Nikki Shoemaker – August Rider of the Month

The below article was composed over a month ago, prior to the terrible fires raging in California, including in Santa Cruz where Nikki lives. Their property is currently safe and in addition to housing numerous evacuees and animals, her husband has been volunteering at the local Moose Lodge, cooking for the firefighters. Nikki feels very fortunate to have access to her ElliptiGO Fluid trainer so she can continue to ride when the air quality is too poor to ride outside.

It’s not only that I can do it, but I can push myself in ways I never imagined,” says Nikki Shoemaker of Santa Cruz, California. ”I have not thought of myself as an “athlete” in many years…”  Still, there she is, pushing further, higher, and harder than most. The ElliptiGO often surprises its riders – come along to find out what it has done for Nikki!


Nikki grew up in Santa Monica, California with some time in Boise, Idaho before high school in Carlsbad, CA. For the past 32 years, Santa Cruz, California has been her home.

A high school track star, she held the Carlsbad High School record in the 880-yard dash for four years. She ran the 880, 440, and the mile relay before moving on to Humboldt State University where she was on the women’s soccer team. Always remaining a runner, she used it as her meditation and liked to casually run 10K’s on the weekends.

Referring to herself as “athletic, but never hardcore,” we think she sort of was, with avid downhill skiing added to her list of hobbies. Along with running the Big Sur Half Marathon once with her son, just before he enlisted in the US Coast Guard.

Here is Nikki’s story –

In 2010 I was in a car accident. Without all of the details…I had two neck surgeries. The first one was a failure, the second one helped. 

I spent a lot of years trying to heal, reimagining what my life would look like… Chronic pain, depression… I was told I should never run again. Or do much in the way of impact at all.

And then something happened. I was swimming laps in our local pool, wearing my over-the-head snorkel because I couldn’t turn my neck when I saw the lady next to me swimming with the same gizmo. ”Neck surgery?,” I said. ”Yeah, she answered.” When she got out of the pool, I was surprised to watch her jump on an ElliptiGO bike and ride off. Asking her about it the next time I saw her, she told me all about the benefits of the bike. I wasn’t brave enough for it yet… It took me two more years before I test rode one and the rest is history.

I got my first ElliptiGO in 2016, just casually rode it once in a while, until I discovered the GERC club (Global ElliptiGO Riders Club), and found my motivation.

Life-changes with the ElliptiGO

I can’t imagine not having an ElliptiGO bike now, and not getting to ride. It has kind of become one of my appendages, and it’s one of my biggest sources of joy. I have gained so much more confidence in my balance, strength, and overall health. I know I’m so much more positive to be around.

Nikki’s ElliptiGO steeds

There is the 11R, the 8C, and an MSUB.

I started with an 11R after reading all the posts and recommendations from the Facebook group. I knew I’d be happiest to just get the right one first. Primarily, I now ride my 11R every single day. Since April, riding a minimum of 20 miles a day.

The biggest problem with that is that it is so darned addicting. If I haven’t gotten out on a ride, I’m thinking of how I can squeeze it in. Thank goodness my husband is so supportive. 

I confess, some days I go for a second ride too. I am lucky to live in a gorgeous place. When the sun is shining, I just want to GO!

For my daughter, I found an 8C. Then as a splurge, I got myself the MSUB. Well, that one is just too much fun! I always feel like a little kid on my MSUB, taking it on dirt trails up at Wilder Ranch, and also some climbing in Nisene Marks State Park. Oh, the places we can GO!

So, was there an ElliptiGO “surprise”?

I think I have discovered a secret. All those years I was taught, “no pain no gain”. Whew…so glad I’ve learned how to redefine myself, change my story, and have so much fun in the process! You really can get fit, and not have all the injuries, and keep on improving your stamina and health, without sacrificing other things.

Life changes

I’m very happy to have made my health my number one focus for this past year. I don’t talk about it a lot, but my close friends know. I’ve got my secret trifecta working like a charm.

For over a year now, I have lost a considerable amount of weight. I attribute it to three things; my ElliptiGO riding, my Vegan diet, and Intermittent Fasting. Usually not outspoken, I don’t talk about this to anyone unless asked.

Quality of life has tremendously improved since I’ve combined those three things into my life. Having our ElliptiGO Facebook group and the Global ElliptiGO Riders Club (GERC) has been an added bonus. Kind of a game-changer too, since it has made it so easy to feel part of a club, and really, the only person you’re competing against is yourself.

Getting older

Getting older (Nikki turned a spring chicken age of 59 in June.), I appreciate my body and what it allows me to do that much more. I love sharing with anyone and everyone, what an amazing machine the ElliptiGO bike is!

For anyone told their active days are over, it’s a game-changer. There is nothing like it. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with it, you’ll be so happy you can ride pain-free, build your cardio, and have so much fun!

Next up for Nikki

My number one goal is to just get stronger and stronger. The less weight I carry on my body, the easier it is to do some rides that I couldn’t do very well before. I really like climbing, so I’m always trying to find a new climb that is within my reach.

Getting braver this last month I have started venturing out on rides where I know the “bicyclists” go.  It’s pretty satisfying to pass them occasionally on the hills! My goals are baby steps. I just want to keep GOing!  Getting healthier, and most of all, I want to keep having FUN!

ElliptiGO will be coming along for the ride with you Nikki, preparing for the unexpected, and having fun as always!

Donner Pass Elinor YeeContributed by Elinor Yee – A rider considering herself lucky for each day on her ElliptiGO, drawing inspiration from fellow riders conquering obstacles big & small. 

Want to inspire Elinor? Contact ElliptiGO with nominations to Rider of the Month or share your own story. It may just be the next feature!


2 Responses

  1. Kathi karen says:

    You are a tremendous inspiration ! Great story!

  2. Katie Blau says:

    Way to GO! Inspiring!

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