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Meet Lillian–and our podcast!


Meet Lillian–and our podcast!

One day I was late and got in big trouble for riding home after sunset. My dad said if I had LIGHTS on my bike that would be fine. It revolutionized my life!
Race season is JUST AROUND THE CORNER! Our conference director sent out the annual roster, race directors are finalizing details for the races, and everyone is getting flashbacks to long car drives on Friday and Sunday afternoons! As the season begins we will keep you up to date with the happenings of the women in the NWCCC – from results, to stories, to interviews – here and on our Facebook Page.

Today we bring you an interview with Lillian Kuehl, NWCCC alumn who is currently finishing up the last year of her Masters at Western Washington University. Now we did what we normally do – send out interview questions to the racer for them to answer – but I wanted to talk to Lilian more about her experiences because this bad-ass woman has always inspired me. I thought to myself, “I could interview over the phone…” …and now we have a podcast 🙂

Check out Lilian’s interview below and our first ever episode of Women of the NWCCC: The Podcast!

​Name: Lillian Kuehl
Hometown: Quilcene, WA
School/Grad year: Third year of Masters at Western Washington University
Years you raced in the NWCCC: 2016-2017

How did you get into racing/riding bikes?
I was 13. I had a horse and a grumpy older brother. If I rode my bike to school and then to my horse, I wouldn’t have to get my brother to give me a ride the 2 miles from the barn to home. One day I was late and got in big trouble for riding home after sunset. My dad said if I had LIGHTS on my bike that would be fine. It revolutionized my life!

When/why did you start racing bikes?
After almost 20 years of riding my bike most days, and with a few tours and long commutes under my belt, I wanted to see how I’d do. I was pleasantly surprised! I really think that the resistance training of riding so much on a heavy commuter, and the mental training of having to ride even though it’s raining at 11 pm in January (because I have to get home), really paid off. A little old age and treachery never hurt, either. 😉

​What is your favorite memory from racing in the NWCCC?
Sprinting against Fiona for crit primes my second year because we were so well matched and competitive but also good friends. It just felt *fun* when a lot of bike racing can be high tension or thinking a lot of strategy or feeling like you should treat your opponents like enemies of a sort.

Does your bike(s) have a name? Is there a theme?
Reddy, because she’s red, and Lulubelle, because she’s a classy older lady. The Tandem hasn’t told me her name yet. I called the recumbent Shorty, and the Townie cruiser I bought to recover from a shoulder injury was named Race Machine (yes I raced on it, in Montana!).

Favorite on-the-bike food?
Lots of people stick Shot Blocks to the wide top tubes of their modern racing bicycles. My first year racing was on my 1980s racing bicycle with down tube shifters, new cotton bar tape, the whole works (but she was lightweight at least!). The steel top tube was too skinny for Shot Blocks, but Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Swimmers were thin enough to tuck between the brake housing and the top tube. It’s hard to eat AND breathe AND race, so I later switched to liquids only (diluted Mountain Dew), but those swimmers sure brought me joy!

Thank you, Lilian, for sharing!

If you have not already seen the link to our registration page of the Pacific Northwest Women’s Series, here it is!

-Victoria Jansen