The Schneider Sisters

Tenspeed Hero interviews Professional Cyclists Sam Schneider and Skylar Schneider from ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI Professional Women’s Cycling Team. Actually we do not really interview, instead we toss up a few words and watch + listen with wonder

Key Words

Two sisters – One 16 – One 24 – Professional – Fast – Incredibly funny – Riding and racing bikes since forever – ISCORP – Multiple National Championships -Pink Paramount – Basement Training – Home Stays – Tour of Flanders – Wisconsin – Did We say Incredibly Funny and Amazing?

Follow Their Instagram

My first Pro Race…

Skylar: “…was when I was 13 and it was in Athens, Georgia. Athen’s Twilight is insane. There are 30,000 spectators, 4 turns, and it’s dark out. Sam wasn’t there, but was flying in later to do the rest of the Speedweek series, so naturally I was terrified to race without her! All I really remember from that race was getting to the front of the field, and seeing Laura Van Gilder. Laura is someone I idolized, and when I saw her in the race I remember thinking, “I AM RACING WITH LVG RIGHT NOW!”. Since then I have raced against her countless times, and she is still one of my idols.”

Cobbles in the Tour of Flanders…

Sam: “A memory that you cannot forget. The amount of people cheering on the sidelines and the chaos of the girls creates such a surreal atmosphere. I enjoy the cobbles and find the unpredictability of them a game. Pre-riding the cobble sections you know the lines you want, but race time there are girls crashing, dropping chains, getting pushed, etc. so your line is no longer the viable option. Being comfortable and calm is the best way to bump through them.”

My favorite thing about the way Sam races…

Skylar: “…is how we race together. With many many years of training together we know how the other is riding and thinking based on body language. We use very minimal words while racing, but can always rely on the other to do something without communicating. Also, she is fierce! Nobody messes with Sam Schneider. Even I am scared of her sometimes ;-)”

When I realized Sky was going to be a great cyclist…

Sam: “Well I am still undecided whether or not she has a career in this sport. That is the answer I like to tell Sky because no one needs a big-headed younger sister. I knew Sky would be good once she showed an interest in the bike. Our brother was very talented on the bike as well and so naturally once she was able to give it a go, it would come natural. Plus any four year old girl who is able to race BMX at a national level is capable of conquering anything.”

Sky is taller than Sam…

Skylar: “duh! My legs are at least an inch longer! Our bike fits are completely the same, except my seat is higher… proof!!”

Sam Schneider is taller than Skylar…

Sam: “Obviously if you were to measure us back to back, I am the clear winner of this debate. Sky does in fact have longer legs than me; however, my torso is longer. Although this is a constant battle between us, it is clear with flying centimeters that I win this competition (even if it is only by 2 centimeters).”

A handmade (hot?) pink Schwinn paramount…

Skylar: “Sam knows more about this story than I do, however being the favorite child, I know that I will be the one to inherit it ;-)”
Sam: “As young and adorable as Sky thinks she is, the hot pink Paramount is mine. My dad, while a master frame builder at the Paramount factory, built this bike for my mom in hopes that she would enjoy cycling as much as he did. I was the first born, so certainly I can call dibs on anything I want first.”
Skylar: “No way! It doesn’t work like that!!!”

The final lap of a criterium is…

Skylar: “the best part. The entire race leads up to the final lap, you could lose your perfect-sprint-winning position in half a second. Even though you are in the race, you aren’t sure what is going to happen. You have to stay calm, and be ready for everything.”
Sam: “For me the last lap is the longest lap of the race, time slows down and the anticipation rises. I love the fight and the game of a last lap in crit.”
Skylar: “Yes, it is such an adrenaline rush!”

ISCorp in 2015…

Skylar: “is going to be awesome. I am completely blown away by how hard Mike and Katie Weber, and my dad have been working to bring together a team on short notice at such a high level. Our dad will be the women’s director, as he was for Tibco at the NCC level last year. I am super motivated for this season, and really looking forward to this team.”
Sam: “Will be a team to watch. The small but mighty roster is sure to have some impressive results. I love the dedication from Mike and Katie to get this elite women’s team to a top level and want nothing but the best for the riders.”

Home Stay or Hotel Room…

Skylar: “Home stay! I love meeting different families and more times than not they become our friends. It is fun having friends all over the world.”
Sam: “Yes, I love our hosts around the country, they make racing on the road much more enjoyable and often times have the cutest dogs.”

Your basement…(referring to your famous training sessions)

Skylar: “is where I spend the majority of my time during the winter. Since Sam moved out, it is lots of hours of solitary roller riding! I’ve recently gotten into the series Gossip Girl, cliché for a teenager, I know haha.”
Sam: “I have spent more hours in our basement than I feel comfortable admitting. I have many, many great memories of training sessions through the years with many awesome people (even before Sky was born). Nowadays when Sky and I train together in the basement, it becomes a contest who can do the tricks the longest, needless to say my years of experience gives me the upper hand.”
Skylar: “In our roller matches, where we try to push the other off, it is an even battle with even outcomes. So if you’re wondering why we have bruises… ha! Bike handling is sometimes the best advantage to have in a race, so acquiring those skills all winter long is priceless.”

Hardest part about leaving Tibco…

Skylar: “is leaving behind teammates.”
Sam: “Having spent five years with TIBCO, it is hard leaving the friendships made. Cycling is what you make of it and on TIBCO we were able to create a small, cohesive group that I will miss in 2015, but think that it was time for a change in program and I am ecstatic with the opportunity to be on ISCorp Cycling p/b Smart Choice MRI for the inaugural year of the women’s elite squad.”

When I turn 18…

Skylar: “NO MORE JUNIOR GEARING!! When I turn 18 I hope that I will have traveled and raced in more countries. I will be starting my senior year, hopefully I will be scoping out colleges. In a perfect world virtual colleges will be a legitimate option.”

Women’s Cycling…

Sam: “Is making progress and gaining attention throughout the World. I hope women continue to support the race promoters that support women’s cycling. From there the opportunities are limitless, but we need women to step up and show that we our racing is exciting and we can handle a long, tough race.”

Sponsor Shoutout

ISCorp is

Sam: “…a technology company that owns and runs Private and Secure Computing Clouds for Software Companies. They have their headquarters in Wisconsin and have been involved with cycling since 1998. They are a huge supporter of both junior and women’s cycling in the country, especially the Midwest. Our titles sponsors are both from WI, so we both feel right at home”

Smart Choice MRI is…

Skylar: “An independent imaging clinic that does MRIs only. Each MRI is only $600 and is on the same GE equipment that is used in hospitals. They currently have four locations, opening a fifth in Kenosha. In the future they may even expand to Chicago!”