Women’s Cycling Interview: Pro Cyclist Emily Kachorek


Emily Kachorek
Photo Credit: Jeff Namba

An elite cyclo-cross and road cyclist from California, Emily Kachorek has raced for USA Cycling’s national team in Europe and currently competes in pro ‘cross races for Squid Bikes, the bike frames company she co-founded.

Name: Emily Kachorek
Age: 34
Residence: Sacramento, CA
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Occupation: Professional cyclist and small business owner

How long have you been riding?

I started riding when I was in college and competed for about four years. I took about a six-year hiatus from the bike but couldn’t stay away. I have been riding and racing again for the past five years. So, a long time.

How did you first get into riding? 

I played all kinds of sport growing up; they were a big part of my life. When I went to college it was the first time I wasn’t playing a sport and wasn’t part of a team. I was staying fit but not used to exercising without a goal or purpose. To remedy that, I decided to train for a triathlon. I borrowed a family friend’s road bike for the event and was hooked! Riding was so fun! I bought a used road bike, join my collegiate cycling team and the rest was history!

How did you first hear about cyclo-cross? 

I first heard about ‘cross in 2001 through my collegiate team. The sport was still quite a bit smaller than it is today, at least in the U.S. I was pretty deep into racing road bikes but I did a local ‘cross race on my mountain bike and couldn’t believe how hard it was!

Why do you like ‘cross racing in general?

There are so many things I love about ‘cross riding and racing. When most people think about ‘cross they just think about the racing, but riding ‘cross bikes is so much fun, too! You can take one bike out the door and do anything. Riding on the road is still fine, not super inefficient like it is on a mountain bike. You feel like you can ride almost anywhere. Ride in the park on the grass, rally around some trees. Pop over to some local dirt trails. Urban trails that wouldn’t be much fun on a mountain bike and wouldn’t be great on a road bike are perfect for a ‘cross bike. ‘Cross bikes are the perfect go anywhere ride!

Also, the racing is really, really, really fun and hard. I love how it is you against the course, and you against the other racers. I love how you are always getting chased by the person behind you and trying to catch the person in front of you. I love the interaction with the spectators. I love that you keep getting better as your skills improve. I love finishing my race and cheering on the next group of racers. I love how you are totally worked after a 45-minute race. I love how even during the race the course can change. It always keeps you on your toes. I love how the race is a series of little decisions: when to pass, where to pass, when to go 100 percent, when to save energy, what line to take, how fast to go into turns. Pretty much I love everything about it, except being cold. I don’t like being cold.

Emily Kachorek heads uphill at a 'cross race
Photo Credit: Jeff Namba

About how many days a week do you ride your bike?

Every day! :)

What advice would you give women who want to start racing?

Bike racing can be kind of intimidating. Cyclo-cross racing is kind of in a league of its own; there is no need to be intimidated. There is no getting “dropped” from the group or scary 35 mph descents, and you don’t have to be part of a team. ‘Cross is for everyone! If you are the type of person that thinks it is fun to ride an inappropriate bike around a crazy course with mud, obstacles and people cheering for you, then you are one of the gang. No one cares how fast you ride, just that you are having fun. Just try it, trust me!

Want to learn more? Read “How to Start Racing Cyclo-cross” by Emily!

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This Article Updated November 7, 2014 @ 06:20 PM For more information contact: