Friday, March 8, 2013

Introducing one of the originals and CX extraordinaire, Avanell Schmitz

Avanell was one of the original team members when Tradewinds was founded back in 2010!  While her main love is cyclocross, she is simply an awesome all around cyclist and teammate!  To follow Ava and her inner thoughts and workings throughout the road and cross seasons check back on this blog or follow her on her own blog at
How long have you been riding/racing bikes? (how did you get started?)
My sister, Beneline, got me started racing mountain bikes back in 1998.  I took a break from racing while I played field hockey at Longwood University.  Chris got me started racing cyclocross in 2008, and Emily recruited me to race road in 2010.

What is your favorite cycling discipline (road, mtn, cross, bmx, etc)
I have a passion for the dirt.  Although I love racing in general, cyclocross has become my favorite discipline.

During road season, what is your favorite type of race? Do you live for crits, road races, time trials?
Crits are definitely my favorite type of road racing.

What do you feel is your biggest strength as a cyclist? Are you a sprinter, good technical rider, see yourself as a good candidate to be in the breakaways?
Having such a strong mountain biking background, my biggest strength is my technical ability.  Give me a bunch of corners and some fast descents and I’m over the moon happy!

How long have you been on Tradewinds?
Emily recruited me to Tradewinds in December of 2010.  I was one of the original members of the team and have been racing road ever since!

What is your favorite part of being apart of the team or for the newbies what do you most look forward to as we begin this new season?
Knowing that I have girls on the road beside me with the same end goal gives me more confidence, and being able to help somebody that I know and trust reach their personal goal gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.  Even if I don’t personally have a great result, being able to help a teammate reach their goal for the race is something that is just as satisfying.  Being part of a great team allows all of us to be more competitive than just racing by ourselves and its really just a lot of fun!

What are you goals for this season?
My big goals for this year come around during cyclocross season honestly.  During road season, the majority of my goals will be centered on the team and my teammates.

What do you do when you aren’t on the bike? (Job, hobbies, etc)
When I’m off the bike, I’m working on and with bikes!  I’m the Assistant Manager at BikeBeat bicycle shop in Yorktown.  I also teach and play the piano; I have a Bachelor of Music from Longwood University.  My family is all really close and I love spending time with them.  I also love when Chris and I get to run and play with our furry Basenji daughter, Zuma!

What is your favorite food; where would we find you getting some post race grub?
Honestly, it depends on what type of mood I’m in!  But really, anything good makes my list…

Where is your favorite place to ride bikes?
I really enjoy riding out to Yorktown.  I can go for a quick ride, or if I’m logging some extra miles, head out to Williamsburg.

Do you have a favorite race that you look forward to all year? 
During road season I don’t have a favorite that has returned to the calendar the following year.  Last year was my first year doing Roanoke Twilight weekend and I was really looking forward to it.  But its not on the calendar for 2013.  For cross though, I look forward to Charm City, DCCX, and for the local series, Chimborazo.

What is your favorite part about being a cyclist and competing?
As far as competing, that’s something I’ve done all of my life.  I love the challenge, and I love being able to give myself goals.  It only makes sense that I continue to compete, especially in something that I love doing so much.

Ava leads the women's field back in 2010!

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