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How I Roll: Siren / World Bicycle Relief Rider Lynda Wallenfels

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bikerumor.com interview how i roll with lynda wallenfels mountain bike rider racer coach 24 hour solo endurance athlete

This “How I Roll” interview was conducted by Heidi Volpe, the mountain bike blogger for Outside Magazine’s Blog, with Lynda Wallenfels…mom, rider, coach and 24 hour solo rider / Ironman competitor. Ever wonder what it’s like to do all that? Well, here’s how Lynda rolls…

HEIDI: What team are you riding for right now?

LYNDA: I just signed up with the Siren/World Bicycle Relief I am going to be raising awareness for WBR in addition to racing my butt off on a sweet custom Siren bike!

HEIDI: Wow. A coach, a rider, a racer AND a Mom? Are you superwoman? Some of think so. After OP now we know so. How do you do it?

LYNDA: I love coaching and riding and racing and mommying. It all seems to flow together. I don’t feel like superwoman. I feel spoiled sometimes to be doing so much of what I love. 

HEIDI: You raced gears forever now you are a SS, how did it feel to chic DJ birch?

LYNDA: It was a surprise. I didn’t know until after the race he was 1st and he stopped a lap before I did. I didn’t have a pit crew at OP so had no feedback on placing throughout the event. I think it is quite funny cause I know Deejay is super strong. All the guys raced themselves into the ground in the first 12 hours at OP this year and I toodled on by the entire men’s field by dawn doing my own thing. I wasn’t paying any attention to the guys. Rebecca Tomawicki had all of my attention for the first 18 hours.


HEIDI: Seems like you are a trail blazer, wasn’t Rebecca Rush the only woman solo to ever beat the men on gears at Nats in Spokane?

LYNDA: Hmmm – I don’t think she did that at Natz. Wasn’t it some other 24?

HEIDI: Do you think there should be a solo SS category and it not be gender specific?

LYNDA: It is awesome to have an SS ladies field. Those are actually pretty rare but becoming less so.

HEIDI: Have you ever raced against the athletes you train?

LYNDA: Yes, both male and female.

HEIDI: How does that play out?

LYNDA: Before I start working with an athlete whom I may compete against we talk about that scenario and if everybody is not comfortable with it then I help them find a coach who is a great fit for them. I learn a lot from racing and it makes me a better coach in so many ways. There is no better way to see what your athletes strengths and weaknesses are by racing against them.


HEIDI: What is the male / female ratio of your athletes?

LYNDA: 50/50

HEIDI: Do you like boys better than girls or vice versa?

LYNDA: I like motivated athletes who nail the plans I design for them.

HEIDI: Who is more fragile?

LYNDA: Tired people. Over-trained people.

HEIDI: Which is harder to you the ironman or solo 24?

LYNDA: Solo 24 fer sure. Every lap you pass your pit and have to remake the decision to continue on. After 18 hours it can be a weighty one. Your average IM is won in a mere 8-9 hours. That’s like a third of a solo 24…


HEIDI: Describe a typical day for you. Dawn till Dusk.

LYNDA: Wake up with Wesley jumping on my head, drag Emma out of bed and coax her awake, brush teeth, make breakfast, do dishes, make school lunches, scooter to school with kinders, work on coaching stuff, ride, more coaching, scooter back to school to get kinders, homework, dinner, maybe more coachy stuff or evening kinder stuff, shower, read stories, bed.

HEIDI: Did you ride when you were pregnant?

LYNDA: Oh yeah. Belly a swinging.

HEIDI: Did you see a benefit or come back stronger after giving birth?

LYNDA: I didn’t plan to comeback after giving birth. I was sucked back into racing uncontrollably. Giving birth is nothing like racing. It’s such a hard thing it’s mind blowing all kinds of women do it every day and then do it again. Even a 24 solo is no match for the place you go during childbirth. Yah it makes you tougher.


HEIDI: How many hrs to you spend training a week?

LYNDA: 0 – 30

HEIDI: What race did you learn the most about yourself?

LYNDA: Oh I have been taught many lessons at many races. The bad races are where I learn the most. Payson 24 last year was particularly horrible for me and I learned a lot there. I had a power meter, heart rate monitor and gps on my bike there so I had mucho data to back up everything I was learning.

HEIDI: What are some of the funniest comments you’ve heard when passing guys ( or gals?) in a race?

LYNDA: “Dude, that was a chick!”

HEIDI: Whats the highest reading on your power meter?

LYNDA: 656w. For real’s – that’s my all time ever high recorded. Impressive huh?

HEIDI: Have you ever lost it in a race?

LYNDA: LOL, Oh yes! Those moments are technically known as “Brown-Outs”. I had two of them during stage 2 of Trans Rockies in 2008. We were racing single speeds in an open mixed geared category. Tears and sobbing were involved…

HEIDI: Lynda, thanks for the interview and good luck this year!

Editor’s Note: Lynda’s coaching site is LWCoaching.com


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