7:37pm | March 27, 2014

Q&A with Robin Farina, VIP Team Leader

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robinfarina

How did your passion for cycling start?
I didn’t get on a bike until after college. I had an injury when I was younger while playing soccer and as I grew older I couldn’t do the sports I had been doing. I was told that I could swim or bike. Since I didn’t like the thought of being stuck in a pool I tried cycling. It allowed me to be athlete and competitive again and not injure my body.

How did you decide to start racing professionally?
At the time I lived in Nashville and a local bike shop took me under their wings. I did mountain bike racing for 2 years but switched to road bikes because it was much easier. I could just step out my door and get on my bike instead of having to drive to trails. Coming from a team sport background I loved the camaraderie. Road cycling also offers more opportunities to race. I started dedicating all my energy into getting better.

What kind of bike do you ride?
A Giant Envie is my racing bike.

You recently moved from North Carolina to California. Are you still racing?
Yes, I’ve been on pro teams for the past 8 years of my life. But now I’m choosing races on a case by case basis. I work in Davis with their women’s cycling team and I started the Women’s Cycling Association to elevate women’s cycling in the public eye to raise more awareness that women do cycle and race professionally. One goal of this organization is to achieve equality in women’s sports so a woman cyclist can compete at the highest level and make a living. Salaries for female cyclists are so low that it’s not possible to make a living from racing. I want to change that by creating excitement around women’s cycling and bringing media and fans to the sport. This has been my passion for the past year.

Have you cycled in Napa Valley?
Oh yes. I’ve cycled and done training rides there. It’s such a beautiful place and one of my favorite places in the world to cycle.

How do you stay fit? Exercise-wise, what is a typical week for you?
Like many people I’m really busy so I try to maximize my time.  I ride 90 minutes really hard 3 to 4 times a week and then the rest of the time I ride easy to give my body a rest. I also do foundation and strength training.

There are going to be a lot of food and wine lovers at the Bottega Gran Fondo. What is your favorite food and wine indulgence?
I love all things dessert and I have a glass of red wine every day. If I had to choose a favorite food I’d have to say Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon.

What about the inaugural Bottega Gran Fondo are you most looking forward to? 
I heard one of the rest stops on the ride will have lobster roll. I’m totally excited about that. I’m going to eat whatever I want and take advantage of all of the delicious food. This is a recipe for a great event: the food, the wine, the chef, and all in a beautiful place.

Anything else?
I’m so excited about the Bottega Gran Fondo and being able to represent female cyclists. I’m counting the days until it happens.

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