Special Guest: Amber Pierce – Ask a Cycling Coach 193

hmm, maybe you were thinking of Arctic Monkeys’ lyrics? :thinking:

There needs to be a regular ‘Ask an Amber’ portion of ‘Ask a Cycling Coach’.

Seems to be a wealth of knowledge, insight, and most importantly, offers a different perspective (e.g. when’s the last time the boys recommended a Brene Brown book?!).

10/10 Fresh. :+1:


I’m only half way through (listen to pod on dog walk, second half this afternoon) and this is one of my favourite podcasts. This tells me a couple of things…you need a women on the podcast and if you could secure @ambermalika that would be awesome. I also think having a female perspective on the regular podcast will attract a lot of new listeners.

In other news I checked out the website mentioned in the show, I am still eating way too much but you should see my working canter and 1/4 pirouette left. :joy:


It’s so easy by Guns n Roses. :joy:

Can we start a petition to get @ambermalika on as a regular guest?


We’d love to have Amber on again! No petition needed :slight_smile:.


I think these accomplish different goals and are different rides. Eating like this gives you the best chance to maximize work, whereas fasting is going after signaling systems to use fat as fuel. The first kind of ride is a hard effort, the second is much more likely to be zone2-ish/aerobic.

One of the best podcasts yet. Ask Amber to come back as often as possible.


I agree, I feel like I was one of the lone people here saying you should have more fuel for your workouts, especially those early morning ones. I always have 1 bottle/hour of 3-400 calories for my indoor rides. Clearly most of the pros have shown that you can still get very fit while losing weight, so being in a calorie deficit will not mean that you can’t get fitter. I guess there’s just many ways to skin a cat.

OK, with the proviso that you know your wife waaaay better than I do as an internet stranger, my thoughts:

First don’t do anything without involving her in the decision making. Not worth the trouble. And I mean real involvement in the decision making, not like the time my husband suggested we get permits to hike the Half Dome and I agreed without understanding what the hell I’d agreed to.

Is she goal oriented? How about a fondo! A nice relaxed one, not the Death Ride :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Somewhere where there will be a big range of bikes and abilities so she can see the diversity. Support her through the training and absolutely promise not to leave her side during the actual event.

Does she like group workouts? Maybe find a women’s only no-drop style ride or a group that is training together to do an event like a sprint triathlon. Maybe both of you can sign up for a sprint and train together - something new for both of you.

Basically, you have to find the route that will help her prioritize the cycling over the 50 other things, or maybe over just 30 of them…

The bike kit and bike will come in time; take her lead on what she wants. Keep us updated, and good luck!


@ambermalika Thank you so much for the detailed response.
Visibility is so important! I volunteered to teach first aid at a cycling camp a local organization was running but went to the camp everyday on my bike, in my roadie gear. I still get young girls running up to me going “you’re the lady that cycles”.

Two things from the podcast really resonated with me:

  1. The story about the hard intervals and believing that you can; I know it came up in the context of cognitive load but I think that’s a barrier that a lot of people, especially women face generally.
  2. Your account of riding with the kids group and what the coach said about finding your limits.

Thanks for your insight - looking forward to seeing you back on AACC soon!


I really enjoyed this episode. Amber was an excellent guest. I found her very insightful. Her information was very interesting even to me and I will never be a pro.

Great job.

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@Nate_Pearson I just want to say that Amber is hands down the most inspiring person I’ve ever heard in your podcast. Her voice, her enthusiasm, her openness to being vunerable just shone through. I’m just back in for a 6 hour ride and she makes me want to go back out for another one. Loved it!


In an outstanding interview I was very taken with the discussion about nutrition and fueling in particular.

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Incredible guest. So smart, so experienced, so personable. I don’t know what her future plans are but I think she would be an outstanding coach, trainer or team director.

A real treat. Thanks guys.

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Just want to echo how good this episode was with @ambermalika

I even made up a mantra today in the last interval of Mount Goode.

“The bit that hurts … Is the bit that works”

Many thanks


Maybe this is a dumb question but what is the “sport drink” that is being mixed with whey? Is it just Gatorade measured out to give 4:1?




@Nate_Pearson, @chad @Jonathan and @ambermalika I very nearly swerved this episode, I am here to improve my triathlon results and thought this would be nothing to do with me. I was wrong thank you, keep up the hard work.


@Nate_Pearson @chad @Jonathan Awesome podcast today. Amber was great You very quickly touched on BikeFlights, and skipped over one of the best features. The agreement with FedEx allows you to ship your bike to a FedEx store where they will hold it up to 5 days. When I travel for work/vacation, I use this method. Get it there a few days ahead of me, then pick it up from FedEx when I arrive, and build it up. No charge additional charge. Most bike shops will charge $$$ to hold and/or build it up. You can also schedule a FedEx pick-up from your specific location. BikeFlights is the best service!


Thanks for an awesome episode! Our state MTB race series always struggles to get women involved in racing. It seems there’s just a lack of interest. The handful of women that do participate are some awesome ladies and super approachable. We’ve even approached the women that ride regularly and/ or race to get ideas on how to increase interest in the sport as a whole with very little success.

Do you think the “price of admission” to mtb/cycling is a part of the problem? I mean, if you start with a $600 bike and a $40 helmet you’ve already passed most other outdoor sports/ hobbies basic entry price.
Is it simply viewed by most women as a men’s sport?
On TV the cycling is always intense. You only see the Red Bull stuff or the TDF. Does that put women off?
I’d just love more input on what we as a club and race promoter can do to help introduce more women into the sport.
Heck, I have a wife and two teenage daughters and I can’t get them into cycling. :roll_eyes: