CCNS athlete Lisa Lochner is a great example of how being willing to try something new can work out great! She's also a perfect case example of why cyclocross is so popular these days. We sat down with her as she is halfway through her furst full season of 'cross.
CCNS - Lisa, what was your outlook on the CX season before it started? You had raced CX previously right?
Lisa - My outlook on cross in August: I had done two cross races before because many of my friends were out doing cross, and I wanted to try it. That said, I would say I was feeling somewhat skeptical about this cross going into it. After racing on the road this summer, I was used to working hard at mastering pack riding, handling and speed. Cross is pretty technical, and I am a wimpy mountain biker, so I was worried about my ability to master the tight corners, mounting and dismounting and handling my bike over roots and such.
CCNS - What did you do to prepare for the CX season and the race?
Lisa - On my own, I didn't really do anything particularly special to prep for cross as I was coming out of road season. I did attend the 2-day CCNS cross camp, which was super helpful in terms of improving my confidence about mounting and dismounting, and handling the more technical sectional. Hunter was an awesome cross coach at camp!
CCNS - So have you been having fun at the races so far?
Lisa - My first cross race (Newtown CX) was harder than I expected. It was hilly and hot, and being redlined for an hour was more exhausting than I expected. The last two races have gone much better. Belltown was fun start to finish. I think each race, I am getting more comfortable and better at handling my bike, navigating obstacles, as well as mounting and dismounting. I find cross to be a nice combination of a playful ride and an intense workout. I also really love the relaxed atmosphere at the races. Everyone is super-friendly and supportive. Each race, I meet more awesome riders, which is always fun.
CCNS - What is your advice for women who are thinking about giving CX a try?
Lisa - I would tell people to give it a try and to focus on improving one aspect of your riding each race. Cross racers tend to be really supportive, silly, and friendly. I would also say try to enjoy playing on your bike, and enjoy the crowds of people cheering for you. Also, be ready to meet a bunch of new friends! Lastly, I would tell people that it might take a bunch of races before you feel comfortable, but you do get better each time you get out there, and you will have a ton of people supporting you as you learn.
CCNS - So true. We couldn't have said it better ourselves. What are your immediate goals for this season?
Lisa - My goal this season is to improve my bike handling, improve my capacity to sprint, improve my "cross starts," and to stay in good shape. I am not going into races with a goal to win. I more want to focus on improving my skills, staying fit and having fun.
Thank you Lisa. It's been great to see you have so much fun out there. We are looking forward to seeing you race at Brodie CX and Cheshire Cross!