Women on Bikes Series: Vanessa Neuwirth

Vanessa is another fabulous woman who loves riding her bike! She works at her local Y as a fitness instructor. There she teaches TRX, Cycle, Bootcamp, SilverSneakers, and BodyPump.

When did you first start riding a bike?
About 8 years ago. 
What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
My husband Dave who works for Trek. He introduced me to riding bikes!
How is it learning to ride with your significant other being your main riding partner/instructor? 
I was a little nervous leaning to ride from Dave because he was so experienced but it turned out really well because he passed a lot of his knowledge down to me.
What kind of riding is your favorite? (paved, gravel, mountain) I really enjoy mt. biking
Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride? (If not a mountain biker, how about first commuter ride, paved trail ride, gravel, etc.)
Dave took me on a trail that was way too advanced for my skill level at the time. I left feeling discouraged and kind of upset with him. I’ve never been one to give up on challenges so I tried in again in different settings and it eventually got easier. 
If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
Dave always gives me a lot of affirmations through tough parts which helps a lot. He’s really good about giving instructions like, “keep your butt back”, or “your bike goes where you look”, etc. 

Do you use clipless pedals? If yes, what are some tips/suggestions for beginners that you would share? If no, are you thinking of trying it out at all?
I love my clipless pedals! For first timers I recommend using them on a trainer first then outside in a grassy area in case you fall. I didn’t have a smooth transition from platforms to clipless . My first experience with them was on a group road ride which was terrifying. 
Could you tell us more about your clipless road ride?
It was my first road ride and it was with all guys. We rode over to a friends house beforehand, I forgot I was clipped in and fell over on the sidewalk right as he was walking over to meet us. I had a couple of close encounters with traffic because I was concentrating so hard on trying to get use to the pedals I wasn't paying attention to where I was going. Not to mention I was pretty squirrely on my bike to begin with. Well, at least I can laugh about it now. =)
Do you commute even if the weather isn’t ideal? Why or why not? If yes, what do you do to make it more tolerable?
I’m pretty much a fair weather commuter but I do have days when I “bear” the conditions, (i.e. a stiff head wind or riding in anything that requires a thermal jacket) because I know it’s good for my body and I didn’t use gas getting to where I needed to go. 
Have you had a bike biff? If so, how did you recover on a physical/mental/emotional level?
Yep, I’ve had a lot of biffs. Riding is about testing your limits and sometimes accidents happen. I’ve learned that getting a little beat up comes with the territory.
What do you love about riding your bike?
I love riding on different trails, through the different seasons because their is so much to take in. My favorite is mt. biking in summer. Being able to mash up hills and glide through switchbacks and technical terrain is so empowering!
What would be your most favorite/meaningful bike?
My first mt. bike was a Trek 6700 that one of Dave's co-workers didn't want anymore. I thought it was a greatest thing ever because it was mine and pink. We had a lot of fun adventures together.