“I absolutely love cycling! It just lights up my soul! Feeling the wind in my hair, being outside in nature, exploring the world in such an independent way. There’s never a day I get on my bike and don’t smile - that says something, right?”
NICOLE VER KUILEN IS A REAL LIFE ROCKSTAR. SHE LOST HER LEG AT AGE 10 TO BONE CANCER. AND SINCE THEN, NICOLE HAS WORKED TIRELESSLY TO REGAIN MOBILITY AND ACCESS THE TECHNOLOGY SHE NEEDS TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS. SHE NOW COMPETES AS A PARATRIATHLETE AND IS AN ADVOCATE FOR AMPUTEE ACCESSIBILITY TO THE MOST BASIC PROSTHETICS TO LIVE. YEAH, SHE’S A ROLE MODEL FOR US ALL.
HOME BASE: seattle, washington
work off the bicycle?
I am the founder of a nonprofit advocacy organization called Forrest Stump. Forrest Stump is dedicated to expanding access to prosthetic technology and raising the standard of care for all amputees. I founded Forrest Stump in 2017 after completing a 1,500 mile triathlon down the west coast to raise awareness for amputees.
I just started racing the ITU circuit in paratriathlon. At my debut race, I took home 2nd place for the women’s PTS4 category this past March at the 2019 CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships with a time of 1:24:03. I have raced competitively in various triathlons across the country against able-bodied athletes as well; in every race I competed in, I earned a spot on the podium in my age group. After receiving my running prosthesis one year ago (for the first time after being an amputee for 16 years), I’ve unlocked a world of athletic potential I never thought I had and have been able to take my training to the next level. I look forward to sharing more results on the ITU circuit in paratriathlon!
FAVORITE RACE OR RIDE?
Pacific coast bike route!
MY DREAM CAREER OUTSIDE OF CYCLING IS…
I’m living the dream now!
MY FAVORITE ACADEMIC SUBJECT IS…
Art and history!
MY EARLIEST MEMORY ON A BIKE IS…
I remember getting a bike for my birthday when I was 4 years old and I was so excited!
WHY DO YOU RIDE?
I absolutely love cycling! It just lights up my soul! Feeling the wind in my hair, being outside in nature, exploring the world in such an independent way. There’s never a day I get on my bike and don’t smile - that says something, right?
Biking was also one of the harder things I re-learned how to do after losing my leg to bone cancer. I was afraid of falling. My prosthesis was so new, it was hard to get used to the lack of balance. But I pushed myself each day to get back on and ride.
Once I learned how to ride a bike again, it changed my view of myself. I became independent. Where I couldn’t go with my prosthesis, I could go on my bike. I became a different person - someone who was fast, competitive, even a daredevil! Biking helped restore my identity as an athlete, and for that reason, I ride!
ADVICE TO UP-and-COMING CYCLISTS:
If you believe it will work out, you will see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you will see obstacles. Keep going, don’t give up.
Why do you support outride?
Cycling has given me a lot in life: independence, self-confidence, fitness, and friends. I want other kids to have these same opportunities that lead to long term life success. Outride is making that goal a reality!