Meet Our Ambassadors!

The Best We Have To Offer

Brand Ambassadors of D&D represent the best of what we have to offer. The ideal D&D Ambassador is a natural leader, uplifting team member, and a cycling enthusiast. Our brand Ambassadors assist us in making the magic happen at our events throughout the year, provide photo content and help us get others as geeked about cycling as we are! Limited spots available. Apply to become a D&D Ambassador.

Greg

Current bikes: Trek Fuel Ex8 29er, Motobecane Boris X5 fat bike

When I started cycling: 2012

Why I love cycling: It allows me to push myself far harder than I ever thought was possible. When I’m riding, I’m not thinking of anything else but being in the moment and reacting to the terrain. Riding forces you to focus one one thing, and drown out everything else. 

A person who inspires me: There are so many people in my life that inspire me that it’s hard to name one … so I will say that I am most inspired by watching someone progress. Whether it’s one of my kids landing a new trick snowboarding, or seeing a new rider clear a hill for the first time, that moment is always incredible to share. 

Where you can find me:  Milford MTB trail, Asst Coach of HV United MiSCA team, Head Coach Lakeland High School Snowboardcross team in the winter, Instagram @dadsondirt, blogging at www.dadsondirt.com and any Star Wars movie.

Ignacio

Current bikes: 2018 Giant Trance 1 and Ridley Orion 

When I started cycling: I started cycling in Elementary School.  I had a paper route, so all my money I earned went to buy a bike.  I used layaway to purchase the coolest bike from a bike store.  I rode it every chance I got.  This love followed me thru college at MSU where I had my second bike.  I have had many more since then.

Why I love cycling:  I love cycling because of two things, the sense of adventure and accomplishment.  The sense of adventure arises when you have the freedom to explore beautiful woods or along a trail to find a new ice cream stand.  The sense of accomplishment is the realization you can go long distances by yourself.  You can travel 1 mile to 100 miles plus all under your own power.  This drive to explore and ability to do this all under your own power is why I get on my bike every chance I can.  

A person who inspires me: I fortunate to have so many inspirational people in my life.  I cannot narrow it down to a single one but, any person who is passionate and committed inspires me.  Their drive and passion makes me work harder on my goals and passions. 

Where you can find me: Doing a couple laps at Olsen Park after work or riding the trails with my family. On the weekends I will venture out to DTE or any other place to get my cycling fix.

Jim 

Current bikes: Trek Procaliber, GIANT Reign Advanced

When I started cycling: About 8 yrs old. Seriously started riding about 20 yrs ago when I started adventure racing and doing triathlons. 

Why I love cycling: I love cycling. I love the gear, the bikes, the technology, the simplicity, the cool places and people and excitement of pushing your body on two wheels.

A person who inspires me: My wife Michelle inspires me. Her constant energy to explore, learn and be active is very motivating.

Where you can find me: Now days you can find me on the trails. I mostly mountain bike. Locally I enjoy Brighton Recreation Area, and the New DTE trails.

Michelle

Current bikes: Liv Pique, Trek ProCaliber 9.7

When I started cycling: I’ve been cycling since I was a kid. As an adult I began doing triathlons in college and in 2011 I bought my first mountain bike. I’ve been hooked ever since!

Why I love cycling: I love everything about riding. I love the cool bikes, being outdoors, the change of seasons, the way my muscles move and feel, the clothes, planning for trips both local and far away. It’s not just biking to me, it’s a lifestyle we embrace.

A person who inspires me:  My husband Jim. He is an incredible athlete and an even better human. If you get the chance to know him you are truly lucky. He’s the kind of guy stories are told about. One in a million,rock solid. The kind of guy you can count on through thick and thin. To sum it up he’s got a good handshake- for me that still means something.

Where you can find me: FB @ Michelle Menchaca Dawson
Instagram #swimbikeclimb #Dawsonsway
Dawsonsway.com

Robin

Current bikes: 2019 Liv Intrigue Advanced 2

When I started cycling: I started mountain biking in 2001 to see what all the fun was about. I was addicted from the first ride, which was also when I had my first ENDO, LOL. Except for a lull of about three years due to a back injury (suffered during ice hockey, not MTB’ing), I’ve been riding ever since!  I’ve participated in a number of races around Michigan, with the ICEMAN COMETH as the largest. For 2019 I am challenging myself and have signed up with a friend to finish the grueling 50 mile part of the Marji Gesick race, which is held in September up in Marquette Michigan.

Why I love cycling: Mountain biking has really changed my life. I plan vacations around where I can find rad trails; I’ve traveled to places I would never have gone, or found, due to mountain biking. I’ve met famous people I never would have, and I’ve realized they’re just like me (and you!). I love to help people with mountain biking and in doing so have spent the last two years as a D&D Shop Ambassador and Liv Cycling Ambassador.  Mountain biking enables you to meet awesome new people from around the country! In December of 2018 I went to Georgia for a three day Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor course given by the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association (PMBI), and now I am a certified Level 1 instructor in 11 countries. Woo hoo! I love the mountain bike family - just stop on the side of the trail and you’ll be greeted by other riders with “are you okay?” or “need any help?” Finally, I love cycling because I can go far into nature and escape the stress of everyday life; just ride out and enjoy what we’ve been given.

A person who inspires me: Lindsey Richter, pro mountain biker and Survivor Africa contestant. Lindsey stumbled onto mountain biking, started racing and in the process noticed how few females were participating in racing, let alone mountain biking. Lindsey loved teaching and getting “more women on bikes”, and now she travels the globe inspiring and teaching ladies how to shred and enjoy life.

Where you can find me: At D&D stores on the west side, such as Ann Arbor or Brighton. You can see me in store hosting clinics covering all kinds of mountain bike maintenance. Out on the trails you’ll find me helping get more kids on bikes by instructing with MiSCA, or teaching adults as a certified Professional Mountain Bike Instructor. D&D provides me the ability to reach a vast number of riders and I am always grateful for their support and to be a part of the D&D family.

Amanda

Current bikes: Liv Avail Advanced 1, Giant Toughroad SLR GX 1 & Peloton

When I started cycling: I remember finding my first “real bike” at a neighborhood garage sale. It was a vintage Fuji, cream with rainbow striped details, I was in the second grade. While it was probably a smaller frame, and I have always been tall, I was so delighted that I could actually ride a bike with hand breaks and gears. That’s where it began. All through school, I rode mainly for fun and transportation.  After college adult life took over, but I did rely on cycling to get me to work when the weather was nice.  I started taking spin classes in 2008 and really enjoyed it. For a few years, riding a bike that went nowhere was sufficient.  Then one day in 2015, an instructor gave a speech about “What are you training for?” It resonated with me. I decided that was time to get back out there and go somewhere. I bought a basic entry level road bike and hoped to one day be able to ride for greater causes.

Why I love cycling: It’s fun. The feeling you get when speeding down hills. You meet the best people. It provides an excellent cardio workout while going places and seeing the world. It makes me feel able to push myself and overcome challenges. Beer never tastes better than after a ride.

A person who inspires me: Christine D’Ercole. She is a Peloton instructor who broke back into the world of cycling at the age of forty something, and has had some amazing wins, winding up on the podium at Nationals and Worlds in endurance events in 2018. She promotes positive self talk with a mantra of “I am. I can. I will. I do.”

Where you can find me: Huron River Drive. Border-to-Border Trail. Metro Parks. OHR & WAM. Facebook, Instagram &  #akpea on the Peloton Leader Board.

Emily

Current bikes: Trek Top Fuel 9.8, Trek Crockett 5, and Trek Farley 9.6

When I started cycling: 2012

Why I love cycling: I love mountain biking because it gives me the perfect combination of exercise and adrenaline to keep me motivated each season.  I love that I can disappear from the daily stresses that life throws at you and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us!

A person who inspires me: All women who mountain bike! If they can do it, then so can I. 

Where you can find me: The laundry room! haha  Let’s be honest, with a family of six, every ride is a load of laundry.  You can also find me coaching kids on the Milford mtb trail, on facebook “HuronValley Mountain Bike Club”, at MiSCA races in the Fall, and riding other single track around our area!

Darin

Current bikes: Trek Top Fuel 9.9, Trek Crockett 5, and Trek Farley 9.6

When I started cycling: 2012

Why I love cycling: I am a better person when I spend time on the bike because it is an oasis from the busyness of life. While cycling, my mind can wander and go places that seem to be harder and harder to find time to go to. Family cycling adventures have made me realize that kids are far more capable than what we give them credit for. It is super satisfying to watch kids remove the barriers that they put up in their mind and have the confidence to approach a section of trail that they may have previously thought they never would. This make you understand that we probably do the same thing in other areas of life. So, I love cycling because it helps me dream bigger in all facets of my life.

A person who inspires me: I am inspired by trail coordinators who put in loads of time and don’t ask to be recognized for it.

Where you can find me: The best place to look for me is in Highland Rec because I can ride from my house to the trail with very little road riding. You can also find me at a Huron Valley United Racing team ride. This is a club/team that my wife and a couple of others started to give kids in our area a team to compete with at the Fall MiSCA mountain bike racing series.

Sarah 

Current bikes: Liv

When I started cycling:  I’ve loved biking for as long as I can remember. I’m the youngest of four girls and we were always outside playing and keeping ourselves entertained. We had this cool banana seat bike with a purple sparkly seat, a basket in the front, and streamers in the handlebars. When I got my first brand new bike as a teenager (which was a big deal being the youngest of four and always having hand-me-downs), I biked everywhere! It was like my first taste of freedom. Once I got my license though, biking took a back seat. In my mid 20’s I started running with my oldest sister and loved it for a bit but, my knees started bothering me. I decided to pull out my old huffy and get my cardio that way. I started going to Cyclebar four years ago and realized how much I missed biking. Last year, it was time for a much needed bike upgrade and I’ve been nonstop since and pushing myself to go longer distances. I did the first half of Zoo-De-Mackinaw by myself for my first ever organized ride last year. This year I plan on going back for the full ride with friends!

Why I love cycling: I love being outdoors and being active. Cycling is a way to combine the two. It helps to clear my mind and genuinely makes me happier. Cycling gives me a sense of accomplishment and allows me to navigate new places. 

A person who inspires me: My three older sisters are the people who inspire me the most. I’ve always looked up to them because they were cool, could drive me places, and have most always included me in what they were doing. As I’ve gotten older, we have formed deeper relationships and bonded in various ways. No matter what is going on in our lives, we push one another to be better, cheer each other on, and accept each other despite how many times we fall. They inspire me to be the best version of myself! 

Where you can find me: I live in Waterford, work in Farmington Hills, but bike all over. Most often I’m biking the Macomb Orchard, Clinton River, Kensington/Island Lake, and Polly Ann trails.

Holly

Current bikes: 2020 Liv Intrigue Advanced, 2017 Liv Hail, and 2018 Trek Farley Ex8 fattie.

When I started cycling: I started riding a mountain bike in 2016 on my mom’s 1990 Schwinn when a friend asked me to ride and quickly realized I needed a new bike. I’ll never forget how at the time I couldn’t believe I spent $700 on a Liv Tempt...who spends that much money on a bike?  I quickly became addicted to the challenge of jumping through the air and technical trail riding and joined several mtb groups in my area. I now am the VP of Mid-Michigan Mountain Biking Association, leader of WHOA (Women Helping Others Achieve) Mountain Bike, have my professional mountain bike instructor certification thru PMBIA and lead clinics, am a local Liv Ambassador, as well as the trail designer and trail coordinator for the new Ingham Conservation District mtb trail in Mason.  I placed 1st in my class for the Michigan Mountain Bike Association Champion Point Series in 2018. Now, I am on the team of the coveted D&D Ambassadors and feel so grateful! Whoohoo!

Why I love cycling: I’ve always loved nature and spending time in the woods hiking and backpacking. Mountain biking takes me to places that I may not have gone by foot.  I love a challenge, pushing myself to do something that was scary at first, mentoring and supporting others in the sport.

A person who inspires me: Any kid I see on the trail that is trying their hardest to get up that hill or over an obstacle on a bike that weighs probably half their weight. 

Where you can find me:  I live just south of Lansing in Mason, Michigan, but I travel around the country for my job as a federal investigator.

Patrick

Current bikes: 2000 Litespeed Ultimate & Super Commuter 8+

When I started cycling: Summer of 1955

Why I love cycling: It takes me places at a pace that’s gives me maximum enjoyment. It’s given me self-confidence and a distinct identity that’s unlike many of my friends. I’m an engineer - a bike has readily available technology that lends itself to DIY. 

A person who inspires me: Bicyclists of all stripes.

Where you can find me: Outside!

Ameel

Current bikes: 2019 Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0; 1991 Trek Double Cross tandem; and 2010 Trek 2.1 Road.

When I started cycling: Being on a bike was one of my favorite things as a kid. In 2008 as an adult I started to commute to school and work via bike.  It didn’t take much time for my rides to change from pure commuting to ‘how many miles can I get in before work.

Why I love cycling: Cycling is the one thing that never fails to provide stress relief and put a smile on my face. It also serves as a means for me to give back to the community. Plus, it’s the only form of exercise I tolerate. 

A person who inspires me: Collectively, foster children.  I work with these kiddos on a daily basis, and their resilience in the face of such adversity never ceases to amaze me. 

Where you can find me: Hopefully sneaking out of work early to spend time on the bike, on the road at Island Lake or Kensington parks, or the Make-a-Wish WAM bike tour.  Also facebook and instagram @amtrabilsy

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