Women on Bikes Series: Rebecca Sauber

Photo Credit: tmbimages
I played soccer at the University of Louisville until I blew my knee out. Eventually, I started running and was a PE teacher in Southern California. Fun article to read...scroll down..maiden name was "Grissom"

I suffered from an eating disorder, a bad combination of running and not eating. In 2004 I tore another meniscus during Camp Pendleton Mud Run. Then I moved back to Minnesota and ran into my now husband at "The Local" on St. Patrick's Day in 2005. I had just bought a Felt road bike and started doing tri's. I did a number of races that year.  

Lonie (hubby) and I went on our first date, a bike ride. I then went and watched him at Buck Hill and I was hooked!

I bought a mountain bike and started biking. I was so bad at the beginning! The first summer, I was in the emergency room two times wondering if this was for me.

I remember being so proud making it through the easy loop at Lebanon and not crashing. I slowly improved and the highlight of my biking thus far was placing 3rd at the Chequamegon 40 with Jenna Rinehart and Lea Davison

2016 I had a third knee surgery, but I'm now back to lifting weights (which I love) and having my husband train me. We're starting a health coaching/training business this year!

Things important to me: God, my family and I really like the beach and the southwest dessert. I am currently a special education teacher, working with students with autism.

The introduction to your #bikelife happened later in life after dealing with several sports injuries. What inspired you to seek out two wheels as an alternative to your other athletic ventures?
I was inspired to start biking after watching my now husband (Lonie) at Buck Hill. I went and watched him race in 2005 and then wanted to try it too. It looked fun and I thought it was something we could do together. 

What styles of cycling do you enjoy and why?
I enjoy mountain biking the most. I like being in the woods and nature. I have never competed in a road race, just a few crit races. I also did a few cyclocross races in the past. Now with 3 knee surgeries, cyclocross is not an option.

Tell us about your favorite cycling event that you participated at and why you enjoyed it?
My favorite race is Chequamegon Fat Tire. I like the atmosphere and it is not technical! 

Do you have any suggestions/tips for those who haven't participated at an event before?
I would encourage anyone to try a bike race- Life is so short, try something new!

Take us back to your first few mountain bike rides. What was the experience like and what inspired you to keep at it?
My first mountain bike was from Target; it was my dad's Magna. I actually raced it at the WORS Cup in the Citizen Class. After that, I bought a bike from Penn Cycle's basement. It was fun! I was so bad when I started. I was in the emergency room the first summer 2 times with stitches. 

Clips or flats? What do you like and why?
I have used clip pedals because I feel you can control the bike better.

Have you had any biffs that were challenging for you on a physical/mental/emotional level? What did you do to heal and overcome?
I had 2 trips to the emergency room with stitches in both arms in 2005. One in June and one in July. No biggie- I still wanted to bike! 

When you started out riding, what were some handling skills that challenged you? Do you have any suggestions for what helped you grasp them?
I actually really struggled with shifting the bike. It took me forever to figure out when to shift up and down..:) I also struggled with turns. Remember to break before the turn! Power out of the corners. 

What do you love about riding your bike?
I love riding my bike with my husband and being outside when it is warm out. I am not a fan of the cold. I just started Zwift this weekend and it’s so fun!

Tell us about your bike(s), what they are like and why did you choose them?
I ride a Specialized Fate Mountain Bike and it rocks. Super nice handling and small for me! 

You have dealt with an eating disorder, do you feel that cycling has helped with your recovery process?
I think cycling has helped my eating disorder because I have to eat in order to bike well. My husband and I are "Primal Health Coaches" and I learned a lot about proper nutrition. I realized how food is medicine. Food is your friend, it is just about eating the right stuff.

Do you have any words of encouragement or suggestions to pass on to folks who may be going through or recovering from an eating disorder?
I am more than happy to talk to anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Life is so precious, make the best of it. I am launching "Sauber Health Fit" shortly. There you can find more about nutrition and future health coaching! 

What do you enjoy most about having a partner who enjoys cycling as much as you do?
I love having a husband that is athletic. That was one of my favorite things about Lonie. We spend quality time together on the bike. We also work together too! :) 

Do you have suggestions on how to ride together as a couple? Especially when you went through the learning stages of off-road riding?
When I first started mountain biking, I liked to ride alone. I didn’t want to slow anyone down, however, Lonie never cared about that. He was and always encourages me new things. 

Photo Credit: True Lives Photography
What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling? Especially mountain biking?
I think the fear or crashing deters women from mountain biking. Crashes will happen, but don't let it stop you from trying. I think the new outer loop at Lebanon Hills and places like Carver Lake are super fun for women beginning to ride. 

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
Women should focus on being out there and not worry about being fast. Just enjoy! 

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
Random fact about me: I used to hold the course record the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in California.