Rider Profile: Mandy Harper

Photography by Derek Yarra

How did you get into cycling?

In 2005, I moved to San Francisco for school. I’m constantly moving, doing, thinking etc. all around, I’m quite restless. I was inspired by so many cyclists in SF, it only felt like a natural fit to get a bike. Growing up I was very embarrassed of my body. More specifically how large my thighs are, for my petite body. All the girls around me were tall, with long skinny legs. I’m the exact opposite. I always thought of my body and thighs with such shame, not EVER wearing shorts in the insane 120 degree weather of Arizona. Commuting in SF totally changed that, and soon I decided to build up my very own custom bike. It was a Bareknuckle that I had custom powdercoated deep orange. I loved that bike so much. I picked out every damn thing on it. And that bike not only taught me how to be comfortable on a bike, I learned why my thighs look they way they do, because they are strong! Not, because they are gross or ugly. It was a very liberating feeling. And I can now say with confidence that I’m very …read more

From:: Pretty Damned Fast