This is the second interview in the series of Women mountain bikers. Would like to thank Catharine for taking the time to do this, and it is greatly appreciated.
Hi Catharine, to start off could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hmm, I’m 28, have been a professional mtn. bike racer for Luna the last 2 years (before that I worked 25-40hrs/week at a variety of flexible jobs) and a national team member since 2004. I got married to my husband Keith in 2006 and we live in Kamloops, BC. I grew up in NB, but finished University in Victoria where I met both Keith and my coach since 2003 Dan Proulx in the Triathlon Club. I have a BA in sociology and Psychology and am looking to do a masters in Physiotherapy after I make a run at the 2012 Olympics.
How long have you been racing mountain bikes?
I started riding a mountain bike in 1997 and got into racing at a recreational level right away. In 2003 when I had moved to BC from NB and could train year round I got a lot more serious about racing.
What team are you currently racing for?
Luna Pro team. Luna is the women’s nutrition line of CliffBar.
You just recently won the nationals, what was it like to be first on the podium?
Also, a week before the nationals you completed and won your category in the BC Bike race. Were you worried you wouldn’t be recovered enough for nationals?
Sure, especially before I actually started racing. I kept feeling good throughout the week though so the worry faded. I think the daily massage helped!
Do you think the BC Bike race was adequate training for the World Cup races coming up?
I think it’ll give me a strong base which should help me maintain good form through the world cups until World Championships in September. Before a mountain bike race are you nervous, and get the jitters? Or are you calm and relaxed? (some people get really nervous, feel sick, and have to pee lots). I’m usually more relaxed than nervous. You have a routine you’ve done so many times you just want to get down to racing.
Do you remember your first time riding a bike by yourself without any help?
Yup, Dad was there and we were on a grassy slope in case I fell.
What was your first mountain bike? (mine was a Norco Bigfoot, pink/black)
A K2 A47 hand me down from my brother. My dad is riding it now.
Do you plan on doing other stage races in the future like the BC Bike race?
I’d love to do the BC bike race again. I don’t think I’d be overly excited to do one that was mostly fireroads.
Have you ever thought of doing Endurance races in Europe ever and maybe competing against Pia Sunstedt?
Not really. I like going fast rather than long. I think it’d be fun to try racing World cup road though.
This year you shattered the Test of Metal record for women. For this race did you change up your game plan from last year?
I hadn’t raced it for a couple years. Test times are always altered by conditions. This year was pretty fast and I think they’ve shaved about 5 minutes of time off the course from what I raced in a very rainy 2007. I didn’t Kill myself early to stay in packs with guys on the road and tried to ramp it up 2nd half of the course.
What kind of training do you do in the off season?
I love cross country skiing and switch it up between skate and classic and sometimes snowshoes. I also run and do weights to add some weight bearing activities…important for women.
What do you do in your spare time? That is if you ever get any.
I took an anatomy and physiology and French course last year. We also bought a house last year so played around with power tools a fair amount too!
For young riders, do you have any advice for them?
Have fun riding your bike! Search out cool areas to ride and neat events and always remember why you ride.
Which do you prefer, hardtail or full suspension?
Depends on the trail, but a hardtail for racing. They just feel so good when you want to put power down.
If you could thank anyone for your accomplishments, who would it be?
My coach Dan and husband Keith
Who is your number one fan?
Mom, Dad and Keith I know that’s three, but they’re all pretty great.
What should we expect to see from Catherine Pendrel in the future?
Hopefully a lot more World cup podiums and another shot at the Olympic podium
If you would like to read more about Catharine here is her blog address.