Little Interview: Jen Nordhem

Little Interview: Jen Nordhem

Tell us a little about yourself - 
Hi all! I live in Brooklyn with my amazing boyfriend Will, I race for a team called Stan's NoTubes/Velo Classic Cycling and work as the Cycle Clubs Event Coordinator for Rapha North America. I also love cats. 

Favourite bike -
Right now I'm spending all of my time on my Giant Envie - it's my rocket ship. 

Favourite ride - 
I'm a creature of habit, I don't deviate from my typical routine that often, therefore I don't spend too much time exploring unless it's marked with course marshals and a finish line tape. In NYC we have only a few rides that people do over and over and over again so I have to say that River Road never gets old. It's a beautiful tree-covered stretch on the opposite side of the Hudson in New Jersey. It's close enough for weekday jaunts or at the start of a long weekend ride. 

Favourite food - 
Anything vegan! I'm going to let you in on a little secret - my favorite burrito... sweet potatoes, broccoli, onions, black beans, rice and avocado. Season with a little tumeric, salt and sriracha. THE BEST. 

How did you first get into riding and racing?
Oh geez, this is a long one. Let's fast forward racing otherwise we'll be here all day. I've been a road cyclist for about 10 years but it wasn't until I lived in NYC here that I gave (sanctioned) racing a shot and was hooked instantly. Road, cross, track - I love it all. Actually, it was an old boss of mine who forced me into racing after an attempt at bonding over bikes, he said to me "Get your bike from Colorado, I already ordered you a kit." Last year I joined the women's Domestic Elite team Stan's NoTubes/Velo Classic Cycling and couldn't be happier. It's amazing to be surrounded by such accomplished and positive women who push each other to do their best. 

What are your goals for 2015?
Keep learning. I earned my cat 2 on the road and cyclocross last year, moving up into the elites is a big step and I'm learning so much in every race. Never settle, keep moving forward. 

Who and what inspires and motivates you?
My team. My boyfriend. My coach. They're all so supportive and I wouldn't be able to do any of it without them at my side. 

What has been your most difficult race to date?
Neversink Invitational, no question. When you sign up for a race of Dave Trimble's you know it's going to be punishing. RHC is a walk in the park compared to Neversink (granted, I'm a crit racer so I'm biased). To add insult to injury it was how I chose to spend my 30th birthday so the suffering stung a little more. Here's my Strava for reference

Are you racing the Red Hook Crit this Weekend?
No I'll be down at Speedweek, it's a week of crits in Georgia and North Carolina. But I've raced it the last 2 years

What advice can you give to riders who want to start racing?
Find a local team or person you look up to and reach out to them! Chances are they were just like you at one point and are happy to help. The nice thing about women's cycling is we want to have more women to race with! So we love to introduce new people to the sport. Also check to see if there's a local bike racing association that has resources like clinics or coaches. Racing is so confusing to get into, there are so many rules, but thankfully there are also many friendly people to talk to. Research, email people, call people, be proactive and you'll find the answers.

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Photo by Marshall Kappel

What changes do we need to see within cycling, in order to gain equality for women?
On a local scale - numbers, women need to show up to races in order to get their own fields, their own pay outs, etc. Get a friend into bike racing and show up!
On a global scale - media coverage, the more media coverage we get, the more sponsors will pay, the more opportunities women will get and the more women can make profession cycling a career. Bingo, done.

All images from Jen's Instagram

Hartley Cycles

Hartley Cycles

Bespoked Bristol

Bespoked Bristol