Zahra Gill

“Shut up and ride.”

Nickname: Z

D.O.B.: April 23, 1999

Birth city and state: Hayward, California

Current City: Fremont, California

Height: 5’3”

Specialty: All around

Previous sports: Basketball, triathlon, tennis, cross country running

Years racing: 1

Growing up listening to her dad’s racing stories, Zahra has always been in awe of the sport cycling. She played and excelled in a variety of sports but didn’t find her true passion, cycling, until the spring of 2013. She road recreationally while sporadically entering races until 2015. Deciding to race full-time with the help of her coach, Dmitriy Badeka, Zahra completed her first full season of racing in 2015. She currently attends Mission San Jose High School as a junior and is enjoying the challenge of balancing schoolwork and training.

Career Highlights

2015

  • 1st NCNCA Junior Championship Road Race
  • 1st NCNCA Junior Championship Criterium
  • 1st Snelling Road Race

What inspired you to become a bike racer?

My dad used to race and I loved listening to his crazy stories. We went for a ride through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and I realized I wasn’t so bad at this biking thing.

Who is an inspiration to you in your life, both on and off the bike?

My parents are my inspiration. They both came from India and have made a great life for my sister and I. Seeing them tirelessly work inspires me to work harder every day.

Favorite meal when training?

Teriyaki salmon and chocolate milk from Whole Foods.

The best thing about being a bike racer is?

Meeting people from so many different backgrounds and that feeling when you are in the zone.

What is your biggest accomplishment on the bike?

Learning the importance of patience has definitely been my most important accomplishment.

Favorite place you’ve raced your bike and why?

My favorite place I will and have raced is Fort Ord in Monterey because the course has a great view of the ocean.

Favorite cross training or off season activity?

Hill sprints and indulging in a few holiday cookies

Best tip for a new bike racer?

Don’t be afraid of getting dropped.

What are one or two things that you do daily that are the key to your success?

I have a board in my room that I write inspirational quotes and goals on. I look at it every night to remind myself to think of the bigger picture. I also like

If you weren’t bike racing what would you be?

I would be a cranky stressed out student.

What is something that nobody would know about you?

I enjoy singing or rapping very loudly and out of tune when I train by myself.

TWENTY16 has an emphasis on education with the initiation of our Junior Scholarship program in 2015. http://teamtwenty16.com/education.htm Why is continued education important?

There are many people all around the world who are not given the opportunity to go to school let alone pursue a college degree. We are very lucky to be given the opportunity to attend college regardless of our gender or financial situation and should take full advantage of that opportunity. Additionally, getting a college degree is very important even if you want to pursue an athletic career because there are always uncertainties.

What does Ridebiker Alliance mean to you?

It’s very cool and exciting to see that there is an organization dedicated to growing cycling through supporting clubs.

Favorite things to do off the bike:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Spending time with my family
  3. Reading obsessively
  4. Going to concerts
  5. Studying

Top 10 warmup/pre-race songs on your iPod:

  1. Backseat Freestyle- Kendrick Lamar
  2. MAAD City- Kendrick Lamar
  3. Monster- Meek Mill
  4. Lampshades on Fire- Modest Mouse
  5. IV. Sweatpants- Childish Gambino
  6. Yonkers- Tyler the Creator
  7. BPT- YG
  8. Alright- Logic
  9. Cut Her Off- K CAMP
  10. Panoramic- Sage the Gemini

Sho-Air SRAM Felt Bicycles ZIPP Quarq JL Velo Kenda Tire