Gina Utegg

Sex: Female
Age: 44
Location: Boston, MA
e-mail: g_utegg@msn.com
Phone number: 978-397-2249

RIDING BACKROUND

I have cycled my entire life, mainly mountain biking and transportation. In 2001,my life was changed, due to a motor vehicle accident. I was thrust into a new category for me; disabled. There were some “dark” years, but through the rehabilitation process, I was introduced to riding recumbent trikes. My next recumbent was a very nice German touring recumbent. With experience and desire to have more of a performance bike, I purchased my first Bacchetta in 2011. I have been riding recumbent approximately 6 years and love the uniqueness, utility and performance of each ‘bent. Today, I only ride my Bacchetta Corsa S/S with some nice upgrades. My Corsa suits all my needs.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RECUMBENTS?

I am honored to be a Team Bacchetta member. I hope that I bring a different presence to the team. I may have gotten into recumbent cycling for different reasons than some team members, but it gives me great joy to show off the brand, peoeducate people about ‘bents and ride proudly in so many cool events around he USA.

I got into recumbents by strange luck. In 2001, I suffered disabling injuries in a motor vehicle accident. My injury short list was: traumatic brain injury, cognitive impairment, depression, post traumatic stress syndrome, spinal cord/central nervous system damage and pain issues, but I was alive. I had intensive physical, neurological and cognitive therapies/treatments. A Recreational Therapist introduced me to recumbent trike riding. This was my first experience recumbent cycling. I learned by trail cycling with groups. The group rides gave me back freedom. I was gaining strength, confidence and happiness. The time came to transition from trikes to a 2-wheel recumbent. This was no easy task due to my injuries, however, with a lot of determination and practice, I successfully became a 2-wheel recumbent cyclist.

In 2009, I had another health set back. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Through my treatments, I exercised as much as I could (which was not much, but it made me feel better). The cancer changed my focus and goals for the better. My life priorities shifted to more fitness, cycling, and supporting people in need. I found my voice and purpose and now I am simply doing my best to help myself and others.

The happiness and health benefits that recumbent cycling gives me (weight loss, improved coordination/mobility and quality of life), is amazing and positive message to others of all situations. I became proficient on my first touring recumbent. The more I rode, the more I felt passion and the desire to expand my abilities further and compete in races, triathlons and endurance rides. This was a great opportunity to network, do charity and show off recumbent bikes to so many people who had never seen one. Many have labelled me as inspiring, and if I can show people how to get their life back through recumbent cycling, then it is my pleasure to educate and inspire.

As I gained riding time and experience, it became clear that I needed a high performance recumbent. In 2011, I went to Belmont Wheelworks, MA and tried out a few Bacchettas. The Corsa S/S with a mesh seat was perfect for my needs. I was amazed how light, fast and easily portable this recumbent is. The weight, feel and handling of the bike was just a perfect fit for me. Today, I keep pace with, or am faster than, my road bike friends. I train on roads, trails, and hills and do as many events per year as possible.

My first endurance ride was World T.E.A.M. Sports Face of America ride. It is a 110-mile ride from Washington D.C. to Gettysburg, PA, with disabled veterans and actives. I wanted to ride with my disability community and succeed. I had put this ride off for a few years. After my cancer, I decided there is no more putting things off in life. I was only 6 months out from treatment, but I succesfully completed this ride. It was the catalyst that I needed. This ride got me “sparked” and interested in doing more rides and races.

After this ride, my training increased, and my list of events started filling in.

The way I got into recumbent cycling, may not be typical. I am, however, glad that I am involved in such a great sport. If you see me at an event or on the road, please feel free to say, “hello” and ask questions.

WHAT BACCHETTA DO YOU RIDE?

2011 Bacchetta Corsa S/S with ZIPP 404 front/RENN disk back, and performance upgrades

2010-2012 RACE AND EVENT RESULTS:

2010:
World T.E.A.M. Sports-Face of America ride-DC to Gettysburg
New Hampshire Spokes of Hope-cancer survivorship/advocacy
Philadelphia LiveSTRONG Challenge-cancer resources

2011:
World T.E.A.M. Sports-Face of America ride-DC to Gettysburg
Rhode Island Spokes of Hope-cancer survivorship/advocacy
Philadelphia LiveSTRONG Challenge-cancer resources
Joined triathlon and cycling clubs
Nautica Malibu Triathlon-First Place, women 40-45, disabled division
Paul Mitchell Spirit Award winner (to a disabled athlete who competes in athletic events, inspires others and gives back to the community)
Boston Soldier’s Ride-endurance ride-benefiting the Wounded Warrior Foundation

2012:
World T.E.A.M. Sports-Face of America ride-DC to Gettysburg
World T.E.A.M Sports-Adventure TEAM Challenge (multi-day team eco-challenge)
Rhode Island Spokes of Hope-cancer survivorship/advocacy
Philadelphia LiveSTRONG Challenge-cancer resourses
Joined triathlon and cycling clubs
Oh My Goddard-Sprint triathlon
The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge-charity event for improved cancer treatments and cures

PERSONAL BEST RIDES:

My first ride-Face of America
My fastest ride-Nautica Malibu Triathlon
Most difficult and fulfilling ride-Pan-Massachusetts Challenge

EVENTS PLANNED TO ATTEND FOR THE REST OF 2013:

World T.E.A.M. Sports-Face of America ride-DC to Gettysburg

World T.E.A.M Sports-Adventure TEAM Challenge (multi-day team eco-challenge)

Rhode Island Spokes of Hope-cancer survivorship/advocacy

Philadelphia LiveSTRONG Challenge-cancer resourses

Starting triathlon and cycling clubs at local training center-focus on getting people healthy, goal oriented, charity focused

Oh My Goddard-Sprint triathlon (and other local events)

The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge-charity event for improved cancer treatments and cures

Philadelphia LiveSTRONG

Nautical Malibu Triathlon