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In Focus

Sonoma County resident and former professional cyclist, Odessa Gunn, has two constants in her life: “I will always ride a bike, and I will always be an advocate for animals,” she says. After living in Europe with former husband and cyclist, Levi Leipheimer, Gunn’s pursuits remain focused on volunteering, rescuing and raising awareness for animals through her many organizations. “My mission is to save as many animals as possible while I’m on this planet,” she says. Gunn’s currently vice president of the BOB for the Forget Me Not Farm, where she’s volunteered for more than nine years. She’s also a volunteer for Compassion Without Borders and is currently working with Animal Hope and Wellness to rescue dogs from the dog meat industry in Asia—one of which lives with her today.

Her new business venture, Odessa’s Essential Health for Pets, is a CBD hemp oil for dogs—effective in treating anxiety, inflammation and inappetance (not eating) in pets. It’s also known to build bone density and prevent seizures in dogs. “I use it myself for sleep and recovery,” she says. “Since I have eight dogs, three cats, three goats, one pig, six chickens and one duck, I can use all the rest I can get!” 

What does Gunn do for health and fitness these days? “I ride a few days a week in Sonoma County. I also lift weights three times a week and hike with my dogs every day,” she says. “Once a bike rider, always a bike rider. I love bikes and the people who ride them. My favorite ride is Willow Creek. It’s a dirt road which climbs from Highway 1 near Jenner, up into Occidental—one of the cutest towns in west county.” Her other favorite spot to ride? “Sweetwater. It climbs up from West Side Road near Healdsburg and drops you into the ancient redwoods near Guernville.  My all-time favorite rides is at night with a light to one of our many amazing craft breweries where I always order the hoppiest beer and a taco.”

For information on Odessa’s CBD oils, go to 



Odessa's Journey


Growing up on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, Odessa Gunn began racing bikes when she moved to Ottawa, Ontario after graduating college. Dropping everything, she pursued a career in bike racing, quickly making it to the Canadian National Development team. Gunn moved to the U.S. so she could train year-round.  She joined a professional team called Timex—which became one of the best women’s teams in the world. Gunn eventually retired and married professional cyclist, Levi Leipheimer. The two moved to Europe where he raced 10 tours de France. Nine years ago, the couple started a Gran Fondo in Sonoma County known as Levi’s Gran Fondo, which raised more than $2 million for at-risk youth. After their divorce a year ago, Gunn continues her work in the event. 





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