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A year ago today we talked about how excited you were to sign with Colavita. We planned a coffee date to catch up while I was home over the holidays.
I think of you when I'm getting tired or frustrated with riding or school, knowing that you would be bouncing up and down and telling me not to give up. Thanks for getting me up Pink so many times this summer. Miss you tons, LNH2O.
I watched St. Vincent tonight and thought of you <3
I can hear your laughter and awe-filled exclamations as we get the first taste of sunny, spring rides. Thanks for reminding me to smile and appreciate these moments.
I wish you were here to share it with us. But I know that you are with us ever pedal stroke. Every mountain top. Every laughter-filled group ride. Every painful last km's home on tired legs. Every coffee shop treat to share. I know that you are singing along and chattering about some new and exciting flavour, song, experience, or adventure that awaits.
Wish you had been at the top if Sassafras today to cheer me on.
Miss you everyday.
"BANANA" as you and Camden rip around on your bikes with your legs in the air.
Camden asked to send you a bunch of emoticons by text for the second time yesterday (it's his new thing!). He asked if he could do it when you feel better. Miss you LNH2O.
It's hard knowing that you are no longer coming through the door or that I won't be coming home to your delicious baked bread.
Will miss having cider dates with you and you dragging me out of the house so I didn't just sit and watch Netflix for 10hrs.
- Emily Flynn
Thanks Tara for sharing a brew this weekend that you knew Ellen would appreciate. Cheers to you LN.
Mummy came to pick me up from the gym. She was "sweaty like Ellen". Ellen was also the best at playing trains (her legs were awesome hills under the carpet) and was quick to point out my flurberdurber (belly button). She gave awesome cuddles, and double bounces on the trampoline. She was the best at giving me piggy back rides and always had a big smile.
I met Ellen when she came to British Columbia for BC Super Week a couple of years ago. Her sister Lily invited me to come watch her compete in the Gastown Grand Prix. It was the first time I'd ever seen a road race. Ellen was working hard and her race face was pretty goofy.
I saw her race a few more times the following year, and got to hang out with her, Lily, and her niece Chloe on a couple of occasions. Ellen loved her people very much. Chloe really lit her up.
I did not get to know Ellen as well as I would have liked. In reading the memories posted by the people who knew her best, I feel lucky to have crossed paths with her.
- Gabriel B
Ellen was starting to catch the bug for track racing, taking part in Cycling Canada's WTE NextGen camps at the Milton Velodrome.
My name is Holly and I am a cyclist, but not a professional or very fast I am afraid. I am all about cycling as a lifestyle and enjoy how much fun it brings into my life. Luke Tudor and I created an amazing 'underground' race one December called the Meat Grinder. The objective was to shoot tequila while stuffing your face with cake donuts each loop, then racing your bike up the ridiculous hills in one gear throughout the South End in Saint John (which has the potential for anything). And of course, trying not to throw up. This was the first time I met Ellen and was so impressed we had a 'pro' among this motley crew of cool kids and trouble makers :)
She brought a flask and was chugging on the sideline. I approached her and said "oh my gawd, you are hardcore." and she laughed and said "yeah, it's full of water. Coach would kill me." We hit it off right away. While the cyclists did this crazy race (and no one threw up btw, which would have been a disqualification) I had a chance to talk to her mother, Nancy, helping us with the pot of chili. We talked about Ellen's career and how proud she was of her. Even if she was with a bunch of nutballs racing up hills trying not to throw up.
On the next leg of the Meat Grinder we picked the top four to do the ultimate challenge and race up the last and worst hill to determine a winner. There were three men and one women, Heidi King. Heidi was strong and flew up the hill with the boys and as she crested the top Ellen ran over, grabbed her by the seat and pushed Heidi with all her might up the last part to give her that boost. I laughed and covered my eyes. No rule broken if I don't see it.
We all had some great laughs and on our walk back to warm up with some lunch, I was able to have a long conversation with her about the city, the cycling community and all the great fun we have together.
I got to know Ellen better the more events we attended. Most were cyclocross where I would be dressed up in any number of costumes. Ellen loved spirit so her and I clicked. She would lap me a million times during the races but would say something funny or encouraging each time she flew by. I got to know the back of her jersey really well. In my opinion, it speaks about her love of the sport in cycling when someone with her talent and level of skill would 'play' with us. She would always challenge the men to keep up. As a women cyclist from a small town in NB, Ellen was someone we could cheer for as well as an athlete to emulate.
She was a kindred spirit with lots of laughter and spunk to share. Not often you come across such an enthusiastic person like Ellen. Online we had conversations about safety and advocacy which is the serious side of this lifestyle. It was a great comfort to have her in our corner speaking out for awareness.
Although I knew her in the cycling world, I feel it was her Joie de vivre that always left you smiling. There are always key words that come to mind when describing a person. When I think of Ellen they are not words you would think like 'cyclist, strong, biker, fast'. They are words like 'fun, enthusiastic, positive, kind, loving'. Ellen is the person everyone wants to have in their tribe. She always made you feel good about yourself. She had a kindness that spreads to everyone she met. I was lucky enough to have had her in my world and I am grateful for that.
- Holly McKay
Ellen loved cookie medals at our local Cyclocross races 😊❤
- Heather Purcell
A friend reminded me how I first met Ellen, Our sons were quite involved in competitive cycling quite a few years ago. There were of few guys racing and training together and Ellen would sometimes drive one of the kids from Sussex to Moncton on Tuesday nights so, the kids could ride or race together. Eventually, she started riding also. Then, fast forward to a few years later, my daughter, Dominique Mallet, started doing triathlons. Four days before her first event, she was hit by a car less than 500 meters from our house while cycling. The following season, my daughter remembers racing in the same events as Ellen. She was also one of the people that shared her story at the rally in Ellen's honor in Moncton. If you were fortunate enough to cross paths with Ellen, you will always remember her beautiful smile and her wonderful energy. R.I.P. Ellen and I promise, I will do my part to ensure the roads are safer for cyclists, runners, pedestrians etc.
- Jocelyne Mallet
Thank you for this Memorial. I didn't know Ellen, however I have been deeply impacted by sadness of this tragic event. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen's mom, at the Saint John rally for #Ellenslaw. I really appreciate the opportunity to read all of these wonderful memories, as it gives me a very strong sense of her amazing personality and unquestionable work ethic.
I will honor Ellen, by playing a small part in helping make cycling safer in my city and province. #Ellenslaw
Ellen teaching us how to ride aggressively at Preston Street. I'll always attack a little harder now.
As the coach of WTE NextGen program, I always sought athletes that would add value to the program. Ellen was someone I was interested in for the program, but felt she wasn’t ready to commit to the track program for 2017. She showed genuine interest in the track, and I set out to involve her as much as possible in our program in a part time manner. A number of people told me not to bother with these part time program members, but I witnessed the positives that she could bring to the program, and I wanted to involve her as much as I could. Sometimes you hedge a bet on someone and it doesn’t pay off...but I felt I was right on this one.
Even though she was only at 3 of our camps, in that short amount of time I felt that she made the program better. She had this ability to lift the spirits of the group during tough times, even if she was going through a tough time as well. Her enthusiasm, her lust for life, her genuine interest in how people were doing, and her expressions of joy; whether it be for a 30 piece floor puzzle I bought for my daughter at Whole Foods, or the scenery going up a climb, are going to all be things that myself and all the WTE NextGen girls are going to miss about her.
My last communication with Ellen was on the 23rd of December whilst I was out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. She sent me a text at 9:40am to check on some logistics surrounding the January track camp, making sure there was space at the house, and asked me "how good it felt to be home” after the road camp. I replied to her at 2:10pm...
Ellen…you will always have a place at our camps. I will save you a spot
On Mother’s Day 2015 Ellen decided we really should ride to Alice’s Café in Carp, so she could buy me a coffee….for Mother’s Day….She said, “Sue, I am gonna call you Mom!”….I said “Ellen, don’t call me mom, I am not old enough to be your mom….”….truth be told…. To which Ellen responded “Ok, Mom, I won’t call you Mom anymore….Mom….”….I laughed, only Ellen could get away with that.
So we did ride out to Alice’s in Carp. Ellen bought me an extra small coffee, and a day old muffin, which we both found exceedingly amusing much to the chagrin of the people sitting at the next table….And so the “Day Old Muffin Rides” started, whether it was Mother’s Day or not.
Our last such ride was July 1 this summer. Ellen had stayed with me over Nationals, and had baked up a storm of muffins and cobbler (rhubarb from Craig deVeer’s garden) and lasagna along the way….But she decided we were going to celebrate Canada Day with a Day Old Muffin ride. “I will be by your place to pick you up in the morning, Jenny wants me to do a 3 hour ride.”. “Sure, what time?” I asked. “I will be at your front door at 6am!” “Ellen, wtf??!!” And we did ride at 6am. It was a lovely day. We almost got to Carp but turned around early, Ellen was too trashed from Nationals, and I was laughing too hard at the hooting and hollering.....
Ellen bought me an Egg McMuffin at MacDonald’s instead, making friends with the McDonald’s staffer smoking outside along the way, and maxing out on selfies photobombed by Sue and egg mcmuffins.
Can’t think of any moment with Ellen without smiling or laughing out loud. It was always an adventure.
Xoxo Ellen, I will miss you.
There was one race where Ellen and I lapped the field together and as we crossed the finish line she screamed "FUCK!!!" because she had lost track of the lap counter and didn't realize we were on our last lap. She was annoyed but it was okay, we laughed about it later.
- Jamie Gilgen
LAX, enroute to San Dimas 2016, a moment where I experienced the untapped energy of Ellen. We landed in LA at the same time, along with Annie Foreman-Mackey, Jenny and Camden. Jenny and Ellen went to rent the van (which seemed to take an unnecessary eternity) while Annie and I played with Camden. We had an entire terminal, a few luggage carts, bags and a stroller to entertain him with. By the end of the few hours Annie and I were exhausted and out of toddler tricks. Camden was bored and we were pooped. When Ellen and Jenny returned from the retail car place, Camden light up and went running to Ellen! She scooped him up and we loaded the van to head for the hills. Ellen sang songs, made up games and kept Camden occupied the entire drive to San Dimas while Jenny ‘tetris-ed ‘ through SoCal traffic. Ellen always had energy for everyone, and she did it with a big giant smile, laugh and random songs just to spice it up. Thanks Ellen for sharing your zest and making us all better people for it. The girls and I will be sure to take good care of Camden & Elodie and sing them lots of songs. XOXO Suz.
Ellen loved attacking, oh I know! Because most of the time I was the one chasing! Once I rode with the Cyclery as a guest, BC Superweek 2015. Mid-race, Ellen took off, just doing her thing! But this time I didn't have to chase, I remember thinking it was awesome, it's much better to have her as a teammate! She podium that night, the first night, such a good night. We were staying at a host house together. There was one room in the house and a camper outside. She was SO excited to stay in the camper! Nothing seemed to bother her. Oh and that week of racing I think she broke 2 shifters in 2 crashes, she would just get back on, on whoever's bike and keep racing! It was just impressive how she could adapt to any situations, and she would quickly connect with the hosts and their kids. It was inspiring to see how she could embrace any challenge with ease and so much joy of life. Ellen, you will be missed, you will be remembered.
The last time I talked to Ellen was on the 22nd. And I'm so happy that she called me
She asked me what I was doing for new years because her plans fell through. I invited her to hang out with me and the new guy I'm seeing. I'm so happy she called me
She never judged. She always told you what she thought but without makng you feeling any less
- Emily Flynn
- Emily Flynn
Ellen was incredibly supportive. She convinced me to train with her for a 5km race despite not having run for years. She pushed me out of bed in the mornings and would jog-walk at a snails pace with me, encouraging me the whole way. She never made me feel like I was holding her back, despite the obvious difference in our abilities, and would push me just enough to keep me going.
Our time together was far too short, but I am so grateful for it. I will laugh a little louder and love a littler harder because of her.
Ellen was a special person to me, as she was to so many others. She had so much energy, but what struck me most was how generous she was with that energy. Sometimes too generous! She would finish a 5 hour ride at training camp and then be the first person to volunteer for the team shopping trip, and then the first person to volunteer to cook dinner, and then the first person to volunteer to clean up. Sometimes all of this generosity would catch up to her. There were times when she did crack - at the Cascade stage race last year, coming right after BC Superweek, she barely had energy left to put on her kit to make it to each stage on time. But even in this depleted state, once she hit the start line it was game on. When Ellen was given a job to do in a race she went all in, full focus, nothing held back.
Off the bike, Ellen always took the time to make genuine connections with everyone she met. Our last day together I will cherish forever. It started with coffee, ended with beer, with a great ride in the middle, like all great days should. We talked about cycling, about relationships, about life, about the future. Ellen made me feel loved, she made me feel important in her life. I hope she knew how important she was in mine.
Before the start at Battenkill, the announcer was asking us who deserved a call-up. Ellen called out "Camden!"
- Dominique Danco
Ellen was unlike anyone I had ever met. She was authentic in every action and honest in every word. She made me realize the significance of simple pleasures. She would sing during the toughest parts of our rides and get up extra early just to make fresh orange juice. She would never stifle a laugh and was never short on kindness. I thought, when I met her, that she would now always be a part of my life, that when I said goodbye at the end of a camp that it would only be a short time before I saw her again. I regret not having more time, but am thankful for what Ellen has already taught me. I will carry it forever.
One time, we were in Tucson, AZ for some spring training and a bunch of us Canadians decided to do "Box Canyon". This is a 175km ride that takes you south of Tucson and through a bunch of gravel roads through the canyon. I wasn't feeling fit yet, and the gravel was really deep so it took a lot of power just to move forward but Ellen, being Ellen, was loving it so much she was actually singing.
- Jamie Gilgen
Ellen had a habit of just going for it, right to the edge. I remember once in a crit she broke away and she was all alone and she hit a turn so hot over cobbles that she just completely lost it. I loved that she would go for it like that, even if it meant that sometimes she'd overcook things.
- Jamie Gilgen
I met her briefly this summer at the North Star Grand Prix. She was so friendly, polite, confident, (fast) and humble. I remember thinking that she was the ideal pro rider and I wished that more pros were like her. A credit to herself, her team, and our sport. Her contribution to cycling was just beginning. Tailwinds, always.
I never met Ellen but I covered Nats for Pedal and I was in tears watching the Cyclery team celebration on the grass immediately after the race. The bond they clearly shared was overwhelming. I can't even begin to imagine what they're going through right now. My heart is broken for the women on the Cyclery team. So this is more an expression of empathy and condolence for those left behind. Stay strong. Keep doing what do you. Do it for Ellen. Do it for all the young girls out there who want to be the next Ellen, the next Tara, the next Arianne...
For those of you who had the pleasure to ride indoors with Ellen, she was an exuberant force, but also quite sweaty! Last winter when I picked Camden (my son), up from the drop-in daycare at the gym, he told me I was "sweaty like Ellen".
She was special in that she was able to form a special bond with people of all ages. My kids adored her (I'm assuming Elodie did at 3.5 months!) and my parents as well.
- Jenny Trew
Ellen was invited to be part of the Wheelers team that the club supports in the UCI Chrono Gatineau Time Trial and and the Gatineau GP Road Race in 2013. I along with Pat Pelda, Rico Beaurgeault, John Large, Nadia marshy and many others to numerous to name rally around our composite team cobbled together with riders from around the globe. I remember Ellen being a bit starstruck with the calibre of riders she was finding herself racing against. However, starstruck or not, she was there to race and she raced very well in her first "BIG" race. A top 20 in the ITT and 44th in the RR got her noticed and quickly adopted by the Cyclery. I feel proud to have played a small part as a Wheeler in her stepping onward and upward to future success in our sport. But I mostly remember her quick humor and maritime down to earthiness when interacting with her support crew and team mates. I barely ever ran into her since 2013 but when our paths did cross she always had a warm smile and a hug and she always remembered my name. I will always remember hers.
- Brent Atkins
I never had the pleasure of meeting Ellen but I have captured her racing at BC Superweek. Her passion for cycling stands out. Here's to making the one metre rule a law throughout Canada.
- Tammy Brimner
I met Ellen 2 weeks ago at a training camp in California. We didn't get to talk much, but when we did, I really enjoyed talking to Ellen. We talked about college, coaching, all sorts of things. I felt like I was talking to a friend I'd known for years.
- Nina L
The first time I rode with Ellen was on my friend Andrew Olives Birthday ride from Ottawa to Perth and back. It was clear to me that she was a special person and a strong rider. Her smile friendly demenour and quirkiness was so infections. Always making sure that everyone in the group was doing ok. I wish I could have had the chance to spend more time getting to know her. Ellen you will be missed
- Dave Hendrycks
Ellen sent her application for the NCR cycling bursary to me on Oct. 21, 2016. It is short but her presence, excitement, and hope for the upcoming season shines through.
I’m not exactly sure if it’s too late to apply for this given that the Ottawa Celebration is next week, but I thought I would send this off to you anyway!
I’ve attached my cycling resume to the email. I suppose you have also heard that I have signed with Colavita for the 2017 season. I’m pretty excited!
Goals for next season include:
Top 10 finish in Gatineau GP and Chrono
Top 5 finishes at Nationals
Work as a “diesel engine” for my team to win and defend leaders jerseys
Upcoming races will be the North American race calendar including Gila, Redlands, Tour of California, possibly racing in Belgium, BC Superweek, Nationals. The training camp (that I am aware of) will take place in California in February.
I plan to start my training earlier on and hope to make use of warmer regions to do so. The money would help with travel and accommodation to Girona, where Mike and Karol-Ann are, or Arizona.
Cheers and see you next Friday night!
- Ross Knight
Ellen and her team showed up to our little local stage race the summer of 2015 in Syracuse. I was still a cat 3 and thought the whole team was really cool coming in their team car, constantly playing out tactics, and clearly having a blast together. Ellen ended up lapping the field in the crit and the following day setting a pace up the climb in the road race that shattered the field. This past summer when I had the pleasure of trying to stick on her wheel or see her and her teammates at several races I was always impressed with how much fun they had together but also their professional approach to races. When I came to race Preston Street I asked the other Cyclery girls where Ellen was (she was racing in Cali at the time I think) when we were standing around after the race. I knew the whole peloton had gotten off easy without her there to add additional counterattacks.
- Chelsea Knapp
Later in 2013, I had been asked to join the West of Quebec Wheelers for the UCI Gatineau GP. They asked if I knew another rider that they should bring on and I immediately told them about Ellen.
Ellen was over the moon at the opportunity.
The race didn't go very well as I crashed and broke my collar bone and Ellen rode into me.
She came to visit me at the hospital right after at the race. She was probably still in kit, a bad habit of hers. She cheered me up right away and joked about her bleeding knee. When the nurses tried to attend to it she just yelled at them to help me.
That night we went for pho at our favourite place; the purple one on Somerset. She just laughed at me as I tried to eat pad Thai with my left hand and the right side of my mouth due to broken teeth.
- Emily Flynn
Every time I called Ellen to tell her I was coming over to her place for my recovery ride, I would always arrive to some warm tea on colder days or some kind of refreshing beverage on hot summers days.
- Ariane Bonhomme
Ellen was my roommate, best friend and soul sister, so I am sure I will be posting here a lot in the next little while.
I will start from the beginning. I first met Ellen in Feb. 2013 at Cycling Canada ID Camp in South Carolina. It took a few days to finally fully interact, but once we did we hit it off and the rest is history.
I remember on the last night I had to fly very early and toyed with the idea of just staying up all night. Ellen stayed up with me (and that's a big deal because she likes to get to bed early). But we talked the night away and from then on we were the best of friends.
Later in April, I some how convinced her to come race the Calabogie OCup. She was so excited. She drove all the way from NB for the weekend to just do the race. Let's be honest, it isn't the world's best race, but that is who she was; someone that was devoting everything to what she loved.
She went on to win the race in 2015.
P.S. I also took her to IKEA for the first time that weekend.
- Emily Flynn
Ellen and I both *loved* attacking and being in breakaways. She was my breakaway partner more often than any other rider and I loved being in breakaways with her. If I would tire, she would yell encouragement. If she would get too excited, I would calm her down. It always worked really well. Sometimes she would win and sometimes I would win, but that didn't really matter because we had an amazing time just racing.
- Jamie Gilgen
On the summer 2016 Belgium project, Ellen amazed us all at her ability to talk to her partner for eight hours every day. I had never seen anyone have such a great time talking on Skype for so long every day.
- Jamie Gilgen
The first time I came to know of Ellen was in South Carolina in 2015. I was descending a climb as Ellen was blowing up it full speed ahead with her team close behind. I remember her giving a quick smile and friendly wave even though she didnt know me. A few checks of Strava and social media told me her name and I've never forgotten it since. Many friends and fellow cyclist have shared so much about Ellen in the last few days that I've truly come to understand what a beautiful, talented, happy and joyful soul Ellen was. Ellen's spirit and message shall travel with me where ever I ride, wherever I go.
- Joyce Spruyt
We were racing a kermesse in Belgium and it was coming down to the final 5km or so. There was so much chaotic yelling and screaming going on but Ellen just popped out to the front and set a pace that nobody could swarm and lead us out. She would always work hard for her teammates.
- Jamie Gilgen