• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: San Antonio, TX

About: Hi friends!
My name is Nicole Gomez, and I'm so excited to be on this team with such amazing people. I am a Junior double majoring in Journalism and Human Dimensions of Organizations at UT Austin, and a born-and-raised Texan from San Antonio (remember the Alamo)!

Outside of Texas 4000, I am involved in my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, Minority Women Pursuing Law, and an intern at the Texas State Capitol. These organizations have taught me so much about who I am. I have genuinely had some great laughs and have learned so much about myself. In all of these things, I have met some really incredible people and learned that a stranger is truly a friend you haven't met yet, and I hope to continue this with Texas 4000.

When I'm not at school or working, you can find me paddleboarding on Lake Austin, going to concerts, getting coffee at the Merit on South Lamar, reading, making Spotify Blends with my friends, traveling, singing Texas Longhorn on Saturdays in the Fall, and doing anything outside (camping, hiking, hammocking, rock climbing, spikeball-ing -- you name it)! In all, I am so glad to start my adventure with Texas 4000 and grow through this organization!

Thanks for reading, and if you want to keep up with my journey, please email me!

Why I Ride

In the Summer of 2024, I will be doing something absolutely crazy and riding a bike from Austin, TX, to Anchorage, AK. Who in the world would want to do that? Here's why:

As my parents are immigrants from two very different countries, I have very little immediate family in the United States (only my granddad John now lives with us). This lack of family made growing up difficult for me and my parents, who worked full-time. Every so often, we would fly to Mexico or New Zealand to visit my extended family, but every time we left, I always felt the pain of leaving people I genuinely love with no plans of when I would see them again. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and my family exemplifies that -- when we all get together, it really is a party.

My lack of extended family in the U.S. has made my immediate family very tight-knit. I am convinced that while there may not be a perfect parent, my mom and dad get pretty close -- like 99th percentile close -- like by the hair of a frog close (as my father would say). I don't remember when my parents were not there for me. They never missed a basketball game, soccer game, band concert, audition, or banquet, and trust me, if nails on a chalkboard and a jackhammer had a child, it would have been my 6th-grade band concert. I don't know how, but my parents willingly sat through that AND took videos. In addition to having great parents, I don't remember a moment when it felt like I had no one. My brother Joseph is only 17 months younger than I am, and he has been the best ride-along anyone could ask for. He is one of the only people I can argue with and then laugh about it 30 seconds later. I have such a supportive family, and I ride for them.

Now that you know all of that context about my immediate family, it's time to tell you about my nana Margret. Margret was my maternal grandmother; if you think I'm headstrong, she was where I got it. She was a fighter who faced so much adversity throughout her life. My grandfather, nana, and two kids immigrated to the U.S. during Jimmy Carter's presidency. Hoping to start a new life and ventures, my nana knows what it is like to lose everything and get back up again. Eventually, she moved back to Australia, only seeing her every few years.

Around my freshman year of high school, I found out she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer; I did not doubt that she wouldn't be okay. Seeing the significant toll that this took on my mother, traveling back and forth from Texas to Australia was not easy, but worth the journey as her presence pushed my nana to keep fighting. In a few years, my nana went into remission and was cancer free, or so we thought. A few years later, the cancer returned around the spring of Junior year. Immediately my mother was devastated, and we visited my grandmother in Australia in the summer of 2019. This was the hardest goodbye I've had to make. I knew the chances of seeing my nana alive again were slim -- the party was over. Cancer reduced my grandmother to a fragment of a person and hung a cloud over my mother. Before my nana's passing, my mother went to Australia to care for her in the middle of my senior year of high school. I experienced many of my last-first without my mother by my side: band competitions, sporting events, college admissions, college acceptances, birthdays, holidays, and even the spring break that never ended. When my mother returned, she was not the same. I am biking all this way because if she can travel all these great distances, I can go to Alaska. I ride for my mother and my nana.

I will ride for those who have had cancer derail their life. I hope to take one small step to encourage others to keep going. In addition to those mentioned above, I ride for: John Smith, Lily Linton, Ella Johnson, and AnnaKate Gibson. I ride for those battling cancer alone, for my teammates, for those I have not met yet, and I ride to honor the lives and memories of those in a way that speaks more about their spirit than the cancer that defines them.

To Alaska and Back,
Nicole Gomez