5 questions with Raylyn Nuss

Entries by Pas Normal Studios

We catch up with Raylyn Nuss, American cyclocross racer and manager of Steve Tilford Foundation Racing. She’s currently wrapping up a season that hasn’t exactly gone to plan.

Photographer: Fellusch

What is next for you?

My 3rd cyclocross World Championships in Tabor, The Czech Republic. After Worlds, I will take a nice break to switch off and reset before beginning the adventures with Pas Normal Studios again in March. My main goal right now is to continue to build and grow the Steve Tilford Foundation Racing team to make an impact on American cycling through the creative and unique lens that this team operates by.

When did you know you were good at riding your bike?

There are plenty of times when I still don’t feel like I’m “good” at riding my bike - I compete against such strong women in the UCI fields. But I think that’s also what I love most about cycling. It is a constant challenge. There is always room for improvement and I find myself getting better at new aspects of the sport each year. Especially with the different disciplines - there is always something to get better at!

What has been the hardest obstacle you've overcome on the bike?

I competed in the LifeTime Grand Prix this past summer, and those were some of the hardest races and hardest moments I’ve ever pushed my body through. Competing for 8+ hours is another ballgame compared to a cyclocross race. The way you need to fuel and play your cards right is quite different from the short and punchy efforts of cyclocross.

It also meant that this past cyclocross season was not easy for me. I wasn’t feeling like myself on the bike. It was probably the impact of a very heavy and strenuous spring and summer. It’s hard to toe the start line when you don’t feel the spark, and you don’t feel like yourself. So getting through the 2023/2024 cyclocross season has been one of the tougher moments for me. But at the same time it has made me extremely motivated and excited to get back to my old self in the coming season!

If you could change one thing in cycling, what would that be?

At times I feel like cycling can be stuck in the past. The sport isn’t looking to evolve as quickly as other sports. Cycling can be short-sighted - follow trends instead of trying to see past them. I understand that not everyone can be an innovator or trendsetter, but I do believe that sometimes the industry can lose sight of the greater picture.

Last one - group rides or solo training?

Ahh this depends on the day. For me, there has to be room for both. Riding my bike is such a meditation to me that I enjoy the alone time. It’s a great time to reflect or focus on my pedal stroke. I often come up with creative ideas when I’m riding. However, I love that cycling can be a social sport! You can connect with those around you in a deeper sense. When you are out on a tough ride with a group of friends; all there for one another - lending snacks, sharing water, words of encouragement. Stunning views. That bonds you for a lifetime.