Monday, August 3, 2009

29 questions with Kate Aardal

Hello Kate, I am not going to lie to you, but I don’t know a thing about you. But I do appreciate you doing this interview for me, and it really helps. Could you tell us a little about yourself? Like where do you live? Where are you from? Who do you race for? Etc.

Hey Patrick, no worries. I originally from Norway but came over seas a while back for travel and to learn the language, and haven’t turned back, besides visits to see my family. I’m now living in Fort McMurray, and that is also where it all began! My bike addiction that is. I’m a member of Hardcore which is in Edmonton.

1. What got you into to mountain biking?

When I came to Fort McMurray on my first work term during university I ended up working a shift schedule, it was very hard to play soccer at a committed level which was my sport growing up. So I had to find something I could do on my own. I started looking at bikes and that was in 2001. I got a Giant ATC, it was red and yellow.

Kate at the 'Perogy race '08

2. How long have you been racing?

My first race I think was a 24 hour race in Canmore on a team from Fort McMurray in 2002. I was hooked on the endurance biking pretty quick so jumped on the Canadian Death ride that year too.

3. Do you just race mountain bikes, or do you enjoy other sports as well?

These das mountain biking is the only thing I do at a competitive level.

4. What races have you done this year?

This year I’ve done a couple of Canada Cups and couple of one day endure (Salty Dog and Stony Plain), and AB cup (Stony Plain). I did BC bike race with Steve Martin from Hardcore, and I just finished Intermontane yesterday, though yesterday I was one of many who did not start, of reasons you will probably shortly hear of if you follow these events. Not what anyone expected, even from a first year event.

Kate at the Edmonton Canada Cup '09

5. What races do you have planned for the rest of the season?

I have nothing on the schedule until September, Crank the shield in ON, then possible LaRuta in November. But starting a new job shortly so will see how it will pan out.

6. Have you ever done a stage race before? If not, have you ever considered doing one?

Yes, longer distance/multi day is my thing.

7. Who is your favourite female mountain biker?

I don’t really have one that jumps out, so if I had to think about it, it’s probably not one I can call favorite. I do have many female riders that inspires me, for their determination and commitment and what they do for the sport.

8. Who is your favourite male mountain biker?

Very much the same as on the female side. There are many.

9. Who has mentored you in the sport of mountain biking?

I have never had an official coach or been on a team that have coaching. But starting off in Fort McMurray a Tuesday night group ride got me going, the guys would let me come and wait when I feel off the pack on a regular basis, today I wait for them J. In the last few year when getting into stage racing, Troy Misseghers have given me some guidance in regards to training, which have taking me out of the “just ride” training schedule, now I “just ride with a little bit of purpose”.

10. How many hours a week do you train during the season, and how many hours a week in the off season?

I’m a bit of the low side, so should I state what I should do or what I am doing? Low end week I’ll get in 6-8 hrs, on a high end week I target 14-18, but mostly a few hours during the week and then cram in long rides on the weekend. Winter is out when I can, call it training or whatever. I don’t train indoors, my joy is to be outside.

Kate at the Canmore Canada Cup '09

11. Which has been your toughest race so far, and why?

You tend to forget that it was hard. But this year during BC bike race I had a lot of strugglers with a shoulder/back so it became hard to finish for that reason. La Ruta is probably ranked way up there as tough and hard even if all goes well!

12. Which has been your best race so far, and why?

Every race my goals are very personal so very hard to pick one. I remember them all as great experiences and something to take back. It was great to have my dad come follow me in La Ruta and I had a great time doing the Birkebeinern (Norway) and have my family out as well. Living in Canada I don’t get often.

13. Do you have a nemesis? If so, who is it?

Just my self

14. What are your goals that you plan to achieve from mountain biking?

To keep having fun, and always remember why I ride. I’d love to put more time into promoting riding in the community I live, it’s sort of fallen short the last few years, so trying to pick it up. I don’t enjoy lonely rides!

15. What manufacturer of mountain bikes do you prefer?

I ride a Titus this year, and it’s great. I have a Turner and raced Turner for a few years and loved it too.

16. If you could change anything in the sport of mountain biking, what would it be?

I’d like to see more female riders out.

17. What is your favourite trail to ride, and why?

Oh gees, I can enjoy all single track trails. Fast technical.

18. What is your favourite race course to race?

BC bike race has all the trails you can imagine.

19. If you could tell the new people to the sport and the young ones anything, what would it be?

Always have fun with it!

20. Do you have a trainer that makes training programs for you? Or are you self taught?

I can say self taught, but pick up things all over. Not a very strict program, I try to have fun at all times.

21. What would you say your strong points are in mountain biking?

My passion for the sport. As for riding, fast and tecknical.

22. What would you say your weaknesses are?

My bank account that tells me I need to get back to work!

As for riding, I struggle on long flats.

23. If you could suggest people to be interviewed for this blog, who would you recommend?

There are so many, but a lot of my inspiration comes from a friend and old college of mine, Bernie Pulsifer. If you want to promote the sport, he has put so much into it. He still rides hard, over 50 and with cancer the last few years. He is from Fernie and has done so much for the community there.

24. Do you prefer a hardtail, or do you prefer the full suspension bikes?

I’m on dual suspension, have been for the last 4 years. I love my hard tail for my Tims doggie ride in the morning.

25. How long have you raced for team Hardcore, and how do you like it?

Since last year, it’s a great small shop in Edmonton. I joined to be part of a club, as there are no team in Fort McMurray. It’s been great.

26. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

J people that know me would say, gees, she doesn’t even plan next year! I hope I’m still riding strong!

27. Do you prefer shorts or bib shorts?


28. If you could change anything in the past, what would it be?


29. What is your pre-race meal?

Whatever I can get to, eggs, oat meal, Tims, McDonalds, shake, ice crea… think I’ve done them all…

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