Pamela Ocampo is a San Francisco based cyclist, adventurer, software engineer, and friend of ILE. She’s also a core member of Eclipse Racing, a Bay Area bike racing team focused on bringing women, trans, femme, and non-binary cyclists into the sport. We caught up with Pamela at the Oakland Grand Prix a couple weeks ago to see her compete, learn more about her journey, and check out her Eclipse team edition Race Day Bag in action. Check out our interview below:
Pamela, tell us a bit about yourself, what you do for a living, and your interests outside of work.
I’m originally from the Bronx but grew up in North Carolina. I studied Computer Science and moved to San Francisco for work a decade ago. I’ve built applications for several companies and industries since then. Over the past 6 years I've been happily building and maintaining tools for doctors and clinicians at One Medical.
My hobbies and interests usually tie back to cycling in one way or another given the communities that revolve around them. Coffee outside, bikepacking, road racing, photo-pace rides? I'm there!
Is there an experience that initially sparked your passion for cycling?
My first riding experience was on the cheapest Walmart bike my mom could afford when I was little. It was a glossy purple rigid mountain bike that I rode around the neighborhood with other kids my age.
Beyond that, bikes were out of the picture until I went to college. My engineering classes were off campus and I wanted to break free from the campus shuttle system. At the time, the DIY fixie trend was growing, and I ended up building my own fixie from an old frame I found on Craigslist and eBay parts. It was fun and got me hooked on the sport and the gear :)
Commuting to class showed me I could go farther and explore more off campus, but those adventures were limited to finding alternative places to study and get schoolwork done. Life in North Carolina still very much revolves around owning a car.
Tell us more about your journey to get to this point. How did you come to be a part of Eclipse Racing?
I left my car behind when I moved and shipped the parts from my Craigslist bike to San Francisco to put on a Mission Bicycle frame. This became my primary mode of transportation between 2013 and 2019 until I got my first fancy carbon road bike with gears. I began venturing out of my usual flat routes in the Mission, Financial District, and SoMa and started riding with cycling groups, primarily Fatcake Club. This gave me a new lens on San Francisco and the cycling community felt welcoming and fun.
At the end of 2019 I joined a recruitment ride to learn more about Eclipse Racing (formerly known as SheSpoke), and in 2020 I raced my first handful of races before, as everyone knows, what happened to plans after March 2020. Fatcake Club and Eclipse grounded me during the tough parts of the pandemic. Seeing friends and having a routine in morning group rides got me out of the house every day and this gave me some normalcy during times when things were very not normal.
I'm still racing with Eclipse today and even landing on some podiums this year after a couple of years of learning how to read and react in criteriums around Nor Cal.
What ILE pieces are you carrying? How do they complement your daily life?
ILE made custom Race Day Bags for the Eclipse team a couple of years ago and I love it so much that it's also my go-to weekender and commute bag. The bag has seen its fair share of criteriums, road races, and trips down to the Hellyer Velodrome. I appreciate how neatly organized I can keep my racing gear, camera equipment, and snacks, and be able to fully unzip the main compartment to take stock of what's inside and grab exactly what I need.
Photography by Vicken Donikian
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