A superstar of the sport who’s definitely ready for her close-up
She’s a three-time Trikke and Trikke Skki gold medalist, taking the gold at the 2010 Skki Inn in the women’s slalom and becoming the two-time defending champion of this year’s Trikkenut 100K in Ventura County, CA, (women’s division). No small feat for any carver, let alone a 43-year-old wife and mother of three children, ages eight, 11 and 14.
Some may recognize Gina Alo of Camarillo, CA. Her photos often grace Trikke Tech’s promotional materials, as well as their website. To her surprise, one photo even appeared in an Indonesian fitness magazine.
I had the opportunity to talk with Gina and found her passion for the Trikke and Trikke Skki to be inspiring and her personality as likable as her Trikking is fierce.
Debbie Bumgardner: Gina, you’re the two-time defending champ of the Trikkenut 100K Endurance Ride. How do you train for such an event?
Gina Alo: I hit the gym as time permits and do a bit of weight-training. I also take Zoomba classes (a form of dance/exercise to music) and an occasional spinning class. During the Trikkenut Endurance Ride, my competitive spirit comes out. Knowing there’s a medal on the line keeps me focused on the prize. It’s all in good fun, but at the same time, it’s a grueling distance.
I laughingly equate this ride with the trimesters of pregnancy. During the first 20 miles I’m thinking, what did I get myself into? I’m not sure I can do this. Over the course of the next 20 miles, I get into the carving groove and think, OK this isn’t so bad. The last 20 miles, I’m just ready to get it over with and finish!
DB: Speaking of distance training, you also completed the inaugural Buellton 60K (38 miles) on April 9th, along with Gildo Beleski (Trikke inventor), Claudio Pagan and Dennis Ham. Tell us about that experience.
GA: The Buellton ride was excellent training because it was a pretty high degree of difficulty with all the steep hills. The scenery was really beautiful, rolling green hills, a nice chill in the air and the occasional bunny rabbit sighting.
DB: Were you a bit intimidated, riding with such hardcore carvers, like Gildo (“the man”) and Claudio (“iron man distance trikker”)?
GA: Not at all. We’re all really good friends and they’re a great group of guys to hang out with, so even though I ended up walking the crest of some of the steepest hills, they were super encouraging and complimentary. I told the guys I thought they had the advantage because of their upper body strength, but they insisted that it’s all technique.
DB: Do you prefer long distances over short and fast?
GA: I love a challenge and the feeling of accomplishment that a distance ride provides. I’m a competitive person and I enjoy reaching a goal. I participate in rides like the 60K and 100K because they’re there to conquer.
DB: How did you get started with the Trikke?
GA: About three years ago, my best friend since high school, Darrick Bruyn, kept telling me about the Trikke and how he lost 100 pounds and felt that carving had saved his life. Darrick became a Trikke trainer and dealer, and when he drove down from Oregon to visit, we met at Venice Beach so I could try it out. I just fell in love with the Trikke. I’m a self-taught unicyclist and I love weird machines, so it was a great fit for me. My husband DeVan and I were Darrick’s first Trikke sale. Subsequently, Darrick asked me if I’d like to attend the Trikke Academy, so after only three weeks of riding, I attended the Academy.
DB: What’s your favorite thing about riding the Trikke?
GA: The carving motion; it’s almost meditative. I also appreciate how it really changed my body. I have long, thin limbs and never had much muscle definition. Riding the Trikke gave me more tone. I can see the difference, especially in my upper body. Carving led to weight training because I wanted to keep and enhance the tone in my arms that I’d achieved through riding.
DB: Where is your favorite place to ride?
GA: I grew up near the beaches of Southern California, so the beach bike path is definitely my favorite. I love riding on sunny summer days, feeling the ocean breeze on my face. I really enjoy the Last Saturday of the Month group rides (sponsored by SouthBay Trikke and TrikkeWorld) because I’m a people person and enjoy meeting so many different people from all walks of life.
DB: Which Trikkes do you have?
GA: Our family has Trikke Skki’s. My husband DeVan and I ride a T12. Our kids have two T78’s and my youngest son rides a T5. We also have a 48V Pon-e, which I ride to pick up my 8-year-old son Sam from school. All of his friends comment on how cool the Pon-e is. Sam feels pretty special being picked up by his mom on a Trikke Pon-e.