Most people don’t go to Dartmouth to learn how to be bike racers. And most people also don’t leave well-paying, promising careers with investment banks to wander the globe, predominantly homeless, precisely for the purpose of cranking their hearts to maximum beating capacity in throngs of other humans furiously pedaling toward a single finish line off in the distance. But most people aren’t Evelyn Stevens. Imagine the Eat, Pray, Love story if it were actually any good. Woman leaves job and security and home to take a wild gamble on life and see if she can learn something totally different.
So, what is Evie learning? She’s learning that she’s strong like bull on the bike. She’s learning that home equals: “the place where most of my stuff that I am interested in using currently resides.” She’s learning how to move through the peloton and get up after she’s knocked down and descend with the best of them. She’s learning how to be a good teammate and use her natural talent to work for the good of the group. Sounds better than Lehman Brothers about now, doesn’t it?
She’s come a long way in the four years since her sister signed her up for a cyclocross race and she clipped into pedals for the very first time. Also a long way in the three years since she first bought herself a bike (with a triple) and it sat, collecting dust in her New York apartment. “I used to hang some of my purses on it,” she laughs. In 2008, she did a women’s clinic in Central Park and started working with a coach. In 2009, she went on vacation to Redlands and rode the race with a composite team (incidentally, while she was there, she crashed into her current teammate, Ina). By June 2009, she had quit her job and moved out of her New York apartment. It was game on from that point.
|Born||5th September 1983|
|Strengths on Bike||Stage racing|
|US National TT Champion 2010|
|Stage winner or Giro Donne 2010|
|Stage winner of Redlands Classic 2010|
|Winner of Fitchburg Classic 2009|
|Winner of Cascade Classic 2009|
|Stage winner and 2nd overall in Route de France 2009|
|Winner of Green Mountain Stage Race 2009|
|2nd place USA National Time Trial Championships 2009|
Evelyn Stevens: Happy to be back racingApril 29, 2013
This was the first year I have ever put a schedule together. Channeling my skills as a former banker, I made a beautiful Microsoft Excel file with dates, locations, plans, and details, and I even added in some fancy hot key formulas.
I shared my masterpiece with family and friends and I was ready to tackle my 2013 season with precision and detail. All was going well
until I literally landed on my face in Italy during a race [Classica Citta di Padova]. My beautiful Excel file went flying out the window as quickly as a few of my teeth had broken off, and I quickly learned that
cycling, like life, cannot always be planned.
To embrace a classic cliché, this past month I was given a few lemons — but thanks to my team and amazing support network I have learned how to turn them into sweet and yummy lemonade.
One of the biggest changes in my life since I became a cyclist was addressing the amount of help I needed. In the beginning, I found myself resisting, but I quickly learned if there was any way I was going to succeed in this sport, I needed help. That help has come in all forms: a ride from the airport, a place to stay, being taught how to corner and descend, someone to answer my plethora of questions, someone who helps you laugh after that bad day on the bike, and in so many more ways.
Crashing hard last month multiplied the amount of help I needed;
sometimes you don’t realize how lucky and loved you are until something bad happens. I am grateful for everyone who has helped me this past month — it made my recovery as smooth as possible. I now feel rejuvenated and ready to be back on the bike and I have even started to think that my scars and broken teeth are cool.
Feeling rested, happy, and with a bigger smile than before (albeit a bit different looking), I ventured off to the Czech Republic on Tuesday to meet my Specialized-lululemon teammates for the start the Gracia Orlova stage race. My teammates have been amazing this spring; we had a bad string of crashes with myself, Trixi Worrack and Ina-Yoko Teutenberg all hitting the tarmac hard. The rest of the team has been forced to pile quite a lot on their plates. They have been amazing to watch from afar and I am thrilled and honored to be lining up next to them again!
Thursday was the first road stage and I would be lying to say I wasn’t nervous to start racing again. But after being sidelined for a month my hunger and love for bike racing has grown even stronger. When I was struggling in the bunch, I just tried to flood my mind with happy thoughts. I thought about drinking a coffee with my mom and dad in Cape Cod or the beautiful Tuscan view I had last week while staying with Connie and Davis Phinney.
I am lucky to have teammates that are patient and supportive and
quick to let me jump on their wheels and help me through the peloton.
This spring was not what my Excel file had planned, but I feel lucky to be back on my bike, back to racing and back to smiling, thanks to so much help and support.
Evie’s Blog on starting the racing season in MercedMarch 2, 2013
For a bike racer, or well at least for me, I find the month of the February to be the most challenging. As you get closer to the racing, the thoughts, worries and doubts start to creep in, did I train correctly, am I fit, can I still go fast, all those wonderful neurosis and more.
I have titled it February Anxiety and thank goodness today is the beginning of March and February Anxiety is now a thing of the past. Yesterday, relishing in the beautiful weather of Merced, CA, the team raced brilliantly and we ended the day with Tayler in yellow.
After attending an inspiring dinner last night, with Davis Phinney as the keynote speaker (he spoke about the importance of women’s cycling and even went as far to donate to the women’s prize purse for Merced, a true class act!!), we all woke up ready to endure the pain and suffering in the race against the clock.
The Merco TT is a wonderful way to shake out the TT cobwebs from your legs, put to use all the practice and training from the winter and a great test of our super fast and spiffy aero equipment from Specialized and HED, plus it is a great excuse to wear our killer red booties from Lexxi Sports.
Time trials never feel good, if they do, then you likely need to go faster. At the end of the day, we still have the yellow jersey, enjoyed some yummy ally bars and merced burritos. Thank goodness for March, as I write this, I am lying on my bed, comfortably back into the routine of a competing bike racer.
World Peace and Happy Babies - A blog by Evelyn StevensSeptember 10, 2012
Constant sideway winds, torrential cold rain, 1000 exceedingly tall women all fighting me for position 999, a million tricky corners, roads too small for cars, road furniture jumping out at me left and right, the sight of the 999 tall women stretched out in front of me and the winning break disappearing into the cold midst, me adding as much value to the team’s performance as a rain jacket on a sunny day …this horrifying vision used to pop into my brain when I thought of racing in Holland. It is true, I used to suffer from Dutch Anxiety.
Thank goodness I have spent a lot of time working on differentiating “anxiety” vs. “fear” and I decided 2012 would be the perfect year to overcome my Dutch Anxiety. What a better place than the Brain Wash Tour (formerly known as the Holland Ladies Tour), 6 days of racing in Holland, 5 road stages and 1 team time trial. For all of those readers who are still stuck on the name, Brain Wash, it is a hair salon, not some form of Dutch torture, phew.
The big goal of the tour was the TTT, it was the last chance before Worlds to test out our TTTing skills in a race setting. For me it was 34 kilometers of pure torture to my legs, yet there is nothing more satisfying than crossing the finish line with your teammates, who all suffered and raced their hearts out as well and then learning you got the win. Cycling is a team sport, yet only one person gets to stand on the top step of the podium, which makes a TTT win even more special. The following days consisted of great racing, with Trixi and Charlotte being in the leader’s jersey and Ina taking another dominating stage win.
Racing specifics aside, I learned to not only tolerate Dutch racing but I actually found it quite enjoyable. It was hard (yet in my opinion if a bike race isn’t hard, then I should try racing harder!) but there was something sort of beautiful about racing in this flat country (well flat except for where we were racing today, hello roller coaster roads, please see my Strava file to fully comprehend http://app.strava.com/rides/21391918). Perhaps it was the belly-laugh inducing conversations I enjoyed with my teammates, or that after 3 years of racing together, I decided to request the friendship of Ina Yoko Teutenberg (that is via Facebook) and she accepted!, or maybe it was my Dutch teammate Eleanore Van Dijk (who is quite a legend in this country) turning to me today and saying “who would have thought you would have done this well in a Dutch race,” because as I currently lie on my bed writing this blog, the vision of flowers, smiles, world peace and happy babies pop into my mind when I think of Dutch racing.
April 29, 2013
March 2, 2013
September 10, 2012