Q & A: Emma Lewis (The Independent Pedaler)

A winning rider in time trials and a key member of The Independent Pedaler, we quiz Emma Lewis who mixes working full time with going very fast on a bike… 

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Q & A: Emma Lewis (The Independent Pedaler)

The team for The Independent Pedaler in 2019, Joss Lowden, Chris Fennell, Emma Lewis and Emily Meakin.

Are you missing the racing yet?
Emma: Kind of. I miss the structure but also don’t miss the pressure I put myself under. I love racing, from the travelling to the warm ups and post race (hopefully) celebrations. Right now, I am enjoying riding my bike and not worrying about power speed and aerodynamics!

What was the big highlight for 2019 and why?
Emma: I would have to say the British National TT Champs. It’s just on another level compared to any other race. The closed roads, the follow car, the build up and the atmosphere is just amazing. I was the highest placed amateur rider in the country and I am really proud of that fact.

Do you concentrate on time trialling or other disciplines as well?
Emma: I mainly concentrate on time trials but I do enjoy other types of racing. I would like to get the CX bike out this winter to have a bit of fun and build on my handling skills.

What is your favourite distance and why?
Emma: I wouldn’t say a time trialist has a favourite distance; they all hurt!! I like the 25 as you can get into a good rhythm. You are just on the limit but not pushing beyond that immediately like you do in a 10. I’d be keen to try some longer distances.

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Do you have a favourite type of course – circuit/dual carriage way etc.
Emma: Of course I love the Thruxton race circuit having won three national titles there but I would have to say Q10/30 – it’s a local dual carriageway which I got a sub 20 min ride on and my team mate Chris beat Graeme Obree’s long standard record on there this year.

What type of course do you find safer to ride on?
Emma: Dual carriageways – more room for cars to overtake you and they see you from further away.

What event stands out for you to ride – ie, what is a must ride event for you?
Emma: British National TT – it’s the one where you get a chance to put yourself up against the best of the best!

How often do you like to race?
Emma: I work full time so fitting it all in can get difficult sometimes. I like to have a balance. Once or twice a month is probably ideal for me.

Do you ride to power or feel or both?
Emma: Power – I am hoping to develop the skill of riding to feel over the winter.

You’re about to catch your minute rival – do you keep the same effort or ease back and then surge past them?
Emma: Keep the effort – I am riding my race to my numbers and will overtake them safely but within my limits.

Gears are getting bigger and bigger – what is the set up on your TT bike gear wise?
Emma: 62 tooth single ring at the front, no idea at the back!

What are your favourite tyres to race on?
Emma: Vittoria race tubs… I am lucky to be supplied with the best and most aero tyres out there.

What have you done to make yourself as aero as you can be? (Wind tunnel/bike fit etc)
Emma: I was aero tested with Aerocoach about three years ago – nothing since but I hope to get some aero testing done over the winter.

How have you got faster in time trials overall? Is it just natural progression or specific efforts in training to be able to ride at high speeds for the distance required?
Emma: A combination of dedication to the discipline, focused turbo work and enjoying the sport more.

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Do you train on a TT bike or both a road bike and TT bike?
Emma: Both

How many hours a week are you able to dedicate to training?
Emma: 6-10

Have you ever motorpaced on a TT bike?
Emma: No but I plan to this winter.

Do you take a break from riding the bike during the season or after the racing is finished?
Emma: I take a mini break if I need to. I listen to my body mainly.

Emma (centre), Joss, Chris and Emily and their trophies

Does your training in the winter go through phases like just riding the bike to maintain fitness and then structured efforts?
Emma: A few months of winter base miles coupled with S&C then focus on specific efforts in the new year.

When do you expect to start your racing in 2020?
Emma: April/May

Finally, the team is one of the highest profile teams in time trialling – how does being part of such a strong team support you and does it help motivate you even more to bring the team more success?
Emma: I am very honoured to ride for The Independent Pedaller and even more so having been a part of such a pioneering effort. I feel proud of our achievements and am keen to help build a legacy, whatever that may be, I would love to be a part of it.

Thank you Emma, good luck in 2020! 

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