T&T Q&A with Arley Kemmerer (@arleykemm)

Arley Kemmerer is a petite powerhouse who races cyclocross for PB2 Pro Cycling. She’s not afraid to get dirty or go fast and has the 1st place finish in the USA Cycling Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships in 2013 to prove it. See what she has to say about cycling, nutrition, and CrossFit in this week’s T&T Q&A:

ZO9UoqnT[T&T] What is something you wish you knew when you first started cycling?

[Arley Kemmerer] Missing a workout here and there, or not hitting the numbers dead on every workout, doesn’t mean you’ll be a terrible bike racer! I spent too much time stressing out about getting workouts done, especially when I was in law school. This would lead to a horrible workout anyway, which made the whole effort seem pretty pointless. Stress can have such a huge impact on performance, so sometimes it’s just the right call to bail on a workout for the day and take a mental break.

[T&T] Do you have a piece of cycling gear you can’t live without?

[Arley Kemmerer] Bike nerds rejoice: I can’t live without my Quarq power meter. All of my training is done based on power, so I’d be pretty lost without it. Plus, I occasionally do like diving into the numbers and tracking progress. Power meters are most definitely a double-edged sword at times, especially when you can’t quite hit the numbers, that can feel pretty defeating.

[T&T] Can you share one tip for amateur riders looking to elevate their game? Any special advice for women in the sport?

[Arley Kemmerer] I’m a big advocate for training and racing just above one’s ability level. It seems like many women are afraid to ride with faster ladies or men because they are worried they will get dropped. While getting “dropped” can be a bummer, it’s the best way to test your ability, to learn and push your limits. I do a training crit every Thursday with some really super fast men, and it is HARD! But I love it — not only is it great training, it teaches me so much about myself and my ability each time. We all get dropped at some point. No matter how fast you are, there’s somebody else out there who is faster. Don’t fear it!

[T&T] What’s your favorite race of the year?

[Arley Kemmerer] My favorite ‘cross race of the year is the Providence Cyclocross FestivalRichard Fries has done a great job building that race bigger and better each year, and he has developed a super fun course with a solid spectator base. There’s rumblings that it may be a World Cup one day — I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed.

[T&T] Who do you most enjoy following on Twitter?

[Arley Kemmerer] I’d have to say pro roadie Lindsay Bayer (@thedirtfield) of the Pepper Palace Pro Cycling Team is one of my favorites. She definitely has gotten the most laughs out of me on Twitter for sure.

[T&T] What does your nutrition consist of (before, during, and after your rides)?

[Arley Kemmerer] I’m not a strict vegetarian or vegan, but I don’t eat meat. I’m a big fan of breakfast egg sandwiches, and I’ll basically stir fry up whatever vegetables I happen to have into some kind of dinner. I’m into fig bars on the bike, with the occasional caffeinated gel or block-type thing. I was introduced to Skratch a few seasons ago by a friend who worked there, and loved their stuff. Skratch is a sponsor of mine now, so I never leave for a ride without two full bottles of the Skratch exercise mix. Matcha with Lemons is my absolute favorite. We go through a lot of that flavor in my house.

[T&T] What sorts of tips or tricks do you have to stay healthy and prevent injury? Do you use any specific mobility tools or cross training techniques?

[Arley Kemmerer] I’m really big into CrossFit outside of the cyclocross season. As soon as the cyclocross season is over, I jump right back into the gym. I worked as a personal trainer for a while, and I really enjoy gym work. I think it provides an excellent supplement to the sort of one-dimensional fitness I feel that I get from riding bikes all the time. I carry a little extra muscle mass because of it, but I think it definitely helps prevent injury and also gives me some added strength on the bike and with the other obstacles of cyclocross. I try to work yoga into my routine as well but time is definitely a limiter for me with a full-time job.

[T&T] What’s your all time favorite cycling kit? Why?

[Arley Kemmerer] I’m a bit sentimental about the kit I raced in last season for PB2 Pro Cycling made by Squadra. It was my first go at kit design, and I think I did pretty well. I was pretty particular about the details, and Zach at Squadra was very patient and did an awesome job taking my ideas and making them into a real thing. I was pretty stoked about the finished product — and still am.

Arley for the Win.

Arley Kemmerer’s 2014 season took her overseas to the super-competitive European CX circuit. She placed an impressive 34th at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in the Netherlands. Arley knows what it takes to push hard and be strong, and we appreciate her taking the time to talk with us. Keep us with Arley on Twitter by following @arleykemm

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