Swami’s Guru-Girl of the Quarter

For this quarter we would like to honor North San Diego County’s most friendly cyclist, the one and only Jill Theodosi.

Jill is one of the most determined people I know. I started riding with her over three years ago…Within about a year of that date, we did a very memorable ride – the Palm Desert Century, where she finished in the elusive “under five hours” moving time for a century and also took an extremely impressive second place in the 14-mile hill climb time trial. Perhaps more important than her consistency and growth in the sport, friendliness on rides, photographic skills and determination, is the fact that I can’t recall ever hearing Jill complain – even when I make up crazy routes that include 20+% grades.  -Heather Bruemmer

So Jill, how did you get into cycling and how long have you been cycling?

I’ve always ridden bikes, as a kid with my cousins, and as transportation in high school before I got a car. As a young adult I rode a couple of years, then not for a long time.

About 8-9 years ago as I was doing a boot camp workout with some friends, one of the girls and I signed up for an adventure race, which included running obstacles, swimming in a very cold lake and riding on dirt trails, I borrowed my sister’s mountain bike and had so much fun that I ended up getting a mountain bike of my own, which I then rode for several years. One summer while driving my daughter back and forth to Mission Bay for her sport (canoe/kayak at Fiesta Island), instead of running or paddling (what I usually did while she trained), I brought my mountain bike and rode with another parent around Fiesta Island. He rode an old road bike, and said I should borrow a road bike and try it out. So after pondering for a while I remembered that my brother had an old Specialized road bike and I asked him if I could try it.

I didn’t realize bikes come in many different sizes, and it was way too big, but I loved it. I brought the bike home and went to go for a ride. I looked at the handlebars, brakes, the gearing and the cassette and was very puzzled. “How in the world do you shift this thing?” Eventually I stumbled upon how to shift into higher gears, but it took longer to figure out the downshifting.

Next I got a used women’s bike so it was a better fit. Then after 2 years riding that one, my husband bought my first brand new road bike, a Focus from Carbon connection.

She’s off the wall awesome! Jill has a way of brightening up your day, and I’m not even talking about her fabulous red head. She exudes a ton of relentlessly positive vibes and attracts hordes of admirers like bees to honey. Her Strava-uploads always get a ton of thumbs up and comments, and she answers everyone of them! I would almost swear to having seen flowers spontaneously bloom as she cycled past, though that could have been one of the many hallucinations I’ve suffered going into the red trying to hold her wheel. Jill is quite a killer on the bike… but she is always so nice and kind that you don’t mind being quite murdered on the road. She takes great pictures of your suffering as she pedals along looking as cool as a cucumber. If it’s anyone else you’d probably hate her for it, but Jill is one of a kind and I, for one, can’t get enough of her! –Michell 😀

How did you come to Team Fun?

I eventually met some girls… named Heather… There were two Heather B’s, a Heather K, and there was a Heather O, but we didn’t ride with her often. The four of us were riding together a few days a week, and we all rode bikes from Carbon Connection. At some point Bobby from Carbon Connection mentioned, I believe first to Heather Bruemmer and Heather Broach, about starting a women’s cycling group. We would schedule weekend rides from the shop. (Heather Bruemmer would be the best one to tell the actual story of how Team Fun got started). Basically I got to be there for the beginning. Bobby decided to name it Team Fun, because…well, everyone wants to have fun riding a bike. We weren’t really enthusiastic about the name, but Bobby had kits made, and handed them out… Our first ride as a Team Fun group in our Team Fun kits was with 3 Heathers and a Jill. We rode to Cabrillo National monument and had a great day.

 

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A Jill and 3 Heathers

And that is how I got to be a part of Team Fun.  I am really fortunate to have met these friends and now have the best riding buddies ever!

Jill is a wonderful Swami’s Team Fun member and leader. She steps up to the plate to fill in or help out wherever it’s needed. She is a fun and friendly person to share a ride with, knows the roads around North County like the back of her hand, and is always up for an adventure. She also creates interesting routes for the team and captures picturesque moments of our rides. Thanks, Jill, for all that you do for Team Fun!! 🙂 – Janice

What sort of rides do you do and what’s your favorite route?

I love to explore when I ride. One of the things I like best about cycling is how much I get to see when I’m out there. I like to go to different places and see new things. I guess my favorite route is when we ride to Cabrillo National monument with Swami’s Team Fun on a Saturday ride.

Tell us a little about growing up in Encinitas as a 3rd generation local?

I think it’s pretty cool to have grown up here. I remember downtown Encinitas as a small town. My mom tells us about when my sisters and I were toddlers, she would walk downtown and see someone on the street, and they would look at us saying, “oh you must have married one of the Lyman boys,” everyone knew the Lyman family. When I was growing up the things I remember the most are walking to the beach during summertime with my dad and sisters every day, spending the day and walking home. We would check the pay phones for change, so we could buy black licorice from the liquor store.

Another thing we used to do with my dad and his brothers was sell watermelons. When my sisters, cousins and I were small, like 7 or 8,  we would go with our dad and uncles to pick watermelons. We’d weigh them and put them back in the pickup truck and then us kids would be dropped off at the entrance to the freeway. I remember sitting on the open bed of the pickup truck, at the southbound entrance of Poinsettia and we ‘accidently’ dropped a watermelon onto the ground and ate the heart out. And being the good sales kids that we were, used the rest as taste samples for people that stopped to buy watermelons.

What’s your fondest cycling memory?

I think I’m going to go with the time I did the Palm Desert Century with Heather B and her husband David, as everyone knows David is fast. On this particular ride, he rode with Heather and me so he was not going his fastest, but definitely pushed the pace for us. We were wearing our Team Fun kits and as we passed other groups they would see these three people, two women in kits that said Team Fun, and they would say jokingly, “oh I want to ride with Team Fun”. Assuming that we would not be very strong or fast, they’d get behind us and try to keep up, got dropped, and that happened more than once during the day.

It was a hard fast ride, and we ended up doing it in less than 5 hours!

Jilly Goat is such an inspiration and great leader, She pushes just enough so you think you’re going to die but you don’t. It just feels that way 🙂 I love her enthusiasm and dedication to riding and she always has a smile on her face. She makes riding fun with her adventurous routes and great attitude. -Kim

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