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ON THE ROAD WITH CHELSIE HANSEN

How a competitive cyclist is switching gears after unthinkable tragedy

“I needed a way to cope and escape the pain and heartache I was feeling.” 

Heroes come and go, but champions are intrinsic warriors, created from scars brought on by life’s nearly unbearable, grueling pain. 

Pain, sometimes invisible.

Especially for Chelsie Hansen, whose warrior story of healing through unimaginable tragedy leaves most people speechless.

Just before Hansen’s husband and son left Idaho Falls Thanksgiving 2019 for a hunting trip in South Dakota, they excitedly talked about buying a bike and trying for a third baby.

They never happened.

Just two days after Thanksgiving, nine family members spanning four generations died in a plane crash while trying to come home.

Hansen’s husband and son were on that plane.

“Since the accident, I needed a way to cope and escape the pain and heartache I was feeling,” Hansen said. 

She bought her first road bike that spring.

"Be careful...you become addicted."

SHIFTING GEARS

By fall, she was racing in the famous LoToJa Classic. Conquering more than 200 miles and three mountain passes, the grueling ride between Logan, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the longest one-day USAC-sanctioned bike race in the country.

She didn’t just finish, she placed fifth.

“Biking is an amazing way to exercise, clear your mind, and be out in this gorgeous world we live in.”

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She pressed on, proving she’s a Tour de Force to be reckoned with after placing in three more races the following summer.

“While competing (this summer), I saw so much beauty this world has to offer,” Hansen added. “I met amazing people and found a new love that helped me cope with the hard things I was facing in my life.”

RACE LIKE A CHAMPION, AND HER TRUSTY COMPANION

Hansen attributes part of her racing success to CBI Bikes, stressing, having the right bike makes all the difference.

In this case, her fiery-red Scott Addict RC 15 hasn’t steered her wrong.

“Without the help of CBI and the team I worked with, I would not have had the best bike to race.” She added, the CBI team stood behind her, helped coach her, and tuned-up her bike before each race.

“Purchasing my bike from CBI has definitely been one of the best decisions I’ve made in this life.”

But, this hobby is not without its own warning label you won’t find on any bike.

“Be careful once you start biking,” Hansen warned. “You become addicted.”

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