Lindsey Jean Bishop is relatively new to Colorado cycling but in such a short time has really made an impact. Unlike other folks interviewed on 303cycling.com Lindsey is primarily a rider of the dirt and not asphalt and she is a women explaining her story from a women's view point. She also doesn't come from the 303 cycling bubble but resides in Colorado Springs.
Photo by Rob O'Dea
[303Cycling] Explain a little about yourself, where you were raised, what got you into cycling,
college, degree and current job.
[Lindsey] I grew up in northwest NJ and always enjoyed the outdoors. In high school I loved competing in sports, especially track and soccer. I got an academic scholarship to Syracuse University where I studied Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Inclusive Elementary Education. In hindsight, I worked a little too hard and graduated as the co-valedictorian of my college. My dorking-out also caused me to get out of shape and I began to miss feeling like an athlete. The summer before my senior year, in 2005, I did a mountain bike race and was invited to join Team Bulldog, a team out of northwest NJ. I decided mountain bikers were cool people and started doing more races. That summer I met Alison Dunlap at my first NORBA (Snowshoe, WV) and she encouraged me to start riding bikes more. I reinstated a Cycling Club at Syracuse University and began racing collegiate with the ECCC.
The following year Syracuse offered to fund my Master’s degree in Literacy. It made riding and racing very difficult. The many early-morning/late-night trainer sessions paid off when I won my Expert category XC National MTB Championship last June (2007). Two months later I finished my MS program in Literacy and moved out to Colorado Springs to focus more on becoming a bike racer. I was lucky to receive a gorgeous Cyclocross bike from Felt last fall, enabling me to start racing ‘cross and I fell in love with it!
I’ve been living out here in Colorado for over a year now and I’m working as a live-in nanny and a tutor. I just finished my first professional mountain bike season with Mafia Racing where I learned a lot! I also became more experienced with road racing and learned how to train with a power meter. Next summer I’ll be dividing my focus more evenly between mountain bike and road racing. I’m excited to be racing with Mafia Racing for mountain bike and Colorado Bike Law on the road!
[303Cycling] What do you see are the advantages to training in CO springs?
[Lindsey] I moved here from the northeast, so I was primarily attracted to the dry, temperate climate and the mountains. Pikes Peak and the surrounding foothills makes for incredible mountain biking, all within riding distance of downtown. The Velodrome is another great resource, which I’m looking forward to becoming more familiar with next year. The presence of USA Cycling, our Olympic training center and legends like Alison Dunlap also makes this town pretty special.
[303Cycling] What you would say/or do to encourage more women to take up competitive cycling?
[Lindsey] It makes a massive difference when more experienced female racers are supportive and nurturing to novice women. I remember how ecstatic I was when Alison Dunlap sat down to talk with me at my first NORBA in 2005. It was my first summer of racing and her encouragement absolutely meant the world to me. Most of us aren’t World Champions, but we can still have a profoundly positive influence on the growth of women’s cycling by being kind and giving guidance to the novices among us. Thank you to the road racers who provided me with guidance during the road races I tried this past summer!!
Photo by Kris Thompson
[303Cycling] What are the barriers for women in cycling?
[Lindsey] Prize money isn’t equal, there aren’t as many events for women and the events are shorter than men’s. Also, there aren’t many resources available to help support female racers; for example, there are very few teams with sponsored positions for women.
[303Cycling] Would you say your mountain biking background puts you at an advantage over other
"roadie" girls in CX?
[Lindsey] No, the “roadie” girls are definitely solid bike handlers too. Plus they are really strong racers! My east coast mountain bike experience definitely helps me out when it’s muddy or icy though. I tend to race well in super sketchy conditions and in bad weather. It makes me feel like a little kid.
[303Cycling] What are the cycling cultural differences between the womens MTB crowd and CX?
[Lindsey] CX is great because it brings mountain bike and road racers together. The only cultural difference I’ve noticed is that CX racing in general is more laid back than both road and mountain bike. It’s basically off-season for all of us. So although we all race our hardest when the gun goes off, the vast majority of CX’ers seem to embrace the simple joys of “more cowbell”, laughing at ourselves during CX racing mishaps, and taking time to appreciate Mafia Racing’s generous partnership with PBR (inside the beer gardens, of course). I love my team.
[303Cycling] What are your long term goals with cycling? Quit your job do it full time?
[Lindsey] I would like to make racing into a reasonably sustainable career for as long as I can. I’d also like to race internationally.
Anything else you want to add is fine.
If I could be a professional cruiser-bike rider, I would definitely go that route too.
And in case you are wondering, she is not related to Jeremy Bishop!
Thanks Lindsey for the interview!