1130x600 Header Image Brooke Hannon

Membership Quarterly Newsletter- Featured Member, Brooke Hannon

Meet our first featured member, Brooke Hannon (Upland Brewing Cycling Team).

My journey with the Upland Brewing Cycling Team began when my personal cycling career arrived at a fork in the road. I started cycling while attending Indiana University, participating in its famous Little 500 event—a race organized by students in support of students. It's a truly admirable fundraiser led by Emily Carrico and the IU Foundation. I was a member of Riders Council for Little 500, with my main responsibility being to help "rookies" develop the skills to ride safely by hosting Skills Clinics. My passion for Little 500 quickly transferred to road cycling after graduation, and in 2018 I was hooked and launched into the USA Crit Series.

As you can imagine, the difference between racing in circles on a cinder track and ripping corners on the pavement was stark, and the learning curve I needed to navigate did not unfold as planned. I did my absolute best in both 2018 and 2019, but I knew that unless I made an overnight improvement, I would continue to be disappointed in myself when crossing finish lines. Here was the fork in the road. My decision boiled down to 'Do I want to keep trying to pour into myself as I have the past two years?' or 'Do I want to start pouring into my community, the way I've been pouring into myself the past two years?' I remembered my favorite quote, "We rise by lifting others," and took the path less traveled. I reached out to several already established men's teams in the Indiana cycling community, and Spencer Dell from the Upland Brewing Cycling Team was on board to add a women's program in 2020! Spencer now runs a successful men's program titled Team Sustainable Cycling, which focuses on promoting environmental sustainability and is yet another team in Indiana supporting local initiatives.

2020 was not exactly the best time to start a team that wanted to have a local, community-involved focus. With little to no races on the calendar and many organizations going virtual, the team was unable to have the kickoff we anticipated. This instead became a perfect time to plan and establish virtual relationships with local sponsors, school administration, and nonprofit leaders in our area. The team really began the execution of its goals in its 2022 season when we partnered with USA Cycling to host Women's Skills Clinics at Momentum Indy and Indiana University. We then were able to broaden our scope in 2023, volunteering at Girls Inc. of Monroe County, kicking off their EmpowHER Thursday evening program series and hosting a "Ride/Walk Day" for their Summer Adventure Camp. The team has also established a relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington, assisting in the revamp of the Club Riders Program by repairing 32 bikes in their club bike shop and committing to hosting a "Club Riders Day" this summer. It has been an amazing experience to utilize the support we receive from our sponsors for a greater purpose, and our team is only looking forward to continually seeking ways this never-ending goal can keep cycling on.

As for me and my future, I have several goals both on and off the bike. By day, I am a Supervisor of Commercial Operations at Catalent Pharma Solutions, and my career goals are based on the simple principle of being a forever learner. This includes learning more about business and operations, always remaining open to learning from others, and learning from my mistakes—all to better myself in support of my team and my company. By night, I put my cycling cap on! My goals in cycling are to always challenge myself and to utilize the tools I've been provided with to benefit others. I will always love the atmosphere of going to Elite Criteriums—from Athens Twilight with the Molloy family to Intelligentsia Cup with Mary, it is always such a fun experience meeting new faces and immersing myself in other communities when I go to races. I will keep pushing myself to race the local Midwest calendar with the goal of finding that sweet balance of working my full-time job and striving for strength on the bike. For now, I am extremely happy with where this journey has taken me and the path that lies ahead.