by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photo by Lauren Nygard Photography

Gearing Up

Denise Mueller has always been a thrill-seeker. “I pretty much love anything that has adrenaline involved,” Denise shared. She has raced bicycles, competed in gun competitions, completed a full Ironman, run marathons, and currently races cars and rides off-road motorcycles. “It is not surprising that I celebrated my own 40th birthday by running a marathon in Antarctica,” noted Denise. Today, this adrenaline junkie is gearing up for what may be her most ambitious feat yet – becoming the first woman to set the bicycle land speed record.

“When people ask about why I do what I do, I often tell them that I have great genetics,” explained Denise. Indeed, she does. Her mother raced powder puff demolition derby race cars in her late 30s and went skydiving on her 80th birthday. “My dad celebrated his 70th birthday by riding his bicycle around the outer perimeter of the United States,” added Denise. Denise’s three sons (ages 21, 20, and 15) are extremely active as well. “All three of my boys have run a half marathon,” Denise said.

faces02Denise had her first taste of adventure while in the seventh grade. “I heard an announcement about a Bike for Breath charity ride benefiting the Children’s Asthma League. I did the event and I was hooked,” she explained. Denise eventually hired a coach who helped her win the very first bicycle race she entered. She went on to win 13 national championship titles and raced in two world championships. In 1992 Denise made a decision to stop racing. “I was riding up Torrey Pines hill and made the hard decision that I wanted out of the sport,” recalled Denise. “I hung up the bike that day and never looked back.”

Until now. Denise has been presented with the opportunity to become the first woman ever to set the bicycle land speed record. She recalled the day her coach, John Howard approached her with the idea, “I was almost jumping out of my seat with the thought of being the first woman to set a bicycle land speed record!” But Howard didn’t just want Denise to set the record – he suggested that she first win another national championship, which she promptly did at the Masters National Criterion Championship in September 2014.

Although much of her time is spent on training, Denise plans to get up and out again as soon as it’s over. First up: completing the Great Wall of China Marathon in Asia. “Setting goals is just part of life,” stated Denise. “Setting overarching, amazingly adrenaline-filled goals is part of my life.”

Name: Denise Mueller
Profession: CEO of Rancho Santa Fe Security Systems and Athlete
Family: Three boys ages 21, 20, and 15
Hobbies: Bike racing, shooting, car racing, off-road motorcycles
Favorite Spots in Carlsbad: Riding along 101 and watching the sun set over the ocean