Listening to Carol and Scott Williams recount their past cycling adventures, it’s clear where their four daughters got their competitive streak. When Scott suggests that his wife’s racing was slightly more recreational than his, Carol laughs in a way that conveys both her good nature and her willingness to strap on her bike shoes and settle the matter outside.
Biking has been a part of their relationship and their family for over three decades. “For our first date” says Carol, “we met on a bike path. Then when we had the girls, we just brought them along.”
The girls, Lynneal, Elyse, and twins Marissa and Addy, rode in two bike trailers until they were old enough to pedal for themselves. Growing up in Franktown, Colorado (population 395), there were limited options for typical neighborhood outings, but with a path nearby and quiet country roads, biking provided entertainment and transportation.
The sisters spent hours outdoors together, inventing games, and playing more traditional sports, including hockey, lacrosse, tennis, soccer, cross-country, and basketball. “There was definitely a lot of competition between us,” says Addy, “even when we didn’t verbally say it, we all wanted to be the best.”
As they grew into their tweens and teens, their parents took them on more strenuous trips. Hiking 14-ers (peaks above 14,000 feet) became a family hobby, and summer vacations were often spent navigating challenging mountain bike trails. The lengthy, technical rides lasted hours and pushed the girls to their limits. “It would have been easy to fall apart and say I’m going back to the car,” says Elyse, “but we always wanted to show that we could do it.”
Sticking it out and sticking together during those difficult rides gave the family a unique bonding experience. “I feel like it’s similar to being on a team,” says Marissa, “accomplishing something together makes you feel closer, you trust each other more.”