10 Minutes with Ben Berden and Nicole Duke – Part 2 Nicole Duke

As a part of our commitment to our Social Media Partnership of the  SoCal Prestige Cyclocross Series, we posted part 1 of our interview with pro Cyclocross athlete Ben Berden. Here is the second part of our interview where we spoke with Nicole Duke on why she rides, what she’s looking forward to this season and what advice she would give to anyone looking to try Cyclocross.

We asked her 10 questions. This is what she had to say.

 

TL-What is the biggest change in Cyclocross that you’ve seen since you started participating?

ND-There are three major changes. The first is that there are more women starting to participate as well as Jr. Women. The second is that there has been a huge jump in your technology too; the introduction of the disc brake has been huge in the past year. Last year I was fortunate to ride the Sram disc brakes, and that piece of technology made a big difference in my performance and generally speaking the way everyone can ride. At some point the courses will evolve and change due to this piece of technology. And the third biggest change is the rise in membership across the board. Cyclocross used to be something mountain bikers and roadies did in the off season, but now it has become its own thing.

 

TL-What are you looking forward to the most this season?

ND-I’m really excited to see friends again and start that part of my life. Its six months out of the year that becomes that culture and that life. And at the end of that six months it kind of just ends and it feels like there is something missing. So now its like we are back to the beginning of the cycle again.

 

TL-What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a rider?

ND-To perservere and not give up. In this career there can be a lot of adversity and a lot of things that will make you want to give up. But you have to hang in there and be patient and give yourself a chance to be great.

 

TL-Where is your favorite place to ride?

ND-Hands down Crested Butte, Colorado. Its just so gorgeous and the wild flowers are amazing.

 

TL-What song plays in your head while you ride?

ND-“We are the Champions of the World,” by Queen.

 

TL-If you could have any superpower what what it be?

ND-To read other people’s minds

 

TL-When you were a child, what did you want to wear when you grow up?

ND-I didn’t have an exact job I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to wear a high power suit and live in the city.

 

TL-What is the one thing you want people to remember you for, what is your legacy?

ND-That I was a positive influence in the industry and that I was an inspiration to some people.

 

TL-What is your main focus right now with your career?  

ND-My goal for the next few years is to inspire others and to give back and to give them the tools and the platform to be able to realize their dreams. I hope by doing so I can share what I went through so they don’t have to go through some of the things that I did. That would be my wish.

 

TL-What piece of advice would you give to other riders?

ND-Have fun with it. If the fun is gone, what are you doing it for? That is what cycling is all about; enjoyment.

 

As the Official Social Media Partner of the SoCal Cyclocross Prestige series we are going to keep you dialed in to exclusive content from the series right here on our blog, on Facebook, Instagram and on our website, www.pricepoint.com.

10 Minutes with Pro CX Racers Ben Berden and Nicole Duke – Part 1 Ben Berden

                                      Photo Courtesy of  Phil Beckman of PB Creative

 

What do you get when you combine a bunch of out of season mountain bikers and roadies with colder weather, mud and cowbells? You get the 14-week  SoCal Prestige Cyclocross Series …. and of course, there will be beer.

As the Official Social Media Partner of the series we are going to keep you dialed in to exclusive content from the series right here on our blog, on Facebook, Instagram and on our website, www.pricepoint.com.

With the start of the series just days away, we caught up with pro-cyclocrossers Ben Berden and Nicole Duke for a quick chat about why they ride, what they are looking forward to this season and to find out what advice they would give to anyone looking to try Cyclocross. We asked them both 10 questions. Here is part 1 of the interview.

TL-What is it about Cyclocross that drew you to it?

BB-I have been doing since I was 15, so for 22 years now I have been involved with it. In Belgium everyone does it; you grow up with it, you see it on television. So that is why I started doing it.

 

TL-What is the best thing about being Ben Berden?

BB-I’m very persistent, and I love riding my bike. I think the combination of the two is what made it easy for me to become a professional cyclist.

 

TL-What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned as an athlete?

BB-Not to dope.  Cyclocross in Belgium is such a big thing. There is so much pressure and so many things that are involved. There it is about more than cycling, it’s a business and for the best people it is a career. I wasn’t happy with always being second or third. I wanted to win and I wanted to be faster. I met the wrong people at the wrong time and they convinced me to dope. I gave in and I ended up getting busted and suspended for three years. But now I know and trust my abilities. If I am the top athlete then that is good, but if not, that is fine too. Now it is more about pleasure and just getting a good result.

 

TL-What is the best piece of advice you’d give to someone training for Cyclocross?

BB-You have to really enjoy riding your bike. If you think training is a task then you have the wrong mindset and you will not make it.

 

TL-What is something that you never thought you’d be able to do that you have now accomplished?

BB-When I was younger everyone said it would be impossible making money by riding a bike.  But it’s 20 years later and I’m still doing it so I’m blessed.

 

TL-When you aren’t riding what do you do?

BB-I travel with my girlfriend, or go out with the kids. Usually you are so tired from training it’s hard to do much else.  

 

TL-What is your most memorable moment in your career?

BB-Winning my first World cup.

 

TL-What is your favorite Place to ride?

BB-The forest. I love riding in green environments.

 

TL-If someone were to play you in a movie who would it be?

BB-George Clooney.

 

TL-What do you have to accomplish before you retire?

BB-To give all of the knowledge I have about cycling to younger riders. Young riders don’t know how to live a cyclists’ lifestyle.  It’s about how to train and how to eat too, its not just about how hard you train.