Orange-enthusiast. Cyclist. Queen of many mountains.
On an early Los Angeles morning, in a house with an orange door, Isabel King kits up and sets out for yet another day of crushing nearby climbs in the Santa Monica Mountains. Since the start of the COVID pandemic exactly 12 months ago, Isabel has taken over 1,000 Strava QOMs (Queen of the Mountain’s - fastest time on a given Strava segment).
Cycling is a relatively new sport for Isabel. After captaining her D1 soccer team at Columbia University in college, she swapped her cleats out for heels and joined the trading floor to kick off her new finance career in New York City. At that point, Isabel assumed her athletic days were behind her, but things changed when she decided, on a whim, to sign up for a triathlon. She won. Despite starting business school at UCLA Anderson the following week, Isabel was hooked on the new endurance world she had discovered. Balancing a full class schedule, nightly networking events and a 20 hour training week was exhausting, but resulted in earning her USA Triathlon pro card and an MBA in the same year. Isabel explains that a career dependent upon your body can instantly disappear with one injury, so she wanted to finish her MBA before jumping full time into the pro racing world.
“To my business school friends I was the triathlete girl, showing up to class with goggle marks around my eyes and hilarious cycling tan lines, and to my triathlete friends I was the nerdy business school girl.”
After graduating, Isabel wanted to compete as a pro triathlete and test herself when she had time to train and recover properly, unfortunately 2020 had alternate plans. When the pandemic hit, she refocused her effort on cycling specifically and plans to begin racing competitively when races start up again. Queen of most of the climbs in the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, Isabel uses Karoo 2 to track her data closely and compete with friends’ times with the Strava Live Segments integration.
“If I’m the fastest girl that has ever ridden up this specific mountain... You don’t stop there you say, ok, that’s my fastest time - can I beat myself?”
Isabel’s perception of limits is not characteristic of the average person’s. This is a function of the way she grew up. I always got to say, ‘My dad is an artist and my mom works in finance,’ and that was super empowering because it showed me that no matter what society thinks you’re supposed to do, there is always a way that you can do something else,” she says. Her natural-born vigor and competitive disposition are evident by her accomplishments, but Isabel also attributes much of her strength as a woman to the role modeling of her hedge-fund-manager mom.
One thing is certain: once the world re-opens and racing begins to come back, there are going to be a lot of women that wish Isabel stuck to soccer.