Naked Women's Racing Blog

Race reports, training tips, and our ladies' lives on two wheels.

The Long-Awaited Cat 4 Interview

Megan D did an informal interview with all the hard-working Cat 4 ladies from the TriBella team this year. Below is her Q&A and I have attached childhood pictures of all the ladies, to add to the fun! Congrats to all on 2nd Place in the Rocky Mountain Road Cup!

Names: Amanda Bye, Amanda Cyr, Megan DiBiase, Sharon Madison, Barb Parnell, Anna Suter

Hometown: AB: Military brat; AC: Miami, FL; MD: Palos Verdes, CA; SM: Steinauer, NE; BP: Laramie, Wyoming; AS: Littleton, Colorado

  1. What were your childhood hobbies?

AB: Climbing trees and staying active

AC: kicking butt and taking names (classical guitar, French horn, and other non-active things)

MD: Soccer, Reading, Babysitting

SM: Mowing, detasselling corn, gardening and playing the piano, organ and flute.

BP: Riding my bike to all the ends of my hometown Laramie, ballet, and reading to my stuffed animals.

AS: I was all over the place when I was a kid. I did gymnastics, soccer, track and field, dance and horse vaulting

  1. How did you decide you wanted to start bike racing?

AB: I watched a friend race in City Park Crit and his wife said that she thought I would be good at it, this first piqued my interest.

AC: a bottle(s) of wine and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy

MD: My boyfriend bike raced and encouraged me to give it a try. I was a runner, then a triathlete, and then decided I would try the challenge of bike racing. It was very intimidating to start!

SM: I never decided.  Amanda Cyr made me.

BP: I had a road bike for several years prior to racing and had done several bike events (Ragbrai, MS150, Elephant Rock, etc.).  Thought I’d challenge myself more.

AS: I was in between sports and my best friend at the time invited me to watch a race so I went and decided that I wanted to try it.

  1. What is the best part about being on a team?

AB: The support of other women cyclists. The stronger riders push me to try harder and everyone is so nice.

AC: matching chamois

MD: The team is a constant support system. The team is a motivation to get out of bed and train, to race, to work for others. The team has been a big motivation for me to reach my goals and to get out there as well as be proud of the other girls, and do good things for each other and the community.

SM: Meeting new people and making new friends.

BP: How does that saying go, misery loves company??  No, it’s really not that bad…ha!  I love the encouragement and support the team provides.  It’s so much easier to line up for the race when you know one of your buddies on the team is getting up at 0’dark thirty making the same trek to the race as you.  In the case of our team, the laughter and good times make it lots of fun.   You also learn a lot from your teammates, with respect to racing technique, mental attitude, training, and nutrition.

AS: Everything!!! I really like that everyone is there to help you.

  1. What has been the hardest part about bike racing?

AB: Not hitting a deer. No, really, I almost hit three in different races over this season. I think the Colorado deer are out to get me. The other hard part of racing is not getting too down on yourself. I have always had to work hard to be good at activities but this is the most effort I have placed into a single sport and I still do not do as well as I would like. Sometimes I feel defeated and it is hard to keep going but these days do not outweigh the fun of racing and being with friends.

AC: bike food

MD: I think it was the intimidation factor (and still is). You find out by doing it though that you are in this together with other girls, you forge bonds based on your experiences and you accomplish things you would never have dreamed of.

SM: Nerves before a race.

BP: There are two things that stand out as being the most difficult for me: (1) Time for training and racing – I’m a single mother, with a full-time job, as well as an additional part-time job. I struggle with training consistently and not letting work interfere with planned workouts.  (2) Mental Attitude – It’s difficult not to compare yourself to others and as a result get in a negative mindset about your own abilities or whether you have what it takes.  I struggle with shutting that negative self-talk down and with moving into the pain cave in training and racing, in order to push myself even if it is for ten seconds longer.

AS: For me the hardest part of racing is recovering. I always want to go all out whenever I’m on the bike.

  1. What was your favorite thing about bike racing this year?

AB: Racing along other supportive women and the small improvements. Also laughing at every race with my twin and other racers

AC: making amazing friends (free beer)

MD: This year I conquered a lot of fears, and really pushed my limit in races. I set goals I wasn’t sure I could quite reach, like a podium, or upgrade, or top 3 in RMRC cup, and I actually reached them. I think it was about not giving up. Having those goals and having a team to work for made it all worthwhile.

SM: Going above and beyond my expectations.  I was only going to do 5 races this year and I did 22. Being on the podium and having great teammates who worked for me to get me there.

BP: It was being a part of my team, sharing our goals together, and supporting one another.

AS: Well when I wasn’t recovering from mono and strep. My favorite thing was being on the bike and racing it for the small amount of time I had.

  1. What inspired you the most this year?

AB: Seeing how hard other people worked, even when they were tired. There were times when I wanted to give up but other people kept pushing and that made me want to try harder. The ladies on Naked Women’s Racing Team all have personal stories of both triumph and perceived failures; their love for racing despite the hard times is what was so inspirational for me. Team rides will allow you to hear such stories and be amazed by what these ladies have endured

AC: Sharon Madison

MD: I am forever inspired but the women of all ages that bike race. We had girls from 15-50 on the team this year and they were all amazing.

SM: The CAT 4’s working together at every race. Love those ladies.

BP: I was inspired by all my teammates’ accomplishments over the season. Each and every one of them provides me with something to aspire to.  In particular, all my buddies on the Cat 4 team always gave me more to think about in terms of the examples they were setting.

AS: Knowing that once I get rid of the mono I can finally start to ride again. As well as having an awesome team standing behind me even if I was sick and couldn’t race

  1. Any tips for newbies getting into the sport?

AB: Team rides, ride your bike often, go to races (even when scared), face your demons and join a team that fits for your personal goals.

AC: jump in head first and enjoy every second it

MD: Do group rides as much as possible. You will always improve by riding with others. Join a team if possible; it’s a great support system and social network. Work on things you are bad at (gulp!).

SM: Believe in yourself.  I didn’t last year and that’s what held me back from being a great racer.

BP: Set goals, it will give you something more specific to work on.  Be good to yourself and watch that negative self-talk, embrace the support you’ll find in a team, ask questions, and above all else have fun!

AS: Have fun. If you’re not having fun, don’t do it. Race the races you want to do, be nice to people, try not to crash people out.

  1. What are your goals or accomplishments that keep you motivated in the sport?

AB: To meet new people, help other ladies to start racing, to get stronger as a woman cyclist and to help my team as much as possible. Something I learned this year is that helping other teammates win is such a rewarding part of cycling.

AC: I just want to be a great teammate and help my buddies achieve their goals… everything after that is just icing on the gluten free, sugar free, low calorie, vegan, organic cake.

MD: Next year I want to increase my training hours, do more stage races, cut weight and improve climbing, and work consistently for and with teammates in races.

SM: My Goals are to keep getting stronger and be able to comfortably race with the Cat 3’s and Pro 1/2’s.

BP: I’m motivated by my own curiosity I have about just how much I can accomplish.  I love progressing towards goals and forward momentum in all aspects of my life.  This coming season, I want to train more consistently, continue to work on my nutrition (and perhaps be able to eat with my “other” hand while on the bike this year), and do much more climbing, while smiling (added that one in for good measure and I know it’s possible because Rachel and Mama Madison do it).

AS: My goal is going to the Olympics for track cycling.


Our ring leader, Sharon Madison, get’s her own *special* blog post-interpreted by Sexy Beast (AKA Amanda Cyr)

Name: Sharon Winner Madison

Hometown: Nowhere, Nebraska

Photo: there were no cameras when I was a small child

  1. What were your childhood hobbies? lunges, squats, and running kitties back to their homes
  2. How did you decide you wanted to start bike racing? I haven’t yet
  3. What is the best part about being on a team? I get to tell people what to do
  4. What has been the hardest part about bike racing? Matching my nail polish to my kit
  5. What was your favorite thing about bike racing this year? Telling the Amandas what to do
  6. What inspired you the most this year?  Pictures of me on the podium week after week after week after week after week after week
  7. Any tips for newbies getting into the sport?  Listen to everything I say
  8. What are your goals or accomplishments that keep you motivated in the sport?  To be the fastest old lady on 2 wheels