Check it out

What: 2013 Pan American Continental Track Championships

When: Feb. 5-10

Where: Mexico City

More info: http://usacycling.org/2013-pan-am-continental-championships.htm

There was a time in her life when Madalyn "Maddie" Godby hated riding her bike.

In fact, when she was in middle school, she'd flat out refuse to go on bike rides with her family in Louisville. But in high school, all that changed.

This week, the 20-year-old Monarch High grad will represent the United States at the 2013 Pan American Continental Track Championships in Mexico City. You wouldn't have guessed it when she was a tween, but she's currently the fastest female sprinter in the U.S.

Her parents, Tim and Ann Godby, taught Maddie and her brother Zane that cycling is a healthy, lifelong sport.

As soon as the two kids were tall enough to hop on bikes, the family began tooling around town on local bike paths, stopping for ice cream on the way home, said Tim Godby, who's been racing for most of his life.

Once Maddie and Zane were old enough to race, their dad used cycling to teach them valuable life lessons -- take care of your body, be a gracious competitor, set a goal and work to achieve it.

"It's been a great thing," Tim Godby said of the family cycling together. "It's sort of been a focal point and it's helped create a lot of synergy amongst our family. It's been a great experience."

Like her father and brother, Maddie tried her hand at mountain bike and road racing, and even cyclocross. But she says she found her calling on the track, where her body thrives on the "short, explosive, powerful stuff," she said.

In an age of texting, Twitter and hyper-scheduled kids, the Godbys are different. They eat dinner together. They share and talk about their days. Maddie, 20, and Zane, 19, both say they actually like spending time with their parents, and riding bikes is a way to do that.

"Not very many families can do that together," Maddie Godby said. "They don't have an activity that unites them all."

The Godbys even have their own team, enCompass Racing, which they formed so they could compete in different disciplines but wear the same team kit.

When the Godbys formed the three-person enCompass team, which was unique in itself, they created another unique stipulation: Each team member must donate one bike a year to World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit focused on bike programs around the world.

Last year, enCompass funded five bikes. The year before that, nine.

"A lot of elite athletes tend to be very selfish, and I wanted them to learn that humility and that aspect that they need to be a good ambassador," Tim Godby said, adding that he never forced his kids to race or spend time with the family -- it just happened.

When she's not training, Maddie Godby is a student at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. She was on campus in the fall, but is taking classes online this spring toward her nutrition major.

Younger brother Zane, who's a senior at Monarch, said it's been incredible to watch his sister go from refusing to ride her bike with the family to being a world-class athlete. Her goal of making the U.S. Olympic team for Rio in 2016 could very well become a reality, he said.

"Now she's off racing against the world's best," Zane Godby said. "It's really cool to see her succeed at what she's put her mind to."

--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.