Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ally Stacher Interview

I don’t want to introduce you because I feel like everyone should know who you are because you are a badass, but just in case, for those triathletes who might not know your stature, can you describe who you are and what you do?

I'm Ally Stacher, I'm a professional cyclist with Specialized-Lululemon. I'm a support rider and do I everything I possibly can do to help my team succeed.

How old were you when you started cycling and how?

For my senior year in high school we are required to do a senior project. I chose to study endurance sports with an emphasis on cyclist. I went out and bought my first road bike, I did a couple of TT's on it. It was super old school with shifters on the down tube.

I opted for women's wrestling my first year of college and hung my bike up to focus on the mat. I jumped into a couple of random mountain bike races that summer to see how they went. I really just used cycling for cross training.

Being so engrossed and influential in women’s cycling right now, can you talk about a little bit of where it has come, where you think it can go, and what value it adds to both the recreation athlete and the fastest women out there?

Women's cycling has come a long ways since I started racing. There is more depth in the fields. The national team is taking more and more girls over to Europe to give them European race experience and with all the drama going on in the men's sport women's cycling is really growing. I feel women's cycling is going to really take off. We're fun to watch on and off the bike and people like our personalities. The reaction from everyone in the peloton whether it be from the fastest or not there is a positive buzz in the air.

Tell us a little about the team dynamic. All of the ladies seem be smiling and laughing all the time and I would imagine you are all really competitive. By the end of the season when you are all tired, have been living out of a suitcase for months, in close quarters; is there ever any friction?

The team dynamic is one of a kind. Yes we are all extremely competitive. At team camp there was this small plank competition. Everyone was like no no we're not going to do it. But then it came time to start doing planks and everyone was all in. Trixi crushed all of us. Of course there may be some friction here and there, but we're all grown ups and know how to deal with it so it doesn't create a bad atmosphere for everyone.

Can you walk us through a day where you and the team are prepping for that days stage?

Everyone is a little different. What I do: I wake up 3.5hrs before the stage. Eat 3hrs before the stage. Go back to my room, get my bag to the car. Then I either shammy up (if its a close transfer to the start) or I get dressed, gather my race bag and head to the car. On the way to the race I'm snacking. I eat a bar 2hrs before the race and then 1hr before the race. I put my sun screen on, fill my pockets with food for the day. Spin around, sign in with my teammates, sometimes I take some first endurance pre-race then I head to the start line.

Although cycling is kind of a job for you, has it felt like a job yet?

Nope. I love what I do. Some days I have to really dig for motivation to train or race. But all in all I'm grateful for the job and lifestyle that I have.

I know you have a background in wrestling; do you think this unusual background helps your cycling in anyway?

Yes. Wrestling makes you tough. It teaches you how to fight and never give up.

Besides the team being sponsored by Specialized, lululemon’s seems to be really involved; were you a yogi before they got involved?

Yes. I love yoga and pilates. I practice yoga on a very regular basis either in a studio or on my own. I creates a mental and physical balance for me that I need to maintain being a professional cyclist.

What is your favorite yoga pose?

My favorite yoga pose is pigeon pose. 

What is your biggest accomplishment in and outside of cycling?

My biggest accomplishment in cycling was signing with HTC-Highroad in 2011. I was very lucky and honored with the opportunity. Since then I've had the chance to ride for some of the best riders in the world and learn a great deal from them. One of my biggest accomplishments outside of cycling graduating from college. I'm the first college graduate in my family of seven generations.

What is your favorite race and why?

My favorite race is Gracia-Orlova. Its a race in the Czech Republic. I love this race, I love the courses and countryside.

What is the hardest training ride you have ever done?

The Mt. Eddy loop. Its a grouling ride, you climb three major climbs that all connect to each other.

What is the most beautiful training ride you have ever done?

The same as the hardest ride I've ever done. The Mt. Eddy loop. Its almost 10,000ft of climbing in 80miles. Its 3 major climbs that are all back to back.

Is there a dream ride that you really want to get to that you haven’t yet?

I want to ride the whole blue ridge parkway. I'd like to do it this fall.

What is your go-to workout and why? How often do you do said workout?

My workouts really vary. I just really like riding my bike.

What is your favorite biking accessory?

My Lezyne saddle bag. You need all the goodies in the bag incase you're stranded along side the road.

I am in the kitchen every spare second I can get so let’s talk about your baking!


I recently had one of your bars and I loved it. I loved that is was wholesome and hearty. Why did you start Ally’s bars and what was the biggest challenge?

I started making Ally's Bar because I'm over how every bar that I've ever tried taste like crap.

How are Ally’s bars doing so far and what do you see in the future for Ally’s bars?

Ally's Bar is doing good. Its been a fun project to work on. As for the future goes, the sky's the limit.

It is common knowledge you love to juice. How many juicers do you or have you own/owned and which one is your favorite?

I have owned 6 juicers. My favorite and current juicer is my Omege masticating juicer.

I am a vegetable fanatic. Do you have any savory juice recipes?

I'm a beet kind of girl. Beet, kale, red bell pepper and carrots.

Is there anything new in the kitchen you are obsessing with right now?

My Mom just bought me a kitchen aid mixer. Yep I've been baking my little heart out. The guys and girl at Motion Makers bike shop down the road have been reaping the benefits. I gotta take care of my go to shop, they take good care of me.

Favorite meal/beverage?

I love eggs. I'm on a breakfast burrito kick at the moment. It includes: eggs, bacon, kale, cream cheese, cilantro and avocado. I have that in the mornings with a glass of beet, red bell pepper, kale and carrot juice. Its a fantastic way to start the day.

It is on my goal list to do a road race this year, do you have any tips for someone starting out and that might come from water based sports?

Have fun with it. Every race you do is going to be a huge learning experience. Stay towards the front, don't burn to many matches and like I said earlier have fun.

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