Interview by Chris Wentz, 7-8-02 Truckee, CA
Hi Marla, how are you?
How have you been riding today?
Today I'm starting to adapt to the altitude a bit, and actually had a really relaxed day because I wasn't trying to do 10 runs which is what I did yesterday and the day before. Today was kind of a bonus day because I knew my lines and was more relaxed.
Being up here at Northstar for four days now have you noticed difference in your body?
Well, as soon as I got up here I noticed immediately that I was at high altitude. I was incredibly dehydrated and I'm not sure why. Half of it was because I went sailing on july fourth and dehydrated myself, but you can tell when you're at altitude you can't pedal and become anaerobic so quickly and
start getting really sloppy so even for downhill it's really important to not become anaerobic. Some downhillers tend to do that because that's the nature of the sport. It's all about oxygen up here so the longer up here the better. I'm basically here to prepare for Telluride and Durango which are
both at altitude.
A lot of people say your best assets are your fitness because of cross country training and your mental discipline. Many racers get freaked out by sections or have clouded thinking, and you are very analytical. Do you agree or think it's something else?
Well I'm flattered that you said the latter, which is that I can have a level mind when I'm racing. It's not always true but I try to and try not to get caught up in all the racers conversing before the race. Usually half the time it's about a "rock section," ok... Say for example once we had a race in Pennsylvania which was flat and easy. Very pedaly and had big turns but there was one rock section and it was the hardest thing in the world for the racers to clear so the whole week everyone was talking about the rock section
and "Where are you going in the rock section" and they forgot to think about the other ninety percent of the course.
Everyone sort of blew of working on the lines and what gear they were going to be running through all the turns and got caught up in their pride and saying that they jumped it. They got caught up in the peer pressure of taking this one line in this particular danger place- you really have to look at the whole picture and I do try to do that, so I actually won that year. That was my first national win because I
didn't worry about the rock section and concentrated on every place else on the course.
Awesome. Right now you're in second place in the NORBA series behind Lisa Share, second American.
Yeah, by only about 16 points it think. Lisa and I go way back. It's really fun to be dicing it out because personally I think I'm a stronger racer than Lisa, but she's having a phenomenal year- she's made a great breakthrough. So it's a lot of fun to be dicing and we were even teammates for a while and we would always have this rivalry so I'm enjoying it a lot with her and if all goes well I think I can win the series.
A lot of time you're more focused on the end of the season then winning one race or getting one place higher?
Actually only in the last couple years have I really been looking at the whole series. I know I can win races, I've won four NORBAs and the Sea Otter a couple times and X-games, but I would like to have a tittle. So for me, I mean my goal is to get through the season. If you look at my competition
everyone's crashing out- between Tai-lee with a broken collar bone or this person with... Missy has a blown out knee it's because their trying to win every race and it's good if your trying to make a breakthrough but for me personally I'm looking for a title, a national title or the world
championships. That's my goal.
How do you like being on the new Luna Team?
It's like a dream come true, it's a fantasy. I feel like I have the best factory ride in the world right now... honestly on a mountain bike- I feel like it's better than Cannondale, better than any of the factory teams.
We have an outside of the industry sponsor- we have Luna, which is a Clif bar product. Clif bar is a very green company, it's privately owned by a very charismatic cool person and is a company that I really believe in. It's
located in the bay area, I'm from the bay area so there are all these connections that really feel right.
We were basically allowed to choose the best equipment, it wasn't like we were on a bike sponsored team and had to
run that equipment. We could have run any bike, so we ran Santa Cruz Bikes and all the best parts, so it's like a fantasy. Then, Alison Dunlap, my teammate, dragged all the GT support guys with her and I have the best sougnieur on the circuit, I have the best mechanic. She brought the best
support guys so were really lucky, it's a really cool team.
I thought I'd be annoyed by having only women as teammates- I really like hanging around guys better, it's just a personal preference which comes from having four brothers. But I'm having a blast with the women. They're all
educated and we can talk politics and we all gripe about what Bush and his problems with the environment.
It's a lot of fun.
Any last word you have?
Vote Democratic! Actually Green party.
Thank you for your time.
Sure, no problem.