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ROOTZ "Roll" Models




Who We Are -  100% Grassroots Volunteers 

The Rootz "Roll" Models are 100% Grassroots Volunteers. All roll models go through a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Most of us are CPR/First Aid Certified. We are USA Cycling Members, adventure riders, serious racers, non-competitive racers, and riding enthusiasts with a healthy obsession for all things ‘bike.’

This is all about the riding for the roll models too. Roll models are paired with mentees weekly throughout three seasons: Spring, Summer, & Fall.

Do you want to be a "Roll" model? 

All mentors pay for a $30 background check and are also registered on USA Cycling. We are looking for riders of all levels to ride with kids of all level. We will help you help the kids while growing your mtb confidence. We have clinics to support one another and build synergy around a curriculum to drive the focus of our rides with the mentees. 

Email Chelsea for more information - mtbrootz@gmail.com and to receive the registration link that is specific for "Roll" Models. 





Chelsea Wahl - President and Founder photoChelsea Wahl - President and Founder

Chelsea will not deny that she loves a "Full Send!" She credits her love for two wheels from going to her father's vintage motocross races and dabbling in motocross as a little kid. 

The joy that comes from shared pedaling experiences was reignited in 2014 when her husband introduced her to the wonderful world of cyclocross. Mountain biking, however, proved to be her 'soul food' and quickly proved many other benefits in her life. Fresh air and epic experiences create an everlasting sense of community: riding, clinics, racing, inclusion, & trail maintenance. She is also an active member of Rochester Accessible Adventures & Greater Rochester Off-road Cyclists. Chelsea is definitely a people person who loves working with children. Being a role model for girls (especially) was a 'no brainer.' She has followed the growth of other girl's mentor programs, like The Little Bella's, for years. When a couple of her hometown single track heros took her under their wing in 2015. Chelsea started Sparkle Watts in August 2020. The ripple effect inspired her to create a USA Cycling Club. She believes she should guide her mentees at their own pace while assisting enthusiasts eager to level up through competition. Chelsea was introduced to the Full Moon Vista family in 2016 at the Parma cyclocross race with her husband, Patrick. She is often riding with her father too. 

Chelsea (& Pat) often adventure together through fly fishing and biking. Her favorite places to ride in New England are Jake’s Rocks for cross country pedaling and Blue Mountain for downhill fun, but the local cyclocross racing scene is very addicting. Chelsea's & Patrick's Olde English Bulldogge, Winston McSnarff, is a homebody who prefers to hear about their travels from the couch. Off the bike, Chelsea never sits still long enough to finish the quilts she sews. She is a passionate middle school & high school orchestra director by day.

Erin Berg - Roll Model photo

Erin Berg 
Erin’s first mountain bike ride in 2015 started with a pretty rough crash, when she was led astray by her well-meaning boyfriend. Luckily, she had enough experience falling down and getting right back up to try again. She hasn’t stopped falling down since, because she loves growing from challenges. You will find her out on trails, gravel, and road training for new challenges: endurance mountain bike events and cyclocross races. But she also loves to just ride with people who love to ride their bikes! She could learn something from Quinn about riding for the season rather than the day, though, because she’s famous at her local bike shop for crashing frequently (she gets a kick out of riding fast).

Mountain biking has introduced Erin to a new community of people who share all kinds of riding in common. Not long after that first mountain bike crash, she found herself at an endurance gravel event in central PA where hundreds of strangers came together to spend a day riding their bikes. It’s this culture she fell in love with, despite how few women were a part of it. She hopes to help other girls and women find the joy in riding trails or to have fun on a long gravel ride or to embrace the quirkiness of cyclocross. When she’s not riding though, you’ll find her planning lessons for her high school English classes, nose-deep in a book or spending time with her boyfriend Dustin and adorable dog Ollie.

Jessica Geiger - Roll model photoJessica Geiger

The love of riding a bike started back in the 1980’s while growing up in Buffalo. Fast forward to 2006 when Jessica was hired as a Physical Education teacher and she bought a new bike to ride alongside her cross country team. In 2008 she completed a 100 mile fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Lake Tahoe but was ready for a new adventure. She bought a mountain bike and has been addicted ever since! She has made many friends from mountain biking with help from the now retired Rochester MTB group from Meetup. Friday morning 6am rise and ride group rides and GROC ladies rides have drastically improved her skills and confidence. Her favorite local riding spot is Tryon Park. She is married and has three young sons (baby in her belly in the above photo). 

Lisa Gardner - Roll Model photo

Lisa Gardner

Lisa has been on two wheels since she was three years old, just ask her mom!  Once those two wheels started rolling she knew that it meant freedom!  Freedom to roam, find new adventures, make lifelong friendships, and to stay healthy and balanced.  Her love of biking has progressed over the years and as soon as she realized it could be done on dirt in the woods it was on.  She hit the trails in the 90's and never looked back.  Sure there are many other hobbies, running, camping, kayaking, backpacking, but the one steady go to is biking.  If you could bike there then saddle up! She even got married at Ontario County Park so her friends could squeeze  a ride in between festivities.  Lisa preferred to commute to work whenever possible because it just meant more time on the bike and in nature catching all the little things you miss when you are in a car.  There have been many bike focused vacations, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, but some of her favorite spots are right here at home.  OCP, Ellicottville, Lake Placid, and all the local spots right here in Rochester.  
    Now that Lisa is retired she has more time to rip up some trails, but she's also looking forward to giving back.  She hopes to bring the sense of peace, joy, and camaraderie that biking brings her with others and to have tons of fun in the process.


Darlene Winkler - Roll model photo

Darlene Winkler

You will always find Darlene Winkler outdoors in her free time whether it be biking, boating, running, skiing or taking a hike in the woods.  There is not denying that biking is her favorite outdoor activity she fell in love with while in college.  Prior to mountain biking, she took to the roads-riding her bike on country-side roads exploring new areas. It wasn’t until college that she truly fell in love with biking when she got her first mountain bike and explored many parts of New York.  When she moved to Rochester to create a life with her husband, it was under one condition- there must be awesome trails to ride. Her first ride was at Tryon Park and knew Rochester would be her place she called home.  Darlene does not know which is more enjoyable- riding new terrain or making new friends. Both are quite amazing and every ride brings a new experience and memory.
When Darlene is not on the trails, you will find her planning lessons as a teacher or spending time with her husband or teenage daughters.

Lynda DiNolfo - Roll model photo

Lynda DiNolfo

Lynda  DiNolfo just  loves to play outside.  Whether it’s biking, hiking, or running she will try to find time in her schedule to get out there with her family and connect with nature. She learned her love for mountain biking after injuring her knee playing soccer for  St. John Fisher College. Lynda and her husband, David have enjoyed exploring all the beautiful trails together  in Rochester, Adirondacks, Maine,  Utah, Canada and Italy.  She loves to mountain bike because it is a chance to explore all the beauty nature has to offer us. She has three children who all love to ride as well. Her youngest daughter is  6 years old and is almost mountain  bike ready to take that dream Moab, Utah family trip. Lynda is looking forward  to share her passion for nature and mounting biking with the rootz team.  She has always wanted to be a mountain bike mentor and is excited for this opportunity. When she is not playing outside, Lynda is a registered nurse working for the Rochester Regional  GI/Endoscopy Department.

Paul Winter - Roll Model photo

Paul Winter

Paul is originally from New Zealand.  He took up mountain biking a few year's back when he could no longer play basketball due to injuries with his knees. He really enjoys mountain biking and the great outdoors. He has a daughter who is very active and likes mountain biking also. He & his middle school daughter rode with Rootz, since it started in Summer 2020. Paul is looking forward to helping others appreciate and enjoy the joys of mountain biking. 

Janet Casey

Bike riding is a family affair for the Casey family. Family bike trips started as soon as their youngest could pedal. Janet picked up mountain biking about 5 years ago when her husband and son convinced her she would love it. She loves being out in the woods amongst the trees (hopefully not hitting them too often) and enjoys the peacefulness and quiet off of the road. She loves riding at Dryer but has also had the opportunity to ride in Vermont, the Adirondacks and in British Columbia, seeing beautiful countryside with her husband and children. Janet is looking forward to riding with Rootz and introducing mountain biking to another generation of riders. By day, Dr. Casey is a pediatrician. 


Gabe Ferencz

Gabe started riding bikes in 1985, mostly riding streets, yards, and wide paths. In 2007, a great friend introduced him to where mountain bikes should be ridden: singletrack! He got really into it for several years, but then fell back out after his daughter was born. In 2018, he started teaching his daughter and son to ride, and fell back in love.

Then, he was lucky enough to find a great group of friends who were serious enough to ride multiple time a week year round, but laid back enough that no one has to worry about getting dropped. The connection of people to ride with is so important to the whole experience, and he's looking forward to ROOTZ giving his kids a chance to find their group of riding buddies, and even expand his own circle of riders.

Gabe is not a racer and is not into riding fast or aggressively. It's mostly about the mental health of getting out in the fresh air, getting some exercise, and exploring. The challenge that drives him is riding as much as possible without having to get off the bike, but not being too proud to walk it whenever he's "not feeling it". When COVID regulations freed up some time, he started working on skills development, rather than just riding in survival mode as he's done for years. He's progressed a lot, but still has plenty of room to grow.

By day, Gabe is a Robotics Engineer. When not working or running his kids around, you'll regularly find Gabe out on the local trails year-round (often at night after the kids are in bed) or somewhere exploring on his gravel bike.



A few more bios coming soon!

Jen Polo

Lynn Rotola









 




Jean Sheehan - Roll Model photo

Jean Sheehan

Jean enjoys rides through the woods. Sometimes you'll see her challenging herself with technical features or by getting ready for a race. Sometimes you'll see her riding with her husband, or at a ladies group ride for exercise and socialization.

Jean began mountain biking in 2015 taking small steps that the first year getting used to riding in the woods. She discovered a ladies group ride through GROC and found a great environment for developing skills with peers and having a great time doing it. Soon she got involved with racing some local races which helped develop even more skills. Jean's interest in biking continues to grow. Not a huge fan of the dark or the cold, but in 2019 she found herself riding a fat bike so she could ride in the snow and year-round. 

Her favorite places to ride outside of Rochester are Allegrippis (Raystown Lake) Pennsylvania and Kingdom Trails in Vermont.  She hopes she can encourage other girls/ladies to ride bikes on the trails and see them develop a love for riding.

When she and her husband Todd aren’t riding, she plays soccer, pickleball, Ultimate, and walking their dog Stormy. 

Quinn Karley - Roll Model photo

Quinn Karley 

You’ll easily spot Quinn Karley on her bike with a big smile and neon yellow full face helmet. Safety is her number one priority and she loves having fun and is always learning. Mountain biking has been an amazing way to enjoy nature, meet new friends and become a stronger person on and off the bike. She hopes to help introduce the sport to more women and girls out there in a welcoming, no pressure, friendly environment where riders can relax and enjoy the ride no matter what skill level they come in at. She loves sweeping and her motto is ride for the season, not for the day. Off the bike you can also find her snowboarding, paddleboarding, doing yoga, cooking and dancing! 

Katie Dunn - Roll Model photo

Katie Dunn

You’ll find Katie on the trails around Rochester all times of the year! She started mountain biking in Rochester in 2018, where she met some pretty cool women who also convinced her to try cyclocross racing. Mountain biking has helped her to gain confidence in tackling challenges outside her comfort zone.  Katie is passionate about getting more girls into all outdoor endurance sports, and especially loves coaching Nordic (cross country) skiing. She also competes in ski and foot orienteering and is starting to dabble in adventure racing. Off the trails, Katie is a PhD student studying computational microscopy at the University of Rochester.

Mandie Wickham - Roll Model photo

Mandie Wickham

It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 that Mandie decided to take her bike into the woods. Mandie considered mountain biking a few times because she loves biking and hiking, but was discouraged by a friend saying it was too hard to pick up as an adult. Luckily for Mandie, she met Chelsea at a community bike ride and was introduced to the Rootz, where she found a supportive and encouraging learning community. Mandie was able to get a bike, Lizzy, off of facebook marketplace and hasn’t stopped peddling! (Everyone names their bike, right?) Riding Lizzy has taught Mandie to focus, trust and listen to her body, and it’s okay to fall. When not on her mountain bike, Mandie can be found chasing her 5 year old son and spending time with her partner. Mandie looks forward to contributing to the welcoming learning environment fostered by the Rootz and helping kids build leadership and confidence on their bike.

Catie Feltes - Roll Model photo

Catie Feltes

Catie is relatively new to the mountain biking world. During the pandemic, she was looking for different activities to stay busy. Chelsea got her hooked on mountain biking last June and soon she was looking forward to the weekly meet-ups at various parks across Monroe County. Catie especially enjoyed the challenge of learning a new activity while surrounded by many passionate and supportive women. She found it inspiring that women and girls of all ages and experience levels were able to come together to create a rewarding and enjoyable environment. During the day, Catie is a school-based speech language pathologist but afterschool you can find her baking, going for walks, or spending time with her cats and husband. 

Rachel Sacks - Roll Model photo

Rachel Sacks

Over the past year, Rachel found a new love for riding. She has been a focused runner since high school and competed on a club team during college. Three years ago, she became injured to the point where running wasn’t an option anymore. Rachel found hope in cycling. Her father and boyfriend are both avid riders, so it wasn’t hard to decide to make the switch. Most summer days, you could find her riding around near Lake Ontario with her dad. On weekends, she rode around many of the Finger Lakes with her boyfriend. Together, they rode around 9 of 11 lakes, and are hoping to do all 11 next summer. Rachel also attended clinics to learn cyclocross basics, then had a blast competing in many races over the summer and fall alongside her boyfriend. Rachel was admittedly scared each time she tried a new challenge in cyclocross, but each time she accomplished something new, it felt amazing. She is brand new to the world of mountain biking, but is interested to learn alongside other new young riders. During the day, Rachel is a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow. When she isn’t riding, Rachel enjoys skiing, spending time with her cat and boyfriend, going on walks, and hopefully one day running again.

Emily and Zac Culliton - Roll Model photo

Emily and Zac Culliton

Emily and Zac love to bike. And ski. And rock climb. And generally seek out any opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and shred the gnar. Together their stoke level runs high, and they love to share that stoke with their two young daughters and anyone else who wants to be part of the fun.

Zac grew up riding BMX with his neighborhood crew, and naturally transitioned to MTB once it became a thing. Shortly after they met, Emily began mountain biking too as a summer substitute for the rush of skiing. They moved to the Boston area and together logged many miles at their local Middlesex Fells, and would take weekend trips to places like Lynn Woods and the Kingdom Trails. 


Back in Rochester Em and Zac have settled down in Irondequoit, busy raising their two daughters, and sharing the stoke with the next generation. They are grateful for our local trails systems and cycling community, and are excited to be a part of Rootz.

Emily Slesak - Roll Model photo

Emily Slesak

Emily has been mountain biking at a beginner level for about 20 years.  When Chelsea asked her to bring her girls out mountain biking, she began to become more serious about taking her biking to a new level.   Emily  spent the summer and fall biking at different parks with the girls group, and enjoyed being a mentor as well as learning from people with more expertise.  It was great to be around supportive women with the same interest in mountain biking.  Emily works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant so learning and teaching new skills is just a part of her daily life. She loves being outdoors in every season and spending time with her family and friends.   

Stephanie Barbero

This is one of the only photos of Stephanie "cycling" since she is usually the one behind the camera. She is a Physical Education Teacher who has coached 6 different sports, teaches Yoga and has a Run & Triathlon Club for girls. She is an EMT and former Fire Fighter who took the time to Certify many of the non-medical 'roll' models in CPR & First Aid. She is always looking for a new challenge and mountain biking is her latest. She started out as a runner turned cyclist turned triathlete and even endeavored into cyclocross. She has raced side by side with her 2 daughters and even got her son to compete in one Tri (on a team). She was lucky enough to race several times nationally and even once internationally. Mountain biking has allowed her to enjoy so much of the great outdoors this past year and she can't wait to see what the future holds in this arena.