Shayna Powless cover photo
Women in Cycling
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

How Shayna Powless will #LeadHerForward

By: Cecilia Patten  February 02, 2021

In honor of the 35th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, USA Cycling shares stories from Girls and Women in cycling who will #LeadHerForward.

Sports are much more than just a game or just a competition. Sports are an opportunity to learn more about yourself and develop skills that will benefit you in and out of competition. National Girls and Women in Sports Day is all about celebrating and encouraging the involvement of females in sports, so more women can emerge as leaders in sports and life.

We had the opportunity to ask cyclists in our community what sport has meant to them throughout their lives and how they will #LeadHerForward!

Here is what Shayna Powless had to say:

Sport has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a young child, I was riding bikes both on and off-road, and was involved in multiple other sports such as gymnastics, soccer, tee-ball, track, and field, plus a few others. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for sport. It’s helped shape me into the person I am today and has allowed me to engage in countless amazing opportunities and meet so many spectacular people. I’m also thankful for the platform sport has given me which has been instrumental in inspiring others and giving back to the community.

I got involved in cycling very early on in life due to both of my parents being bike lovers and triathletes. I started competing from the age of four in everything from mountain bike, road, and triathlon events, and have been in love with the bike ever since! Though I participated in many different sports growing up, I always gravitated most towards the bike, and by the end of high school, I knew that cycling was the sport I wanted to prioritize.

If I could give my younger self some advice, I’d say to maximize on every challenge and opportunity that presents itself without hesitation or fear of failure. This will ultimately help you to avoid experiencing regret on missed opportunities and will also help develop you into a better person.

I will #LeadHerForward by doing all I can to set a positive example and inspire the next generation. I get asked all the time about my goals as an athlete, and my answer has stayed consistent. Of course there are personal goals and I hope to achieve great things at the highest level of the sport, but my ultimate goal in my cycling career is to become the best possible athlete and ambassador for the sport that I can be. Specifically, I would like to inspire more women and girls to get involved in cycling. Being a member of the Oneida Nation, I also want to inspire more Native American and Indigenous men and women to enter the sport, as they are arguably the most underrepresented demographic in the cycling scene. Ultimately I just want to inspire Native people (especially the next generations) to get more active, and lead healthier lifestyles, whether it be through cycling or another sport.

Want to share how you will #LeadHerForward? Send your story to!