Coryn Rivera is the fastest bike racer you’ve never heard of. She rides for Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12 and during her years in the junior ranks, she won thirty-two national titles racing road, track, and cyclocross. Rivera won her first bike race at age 11 and had her first personal sponsor, Oakley, at age 13. Last season, in her final appearance at junior nationals, she won both the road race and the time trial. She also took home two bronze medals from the junior World Championships.
This year marks Rivera’s first season in cycling’s senior ranks. The transition has not gone entirely smoothly, thanks to an early season crash at the Tour of Qatar. The crash required a lengthy recovery period, and only recently has Rivera felt her form return. Currently, Rivera is racing the Nature Valley Grand Prix with her Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12 team. Then, she heads to the U.S. National Championship races, where she should be among the favorites for an U23 title. Looking further down the road, Rivera is among the U.S. riders with a shot at racing the London Olympics, though the 2012 games may come too quickly for the eighteen year old.
Last week, I had a chance to chat with Rivera. Here’s your chance to learn what it’s like to be eighteen and really fast on a bicycle. We also talked about her first season in the senior ranks and how it has not totally gone according to plan, and we looked ahead at Rivera’s plans for the future. After this, you will know Rivera’s name. You might even want to write it down. Coryn Rivera: File under, Fast Girls."
Gavia interviews USA star Coryn Rivera!
Only a few people knew Batman’s real identity. He dressed in normal clothes, had a mostly normal life and job but lived as two people. He put on his super-suit and fought crime then went about his business. People knew that the villains were vanquished but didn’t know by whom. The streets of Gotham were being cleaned up and that’s what mattered.
This is what being a Para-cyclist is like. People have some sense that you exist but don’t really know what you do or how you do it. Something happens - it must - and races are won overseas but more detail than that is unknown and somewhat unnecessary. We live double lives as Para-cyclists and your average rider at local races - we’re just missing parts or some are defective and can’t be warranted.
We train and race as hard as any other elite cyclist but without the recognition. We travel around the world fighting our competition and come home, quietly victorious.
Medals from Nationals and World Championships are kept in a basket and yellow jerseys are in a bag on the top shelf of a bookcase, out of the way, not displayed for people to see. They’re proof of an alter-ego. Proof of the double life but a life I choose to live. Choices are not sacrifices because they are done willingly. Being a Para-cyclist isn’t going to get me on billboards or cereal boxes and I know that. It’s okay.
Most of us don’t race the able-bodied circuit for the recognition. Rather, we race because we love to race, it’s great training and, most of all, it’s fun. This is our day job (for some). Sure, in a pack a fake arm or leg - or riding with only one leg-is going to stand out and those are the things that people remember. It’s amazing how many people know me simply as “that blonde girl with one arm” at races. I come quietly, race my race and go on my way."
I really like this blog from Greta Neimanas, who rides for Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY12 and is also an international para-cycling superstar. This is a long quote, but there’s much more if you follow the link.
Great race report and photos from Lyne at Podium Insight - and post-race quotes - this one is for ITT winner Kristin Armstrong
As our team raced through Redlands, learning and growing as a team, we are more excited about the rest of the year. We are a family. We are cohesive.
We are a true team. What makes a successful team?
Laughter. Laughter would fill the house as we cooked team dinners together, enjoying the creations of our teammates. It turns out excellent meals can be served when combining an expertise chef with a developmental “assistant” with a knack for organization. Bike racing is serious business, but there is a life beyond it as well. There is a balance to find."
Much more about what makes a successful team on her blog…
Who like peanut butter?
A hundred hands immediately started waving in the air. I realized I was getting nervous.
Who likes bikes? More hands.
I went on a school visit today to the Redland’s Montessori school. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as I walked into a room with 100 children from the ages of first grade to sixth grade. They anxiously awaited a presentation from a couple of the PB&CO2012 riders. Is bike racing cool? What can I share with these kids? My passion? My excitement? My safety? My health? As soon as we started, the conversation started rolling as the kids peppered me with questions."
Aw! If you read this, it’ll give you all kinds of Qs the kids asked Starnes - and the answers she gave! Very sweet!
Redlands Bicycle Classic starts tomorrow in the USA.
Indeed! It’s just mad the women’s teams are stuck in between this argument between the men’s pro teams & the UCI - and no one seems to be considering them
So since the UCI banned race radios in domestic races last year, teams like Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 got rid of their radios. Then a few weeks ago, USA Cycling decided to allow radios again - so PB2012’s DS Nicola Cranmer went and bought some more. Then USA Cycling had an about-face, and banned them again….. And it’s not like women’s teams have a lot of money to throw away like that. It must be bloody awful, being stuck in the middle of this political nonsense…
Founder/Director of Peanut Butter & co TWENTY12… yeah, there’s an interesting point about the radio ban and how the women have been riding with it already…