About Risa

As an endurance athlete, I’m very attuned to my body and began to notice something was wrong in Spring 2011. A visit to my GP was followed by years of tests and visits with various specialists. I was finally diagnosed almost eight years later with acromegaly, a debilitating disease characterized by excess growth hormone production due to a pituitary tumor. In what is a reoccurring story of delayed diagnosis in people with acromegaly, my condition wasn’t diagnosed until October 2018.

Following brain surgery in January 2019 and six weeks of radiation treatment, I was determined to work my way back to one of my passions, road cycling. Always having a goal to motivate me and a love for bicycle touring, I found the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and decided I would make the 1845-mile, soul-healing journey from Canada to Mexico.

I grew up in Ohio and attended/graduated from Kent University with a BA in Geography/GIS. I have extensive experience in the environmental field, having worked for government agencies such as the USDA, NRCS, as well as, various conservation districts, watershed restoration programs, and Native tribes. Today, I live in Golden, Colorado where I run the day-to-day operations for the CEO and mastermind of an Equine Gestalt Therapy program. I also consider myself an artist, a writer, a world traveler, a certified Gestalt practitioner and a teacher of mindfulness.

The tour was scheduled to set off in September 2020, but Covid-19 restrictions postponed the trip to 2021. With a new body and outlook on life, I am determined to complete the 1845-mile ride to prove that anything is possible and anyone can live a life unleashed. What is your 1845-mile journey?