Gerry Schulze is a 5-foot-2 spinning instructor from Mt. Lookout who has bicycled, run, carried, and climbed her way to the top of the cyclocross world. This month she’ll compete in the Cincy3 CX Festival—three days of mud, sweat, and bikes.
I gave birth to three children. That’s how I compare it. I gave natural childbirth three times. If I can handle that, I can handle a 45-minute race.
It’s like steeplechase on a bike. That’s really the best way to describe it. You’re always going through sand pits, you’re always going up a hill, over, through. Instead of a horse, you’ve got a bike to do all this stuff.
You don’t just go out and race.
I’m one of eight kids, and we had woods in our backyard. We used to build forts. Every Sunday, we were out in the yard working, and we’d go on hikes. We were the type of kids who would be playing in the rain.
You gotta know, “Where’s that hole?” “Where’s that root?” “What line am I going to take?” You have to think ahead of time. You have to look way ahead about how you’re going to handle each obstacle.
During the race, there’s so many people cheering for you. They might not know you. [They even hand you] bacon, like “Here! Grab this piece of bacon!” as you’re going over a barrier through the mud.
You can do it. You can do cyclocross and race cyclocross competitively until you’re however old.
It’s so much fun.
Originally published in the November 2013 issue
Photograph by Annette Navarro