (don’t ask me how it happened, i’m not even sure.) I’m from Fredericksburg, Texas, a small town in the Hill Country and my longest love/hate relationship.

I am notoriously bad at riding bikes but love a long run around Town Lake or the streets of Fredericksburg. My small town upbringing is the reason I have a habit of speeding, struggle locking/unlocking doors with keys, and feel a little too passionate about peach season.

My roommates recently voted me “Most Likely to be Able to do a Pull-up” and “Most Country,” neither of which are truly fitting. This year, I have been striving to know & be- whether that be good, kind, or love.

A few simple things I have found great joy in lately: citrus fruits, Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, chocolate chips, and a concerning amount of caffeine. (update: it's spring 2023 and I have cut down on the caffeine- dont worry)

Why I Ride

My Oma is one of the strongest people I’ve had the honor of knowing; our whole family was centered around her. She wasn't the type of grandma you would consider your best friend- in fact, she was a typical stern German women- but her being was so integral. A matriarch, if you will. She served in the military, raised 8 kids, worked as a nurse for decades. My Opa, Francis, was beside her until he passed from lung cancer before Dot and I could meet him. My aunts & uncles tell stories of Opa with pride: his Naval career, the times he caught them in trouble, and how he would fall asleep to TV static. He seemed strong, determined, and stoic; I never understood how someone so important to my family could be taken by cancer. Cancer felt like a distant threat but still a small constant ache. I was in 7th grade when my Uncle Tony, Oma’s little brother who had previously been diagnosed with cancer, passed away. I distinctly remember walking Oma to the funeral; she was around 90 and had severe Alzheimer's. It felt cruel and merciless telling and retelling her why we were at the church, knowing cancer played a role in the passing of both loved ones. Despite monumental losses, Oma held herself together. She is an influential presence in the lives of her 20+ grandkids. She treated us with coke floats and ice cream sandwiches, always lost her teeth, found peace in praying the rosary, and compulsively salted her food without tasting it- a habit in which I will always share with her.

I ride for Opa, whom my family holds so deeply in their hearts. I ride for Uncle Tony, who called Dot and I, “sweetheart,” kissed the top of our heads, and crossed my mind constantly at the pools. I ride for Oma, who lost so much to cancer but still loved so fiercely. I ride for my family who grieves these losses but continues to celebrate their lives. I ride for the empty chairs at game night and for every time we sing “Mama Tried.” I ride for the Frances club and the porch swing.
I ride for my Aunt Teresa, who managed breast cancer throughout the pandemic, while continuing to teach middle schoolers. She is beyond amazing & I hope to show an ounce of her spirit.

Many of my close friends have had incredibly personal experiences with cancer- either parents or siblings. They’ve known fear and doubt, but have made so much more known: humility, resilience, grace, joy. The love their families have shown throughout my life, regardless of the diagnosis, is the kind of love that embodies hope, knowledge, and charity.

I ride for the Hardins who love me like their own kid (but fed me all the snacks my mom wouldn’t) and always greet me with open arms.
I ride for the Torres family who consistently makes time to genuinely support us.
I ride for the Williams family who meet us with compassion time and time again.
I ride for the Jimersons who celebrated their mom's last chemo shortly after I got into t4k!!!!!!!

I ride for my community, those who cannot ride, those we will meet and lose along the way, and those we carry in our hearts.

To Alaska and Back,