Ellen Noble is, bar-none, one of my favorite human beings. But she’s also one of the most perfect Real Life Shred Girls I could have imagined: not only is she one of the few Americans to ever medal at Cyclocross World Championships (silver medal in 2017!), she’s won UCI race, rode her way to fifth overall in the World Cup circuit, taken multiple national titles and raced as a pro on the cyclocross bike, the road bike and the mountain bike. And she’s only 21. That’s what happens when you fall in love with bikes practically before you know how to walk.
Flight to Worlds: $1,500 Silver Sequined Dress from Spain: $12.99 Winning a silver medal at Worlds to match your party dress: priceless. • 🍾🍾🍾 Still a little beyond words after yesterday's World Champs ride. It was the ride of my life. There is so much I want to say; so many people to thank but I don't know where to begin. For now I'm just enjoying the moment in this dress. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love. More to come ❤️ #bieles2017 #cxworlds #happyracersgofaster #thisendlessadventure #bepositivebepresent #womeninsport #cyclocross #girlswhoride #sohappy
In the last couple of years, I’ve gotten to know her quite well, and spent countless hours chatting, traveling and just hanging out with her. We did this interview hanging out in Western Massachusetts, and while I’m putting the highlights in text here, you’ll want to press PLAY on the video below to get the whole story!
What got you into bikes?
My parents were the coolest—whatever they were doing, I wanted to do it! Thinking about it now, that’s so funny. I got addicted though: I’m wicked competitive.
Favorite part of riding?
That’s changed over time. Now, I can’t think of just one thing. But one of my favorite things recently has been going for a good bike ride with friends. Stopping and getting food, go swimming, doing trails on the way home from a road ride. That connection with people and nature, it’s become a huge outlet for me.
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Hardest part in cycling?
Training, without a doubt. I just grew up riding for the fun of it, and I was naturally talented because I started so young. To reach that point where I had to start training, that structured work was hard. Training skills in fun, but embracing suffering took a long time. But now, I love it.
How did you get past that?
You have to trust the process. It’s not always going to be fun, you have to find ways to make it fun. Sometimes, after road rides with intervals, I’d go do dirt jumps down the street. Trick yourself. Then, it starts to all become fun. But if it isn’t fun, whatever it is that’s going to make you be like, ‘I love this again,’ do whatever you have to do.
Why focus on cyclocross?
It was a no brainer! When I did a cross race—Look Park, CSI—and immediately, I was like, ‘This is the coolest sport in the world.’
How do you get good at crazy drops and jumps?
Ease into it! Start with just rolling off a curb. Get up the courage, nail the small trick. Then find something a little bigger. Understand as you level up, so you have the confidence. Once you have that, go for it. (And I crash all the time. Don’t be afraid of falling down.)
Don’t miss the rest of Ellen’s interview: listen here!
Follow Ellen on Twitter and Instagram at @ellenlikesbikes
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