Posted by Dana Babbin, with Guest Blogger, Competitive Cyclist Katherine Johnson on October 28, 2016
Not too long ago, I received a simple private message from someone on Instagram who introduced herself and then cut right to the chase, "Can I call you?" I quickly checked out this person's Instagram profile (@katherinejjohnson). Female. Young. Maybe 14 or 15. Lives in New England. Athletic. Lots of friends. Loves to bike and ski. No distasteful posts. No potty mouth. Just a good kid. Already, this "kid" had my full respect. It's not often that anyone -- much less a teenager -- opts to use the phone for that which it was originally intended...an actual conversation. With your voice. Live. With a stranger, no less!
Seconds later, Katherine and I were chatting, and seconds after that, I was asking Katherine to do me the great honor of becoming Pink Truck's first official Brand Ambassador. To my delight, Katherine agreed.
I could go on and on about Katherine. But instead, I'm going to give her the floor.
Here she is, fellow Pink Truckers, your first official (and completely voluntary) Pink Truck Brand Ambassador, Katherine Johnson, cyclist extraordinaire!
[Cue entrance of Katherine.]
In late May of 2015, I made the silly decision of joining a local mountain biking team. I had no idea what I was getting into at first and was completely unprepared. I absolutely hated the first few weeks, and I mean I really hated it. But then one practice, all of a sudden, something clicked and the last half hour of the practice became the most fun I have ever had. I can't tell you what it was that changed, because honestly I don't know what it was. Soon enough I was LOVING riding my bike and I started riding it on the road and began to put more and more of my time and dedication to training.
I raced mountain bikes all last summer and was ranked the second best overall junior female in the series. Now I am at a point in my career where things are starting to become a lot more serious, training is getting harder, keeping up with school is extremely important, and staying on the right track is so important. Cyclocross is my main focus, then mountain biking and a little bit of road racing on the side. So far my race schedule includes 20 races around New England and Cyclocross Nationals in Hartford, CT where I hope to get a podium finish and then be a contender for Team USA in the later years. Currently I am riding with Northampton Cycling Club/JAM Fund. NCC/JAM Fund is a competitive development team based in Easthamtpon, Massachusetts, JAM Fund is focused on developing riders to race at the highest level and achieve their goals on and off the bike. Some of the fastest racers on the national and world wide circuit have either graduated from the JAM Fund program or have been very involved with it, like Stephen Hyde, Jeremy Powers, Ellen Noble, Jeremy Durrin and Anthony Clark.
What I love about Pink Truck and JAM Fund is that they both value perseverance and being who YOU are. They both want you to push yourself to be your best and, with the right support system, product/supplies and guidance, believe you can accomplish anything. I am truly so grateful for all that Pink Truck and JAM Fund have done for me. Pursuing your dreams and expressing who you are aren't easy things to do, which is why some people quit and settle for less than who they are. But with Pink Truck and the JAM Fund on my side, I'm sure to succeed, no matter where this ride takes me.
What did I tell you? Impressive, right?
I was so impressed with Katherine that I started to feel badly that our most recent design -- Pink Bike -- was a motorcycle instead of a bicycle.
So I went and had my artist fix that.
Introducing, our latest and tenth design, Pink Pedaler! (Who best to wear it first but Katherine herself!)
I have to admit. This Pink Pedaler design is pretty darn cute.
So there you have it, friends. We finally have launched our Brand Ambassadorship program (and a 10th design!). Katherine is the first of a select group of special Pink Truckers who will make us very proud (and most humble) when spreading the word about Pink Truck as the comfiest way to shatter gender stereotypes, just by tossing on our clothes and heading out the door. If you think you have what it takes to be a Brand Ambassador, let us know! Email our Master Enthusiast, Jen, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask her for an application. We can't wait to see how our Brand Ambassadors are telling others about the new brand that they love to wear personally and love to share socially.
#PinkTruckHugs from all of us -- including Katherine -- at Team Pink Truck!
Go Katie, Go!