TOD: Feel free to introduce yourself.
CM: Hey y'all, my name is Chelsea Marie Matias. I'm 21 and from the Boogie Down Bronx, NYC!
TOD: How long have you been cycling?
CM: It'll be two years in March since I've starting riding a bike. A year and three months since I've been riding a fixed gear bike; I love it!
TOD: Does your work day consist of riding a bike?
CM: I usually put some miles into my bike every morning before I have to go to work, I don't trust my bike being outside of 161st for 8 hours at a time all alone! I also ride my bike to my solar panel installation classes and back, trying to conserve as much non-renewable energy as I can! (Cars are evil!)
TOD: What type of bike are you riding?
CM: I ride a dope frame set by Leader, made in collaboration with Patrick Thames from Pedal Consumption put together with a smooth 7005 aluminum- Mavic ellipse wheel set with a Thompson seatpost, Cinelli VAI stem, Omnium crank set with a 50x15 gear ratio, Zipp handlebars, Selle Italia saddle and speed play pedals!
TOD: What's your take on riding in NYC?
CM: In my perspective, if you can ride in NYC, you can ride anywhere. There's so many obstacles to overcome it's ridiculous. I love NYC in it's entirety. From Central Park down to Canal street, there's never a dull moment. Weaving in and out of traffic, dodging pedestrians and construction cones; mashing down 5th ave, it's all just beautiful.
You're also always going to run into someone you know. Everyone is out there doing what they love whether it's making money, commuting, racing or just hanging out all on their bikes of all sizes, shapes, styles and personality. I love it all.
TOD: Can you explain your most memorable experience while riding in NYC.
CM: Probably last December, my first Winter Alley Cat hosted by the very best (TOD of course). It was during an insane snowstorm and half of us weren't even prepared for the cold that was awaiting us throughout the race. I must have fallen about 20 times that day, covering myself in slush, dirt and grime. I even rode back home all the way to the Bronx from downtown after the race. I could have sworn I lost my thumbs- but it was the funnest race I've ever been in. Everyone was still going, determination was at a sky high. We all wanted to win. I saw people pummel into the snow and get right back up and mash away. I believe we were all winners that day, everyone finished alive and well- icicle beards and all with smiles across our faces of course!
TOD: Aside from cycling, do you have any other hobbies?
CM: If you consider eating pizza a hobby, I'm the girl for ya! Also playing ukulele and sketching :)
TOD: Finish this sentence – If I never rode a bike, I would………
CM: Most likely be miserable. Cycling has changed my life for the better. I wouldn't have met all the amazing, heart-touching people I am friends with today; probably wouldn't have been with the love of my life; probably wouldn't have been with the best teammates and best friends a girl could ever ask for (CRANKSHIFT!) and probably wouldn't have met the most inspiring group of Track or Die-ers in the universe. I am so grateful for the community of cyclists that welcomed me in, showed me how to love my bike and to love the closest feeling to flying. I love every minute on my bike, and cherish it like it's my last. Cycling opens your eyes to everything, keeps your heart and mind at peace and gives you opportunities that are endless!
Make sure you follow Chelsea on instagram @Chelscrankshift_nyc