Wayne: As you know every athlete runs into adversity, and you had a challenge racing for the USA in the Pan American Games in 2011. Can you tell us your story of what happened and how you overcame it?
Alison: I crashed while warming up for the PAG and suffered another head injury. This was at least my 3rd consecutive concussion following a traumatic brain injury. Long after broken bones heal, the damage done to the brain can continue to haunt you. Science is only beginning to understand the long term effects of head injuries, and this is why I am motivated to get my PhD in Neuropsychology. This injury started a downward spiral of darkness and a long path to recovery. I still am recovering to this day, but I am much healthier and happier than I have been in a long time. I learned that life is a gift and we should embrace each moment we are here. I also learned that goals are important to challenge you, but they should not consume you.
Wayne: Tell us about your most memorable podium moment?
Alison: I love every podium I am on! I think we should look for excuses for more podium moments! However, my favorite podium is when I won the San Rafael Twilight Criterium in Marin. There was something about winning such a big race in front of my hometown crowd that meant so much to me. The champagne was spraying, the crowds were loud, the DJ was thumping, and I was there with so many people that had believed in me and supported me through my tumultuous career. I will never forget that moment.
Wayne: You indicate being on Carmichael’s list is like receiving and Academy Award in the biking community. Chris indicates there are a lot of hard working and deserving athletes that didn’t make this list. You did in 2013. While he relates you have a lot of wins, he mentions a 2nd place in the Chronos Des Nations time trials. Tell us why you think Chris mentioned a 2nd in this race over other 1st in other races.
Alison: The level of competition at Chrono des Nations is very high. Finishing 2nd place there is a huge accomplishment, but I want to win this race someday! It is the most prestigious one day time trial in the world, and brings together a large international competition. I love this race!