George rides with the devo team with Roaring Fork Cycling — for him it’s all about meeting friends and going riding. Ella is doing an outdoor leadership course through CRMS, so she’s been going to lectures on crisis management in the backcountry and wilderness first aid. She’s more of a hiker, and totally into it. Owen is seven years younger, but he always wants to keep up. He likes to trash talk and say, ‘I’m the best mountain biker in the family.’ And he probably is.
So typically, it’s about eating enough food and getting my kids to eat enough food. And do whatever big ride or activity.
This season I had a couple of good early season races, and then I got a back injury, so I had to have back surgery. It’s been really hard to miss it. But to bike at that level as a 40-year-old you have to have everything perfect. And this year my back did not hold up.
How do you do it when you’re not injured? How do you maintain family life while training and traveling as a pro mountain biker?
Honestly, I have a lot of help from my husband, and I’m fortunate my kids support me, too. I don’t think it’d be possible if my husband liked to ride as much as the rest of us, and he usually has to stay close to home for calls anyway. The older kids are at the age that they can help with Owen. It’s a lot of organizing and prioritizing, so I prioritize my family, then I prioritize my cycling, and that’s what works. I’m really lucky to have them to cheer me on, and vice versa.
In terms of biking, it’s not like every ride is hard core. You’d be amazed the conversations you can have on a bike with friends and family. Going on a four-hour ride with George is incredible; he’s hands-down my favorite riding companion.
Training is seven days a week, but there are recovery days built in, to let your muscles adapt to training, and that’s all done through sleep and eating well and recovery days. But that’s what’s been hard for me; as a mom you don’t really put your feet up.
Is your family looking forward to winter?
Absolutely, we’re all looking forward to skiing, hands down. George is really into ski mountaineering — last year he did the Power of Two and won, at age 15 — it was really cool to see them beat every other team. This year I think they want to do the Power of Four, and they might be aiming for top 10. He will also do Nordic skiing with the high school.
Owen is really looking forward to AVSC — he’s going to do a big mountain program. This is going to be his first year in a program; he’s always skied with us. Ella will be busy applying to colleges. And I’ll be focused on not hurting myself skiing.