Who I Am

Kansas Cyclist
Sheri E. Barnes

I am a Kansas cyclist who recognizes and appreciates the foundational and transformational roles that fitness, in general, and cycling, specifically, play in my life. The growth I have experienced through my journey as a cyclist and the lessons I continually learn through it have informed and enriched my life in countless ways. My original purpose for this blog was to share my passion for cycling and the lessons I learn through it. As my blog and I both evolve, I find that I need to broaden the scope of my purpose. So much of what I want to share is influenced, not just by cycling, but also by reading and writing. My time on the bike facilitates reflection on the things I read and generates new ideas that I want to process and share through writing. My updated blog purpose for 2016 is to celebrate my passion for cycling and books, while sharing the lessons I learn and the insight I glean through the intersection of cycling, reading and writing in my life.

I have been riding my bike regularly for 17 years. I grew up in Oklahoma, but have lived in Kansas since 1988. The vast majority of my cycling has taken place in Kansas. I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Biking Across Kansas (www.bak.org). That bike ride and the people connected to it have been treasured parts of my life since 1999.

I have been married to my husband Kenny for 14 years. He introduced me to cycling. I was more of a runner when we met, and I consider his teaching me to be a road cyclist to be one of the greatest gifts of our relationship. Another gift is our son Logan, who is 11. He has been part of Biking Across Kansas since I was pregnant with him and has grown up around cycling. He is an evolving cyclist. Currently, his longest day on the bike is 35 miles.

I am the Academic Advisor for the Human Performance Studies Department at Wichita State University. I am truly a WSU Shocker, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies, a Master of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Education in Exercise Science—all from Wichita State University. My professional experience has been primarily in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Every aspect of my life is underscored by my dedication to living a compassionate life as a vegan. I became vegetarian in 1982, at the age of 12. For years, I wanted to believe that was enough, but I came to a point where I knew that my strong personal value of integrity required me to do more research and learn the truth. Through reading, most notably, Skinny Bitch, by Rory Friedman and Kim Barnouin, I realized that I had been deluding myself and became vegan in 2008. My veganism is a key component of my identity. Not only do I feel better about not contributing to violence against billions of animals in the dairy and egg industries, but I feel healthier in general and have better resilience on the bike.

I hope that you enjoy my blog, and I welcome your participation. Feel free to comment, provide feedback and ask questions.