Triumphs and Tragedies

Recent goings on in my life

Christine Penn
9 min readDec 10, 2022


2022 El Tour de Tucson 102 mile start

The goal

At the beginning of the year (2022), I had a goal in mind. I wanted to return to do the El Tour de Tucson (referred to later as just the “Tour”). It’s just a bike race, but it has become a little special to me. (It seems to be where I do many of my “firsts”.)

It was not going to be easy to get there. If you have read my other stories, you likely know that I fell and broke my pelvis on September 21, 2021. I spent from then till The first week of November of 2021 being confined to a wheelchair. On Nov 8th 2021, I started Physical Therapy to get walking again. I recovered quickly and by the end of the month I uploaded my first biking activities to Strava since the accident. I slowly started getting back into an exercise routine in December.

As the pains faded away, starting in January, I got ambitious about getting my fitness back. It had dropped into the toilet with the accident and the subsequent recovery, which had limits on exercise. When those lifted, that's when I thought about having the Tour as my end of the year goal.

It’s a bike race held in Tucson the Saturday before Thanksgiving every year. It’s held after the normal road cycling season is over. I got introduced to it as a bike team get-together in 2017. I consider it my first official bike race ever. I had just received my USA Cycling racing license just a month before in October after a very long period of not being eligible for it. I didn’t need it for the event, as it is not a sanctioned event. But I wanted to make sure that there would be no issues if any came up. I had been biking for years, but I had recently transitioned. (Hence the delay…) Anyway, I did the 76 mile race that year. (Other lengths are also offered.)

I returned with my team and did the race again (dropped to 75 Miles that year) in 2018. In 2019 I had to skip it due to the timing of my GCS surgery. 2019 ended up being the last time my race team at the time would exist. We had decided to disband the race team at the end of 2019. (Trans National Women’s Cycling Team existed for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 race seasons.)

COVID ended up canceling the Tour for 2020, but it returned for 2021 and I was hoping to do it when a couple months before, I…



Christine Penn

Trans woman, parent, cyclist, software engineer, author, chef, and many other things.