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April 14, 2016

It would be a mistake to confuse Tayler Wiles’s shyness for weakness. “Until you get to know her she is quite shy and reserved,” describes her former race team owner (and Velocio co-founder) Kristy Scrymgeour. “But she has an amazing energy inside her when it comes to the things she's passionate about and a fierce loyalty to her partner, family and friends. She’s at ease with herself.” Likewise, it would be a mistake to look at how easy Tayler is in her own skin, how smoothly her life as a professional cyclist unfolds in cycling media and presume she’s faced no challenges. In addition to the ups and downs of professional athletes, she marks the connection with her family as what drives her, their support and their own struggles.  

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“Every year I get a new Alcoholics Anonymous year chip from my dad in my Christmas card and I carry it with me to every race. My Dad went through a lot at a young age, had a kid at 16 (my older sister), married and divorced very young and lost his mother to breast cancer when she was only 44. For him, alcohol was a way to escape, to run away from it all. But as I got older, I started to understand a bit more and I saw my Dad go through some pretty low points. We even had Christmas in the back of his car once.” “When I was about 12, he decided enough was enough. He started attending AA meetings and when I was with him I would tag along too. I’d be the only 12-year-old-girl sitting in a big circle of lost souls listening to stories of regret and hope. I remember watching as my Dad stood up, said the common AA self-introduction which was quickly followed by a room full of "Hi Rick!" He looked to me each time.I think he expected a look of disappointment, that he was admitting fault, but all I remember feeling was pride, I was proud of him for making the changes he needed to and happy that he was sharing the experience with me rather than shielding me from it.

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It wasn't long after he got sober that he met my Step Mom and life has only gotten better from there. He’s recently gotten into cycling, now riding one of my old race bikes and it is such a blast! Riding with him has been so much fun and brought back so many childhood memories of all the good things we used to do together when I was a kid.” Long a friend to Velocio, Tayler’s official pairing is perfect, in part, because she consciously highlights the ethos, the let’s-look-at-this-differently frame of mind that sprang Velocio to life. Tayler revels in success of her friends. She seeks out experience and she seeks out authenticity. “Watching Kristy follow her dream of creating Velocio has been a pretty incredible experience,” Tayler explains. “I am constantly inspired by the heart and soul that she and Brad have put in to making the brand what it is in so short a time. To me Velocio is about community, creativity, and style.” That creativity is mirrored in Tayler’s approach to cycling, to training and to organizing her life. “Authenticity is what sets us all apart: our quirks, and wacky characteristics. I’m a curly haired, family focused, coffee & cookie loving, science nerd, who is happily married to a woman. That is what tells the story, not about how hard you train, but about what drives you forward.”

Check back for stories, insights and photos from Tayler's life around cycling.


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