A Game of 20 Questions with Noa Deutsch
This week, it's time to put our founder on the spot to answer the same 20 questions we have been asking other women... Noa is an endurance coach (mostly cycling and triathlon), bike fitter and sport nutritionist. She used to race as a elite youth/junior triathlete (draft legal) and cyclist, but stopped racing in 2004 as a result of health issues, so she is currently riding her bike for fun and fitness. You can learn more here, and keep reading below!
Meet Noa Deutsch
Location: Vancouver, BC
1. How long have you been riding bikes?
25 years! I had to take a few years off the bike after I stopped racing in 2004, while I was regaining my health.
2. How did you get acquainted with cycling?
I was a competitive swimmer predominantly, but really started to get into track and field and cross country running. At 11 years old, my swimming coach wanted me to swim more, so she told me to stop running. I wasn't willing to do that, so my mom looked around and found a triathlon group close to where we lived. I had no idea what triathlon was, wasn't into riding at all and only had a little kids bike, but I decided to give it a go and as soon as I got on a road bike, I was all in.
3. What kind of riding do you do? (track, mtb, road, cx, all of the above, etc)
I have done a bit MTB riding, a bit of cross and a little bit of track, but mostly road riding and racing in the past (in addition to ITU draft legal triathlon). I currently only ride road, but would love to get a gravel bike and maybe even do a few gravel events!
4. How many bikes have you owned throughout your time cycling?
15, I think (a few of them were sponsored bikes)
5. How many bikes do you currently own?
I have 3 right now. Specialized Globe roll (single speed), Colnago CX Zero and a my new baby: Cervelo R5 disc with DuraAce Di2. I'll be selling the Colnago soon and hopeping replace it with a gravel bike next winter.
6. What is your dream bike?
My R5 comes pretty close... Bianchi Specialissima, if it came with disc brakes. Open upper for gravel. A custom Vanilla Speedvagen
7. What is your most memorable cycling experience?
So many experiences and stories! Not a race, event, etc - The most memorable riding experience was riding in the middle of no where Italy by myself towards the Swiss border in September 2001. I was cruising along a narrow road and went through a little tunnel. Because of the echo in the tunnel, I turned around to realize that there were at least 10-12 cars driving quietly behind me. They must have been there for a while (the roads in that area are generally really quit), just waiting to pass me when they could. I remember thinking that was so awesome that no one got impatient, no one honked, passed too close, etc. I thought the display of respect towards a cyclist was pretty awesome.
8. How many of your friends ride bikes?
A lot! Probably more than 85% of them
9. Do you prefer riding alone, in a small group or a large group?
I used to love large group rides. These days, I am more into solo riding or with a few friends. Its mostly because I have very different riding goals compared with when I was racing, and because I have quite the crazy work schedule
10. Have you ever traveled with your bike? Where?
Oh yeah. I grew up in Israel and did my undergrad in New Zealand, so traveled with my bike there, then some within NZ and then from NZ to Canada in 2006. As a teen, I raced in Serbia, Italy, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany
11. What is the biggest challenge you faced when you started riding bikes?
It was 1992 or something when I started riding and I was a tiny 11 year old... Getting a road bike was a challenge (took a special order from France and 6 months wait), as well as getting shoes, clothing and equipment in general. I was lucky to have a triathlon group to train with, but they were almost all men!
I ended up diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2004, so getting back to being active in general and on the bike in particular was very challenging, both mentally and physically. In a way, I felt like I had to start all over again in 2006 and that trend continued for several years afterwards.
12. What are your cycling goals for this year?
Just to ride every chance I get for the love of cycling and bikes
13. What is your post-ride ritual?
Nothing in particular. I try to get undressed asap and eat all of the food. On a sunny hot day, a cider or rose on a patio hits the spot nicely. Mostly, I just try to make sure I plan my day so I am not rushed to get to a meeting/work/etc too soon after a ride. I like to decompress a bit afterwards!
14. Bibs or non-bibs?
BIBS. All the way.
15. Do you believe that your socks should be at least 5” long, or, short?
5" is my go to length these days. Admittedly, I have gone through phases throughout the years
16. What is your hairstyle preference while cycling?
17. What snacks are always in your jersey pocket?
Joje bars, Enduro bites or something homemade (I make the best GF waffles that are perfect for riding. Just saying).
18. Cycling specific sunglasses or casual glasses?
Currently cycling specific Oakley EVZero Stride, but I went for a ride in Aviators the other week because that's what was closest to my door at the time. I go through phases, but generally prefer cycling specific ones
19. Bar tape loud and bright, or black and classic?
Loud and bright. Somehow I usually end up with neon pink handlebar tape on all my bikes
20. What advice would you give to other women who are just starting out?
I am biased because of my work, but I would say start by working with a professional you trust to get the right bike for you, the right equipment and a great bike fit. You can get a lot of different opinions from a lot of people, which can be time consuming, overwhelming, intimidating and confusing, so finding a few people you trust is probably a better strategy than asking random people on the internet.
Then just start, progressing gradually and maintaining your consistency. Find a group of similar ability level that you feel comfortable with or a few friends you enjoy riding with, and just ride your bike - having a sense of community helps quite a bit. Always be receptive to advice from those you trust, take cycling clinics to learn cycling specific skills and hire a coach to help you if you need additional accountability and a helping hand.
Most importantly, be comfortable with stepping out of your comfort zone.
Stay tuned for next week's feature... If you want to be featured, fill in our ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE. We would love to feature ALL women who ride bikes, regardless of where they are from, their age, ability or experience level.