• Route: Ozarks
  • Ride Year: 2024
  • Hometown: Austin, TX

About: Hi there! I’m Nikita, a Biomedical Engineering and Plan II student from Austin. My favorite thing to do is read, I have a radio show at KVRX, and I love Earl Grey tea. I want to go to medical school after I graduate, and I care so much about reproductive health, health equity, and community health (part of the reason I joined Texas 4000!). Recently, my obsession of the moment has been the eggplant sandwich from Foodheads, but my forever love is rosemary sea salt bagels.

One of the important ways I share love with people is through books and poems, and it felt right for me to share some on this page! This is an excerpt from Wild Geese by Mary Oliver:

“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

<3 Nikita

Why I Ride

I have always understood how cancer has affected my family. Thatha, my maternal grandfather, passed from multiple myeloma; Baa, my paternal grandmother, beat breast cancer before her passing due to heart disease; and my paternal grandfather, Bhai, is currently in treatment for prostate cancer. I ride for my family, and to live in a world in which should more of my loved ones be affected by cancer, I am confident that they will heal.

I know I am one of many who have stories about the way cancer affected their loved ones, and I ride for them as well—Eliza's mom, Alisha's dad, Terri. I ride for my friends who are college students, in remission, and show me boundless joy and loyalty each day. I ride for the strength and love my parents have demonstrated to me.

I ride so that I can listen. As an individual, I hold the power to learn from and listen to how I can utilize my abilities for the greatest good. I believe that being a member of Texas 4000 will not only allow me to contribute in a tangible way to the fight against cancer, but also develop a greater sense of resilience, empathy, and awareness—abilities I know will be invaluable in my career as a physician.

I ride because biking to Alaska is an incredible, difficult, once-in-a-lifetime journey. I look for ways to push myself, physically and mentally; for the past two years this has come in the form of half marathons, but I cannot wait for it to be biking hundreds of miles and spreading hope and charity each week. Watching my peers do incredible things has always been such a motivating factor in my own drive to accomplish staggering things, and I hope to share that motivation on this journey.

I am an extrovert, and I love to meet and talk to new people! Please reach out to say hi, if something in my profile spoke to you, or if there’s any stories you would like to share with me to keep in my heart and mind during my time in Texas 4000.

“I love you. I’m glad I exist.”
- Wendy Cope