Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wuz Up?

        Rumor had it that Dotsie Bausch, a prominent women professional cyclist recently of the Colavita squad and formerly with T-Mobile planned to retire from racing at the end of 2008.  Dotsie’s numerous palmares include first place in 2001 and 2003 California State Road Race and Time Trial Championship, 2007 National Champion on track in pursuit and team pursuit World Record holder, 2008 TT National Champion with her husband in mixed tandem and Gold Medal in 2008 Pan Am Games in on the track in pursuit discipline, among numerous stage race and individual race wins.  Truesport obtained an interview of Dotsie from her home in Irvine, California to hear from her what she is doing.

QUESTION: What are you up to now? Retired? Not retired? Racing? Not racing? We have heard lots of grumblings, but what is really going on for you in 2009?

DOTSIE: I have a lot going on! I have taken a position as Assistant Director and Captain to Susy Pryde on the Jazz Apple Professional Cycling Team based out of New Zealand. However, I will be racing with them too. At the end of 2008, I felt well, bored, for lack of better terms. I have enjoyed the professional ranks for eight years, but I reached a point where I wanted more, I wanted to do more, I wanted to give more. I was tired of constantly being focused on my own results and my own training program. I mean how many times can you do the same race over and over, year after year? I felt satisfied with my own career and wanted to be someone who helped to grow the sport that has given so much to me.  I wanted to teach other young women, inspire them to get the results they were dreaming of, help others reach their potential. Susy is giving me a chance to be a teacher/motivator/captain as well as continue to race, which I love.

QUESTION: What was it about Jazz Apple that excited you and made you want to sign with them?

DOTSIE: I had this Ah…. Haaaaa…. moment last year at Mt. Hood when I watched Susy Pryde race with the Jazz Apple development team. She was directing them, but is also fit enough to race with them, and lead them into the hardest climbs, lead them out for attacks, lead them out for sprints, and they were awesome! She was like non-stop on the radio calling every move, every shot. I don’t even know how she had enough oxygen to do it all!  I thought to myself, “now THAT is how you teach people to race their bikes.” Directing from the car is just not that effective in actually teaching the new racers how to truly “feel” the peloton and its movement, feel the attacks coming, feel the right “timing” for a move etc.

QUESTION: What do you hope to accomplish with Jazz Apple in 2009?

DOTSIE: I want to see the team succeed. I want to see the girls fulfill their dreams. For example, Ruth Corset, who just took second place at the Australia National Road Champs a few weeks ago, and who I will have the pleasure of meeting at team camp in New Zealand in two weeks, said in her interview that she wants to do well in the Tour of New Zealand and hopefully make the World’s Team in 2009 for her country. Hearing that motivates me. I want to be an integral part in seeing her reach that goal. I want to do whatever I need to do to help her have the confidence and the know how to get there. Obviously her fitness is up to her and her coach, but I want to be there for the girls to teach them central nervous system processes and how it plays a roll in their recovery and racing, encourage them to race outside of their box, teach them where and why to save energy, and just be someone they can lean on and ask questions of, because I have been where they are and I understand.

QUESTION: Which victory do you consider your most important?

DOTSIE: None are important, in the grand scheme of the world. I mean please, IMPORTANT? No. There are victories that are special I guess. Nationals on the track in ’07 was special to me, because my coach, and now business partner, Andy Sparks, took a chance on me and in only 6 weeks on the track, I was able to win Nationals back to back. It was just one of those times where you commit to something 100% and put your head down and go, and it was a success. It was an objective and it stirred great emotions in me. I did not grow up as an athlete. I went to college and partied until there was no more party and then I suffered from a horrendous eating disorder and drug addiction that almost took my life. So, winning Nationals to me was validation that you can overcome anything, no matter how awful and damaging you are to your mental and physical self. But there are a lot of single race wins that mean something to me for various reasons. I have fond memories of each and every race.

QUESTION:  What do you love the most about racing?


DOTSIE: Well, truthfully, I have always been one of those people who loves to train more than race. But I have learned to race well, overcome the tension and the nerves that results in finding pleasure, excitement and fulfillment on the bike. I love the process the most. The whole process from preparation to the finish line. I love the game, the way it plays out, the connection with teammates during the race where you read each other’s minds. That’s the best! 


QUESTION: What do you consider failures?

DOTSIE: Well, truthfully I have had a million failures in life. We all do, but it’s the organic center of those failures that always lead us to something greater. We learn, we grow and we change based on those failures. So, in essence, I guess you can’t really call them failures.

QUESTION: Do you have any favorite teammates over the years and remember specific things they have taught you?

DOTSIE: Oh gosh, yes! All of them in one way or another. Sue Palmer-Komar taught me not to take myself or any bike race to seriously. It’s just a bike race after all. Kim Anderson taught me to laugh, above all, find the humor, because again (recurring theme here) it’s just a bike race. Tina Pic taught me how to use my nerves for a positive outcome. Kimberly Baldwin taught me how to be a team leader and always be gracious and thankful.  She also taught me that a win in cycling is not possible without teammates, so show your appreciation to them! Lara Ruthven taught me how to be a consummate professional, even when you don’t necessarily like the teammate you are working for (that is a hard one for me).  Amber Neben taught me how to concentrate and focus under the pressure of utter chaos. Jennie Reed taught me (but I never mastered it) how to be calm under pressure and be kind and helpful to others even while focusing on your own performance.

QUESTION: What do you want to do after cycling?

DOTSIE: HA! I barely know what I want to do tomorrow or next year. My life path has had so many twists and turns so far. I am open. I suppose continue to do what I am doing now, in one form or another. I love this sport and I have no intentions of ever leaving it, although I am clearly aware I won’t be racing professionally at 55.

QUESTION: What advice do you have for beginners?

DOTSIE: Follow your heart, do it with passion, don’t imitate, be true, give back, enjoy the process, don’t beat yourself up over a bad race, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

QUESTION: Do you have any heroes or cycling role models?

DOTSIE: My husband. My Mom. My Sis. My Dad. Truly, they are the ones who have really shown me true love, ultimate faith, unwavering support and belief in me. I am not one of those people to find heroism in a fast time or a big race win. I find it in people who use what they have done athletically to improve our world, make things better, give back to those that will come after us. That’s a hero.

QUESTION: Wait, you had mentioned you have A LOT going on? What else besides Jazz Apple is going on?

DOTSIE: Well, I have a coaching business that I have had for the past 5 years, but I am launching a new version of it called Empower Coaching Systems with business partner Andy Sparks, in about 2 weeks. Check it out at: I also have an on-line accessories store with my sister. Fashion is a passion of mine, and sunglasses especially! You can shop it: It’s a great diversion for me and I dig the outlet and the income it provides.

QUESTION: I spoke to Jet Tanner of JetCycling and he said you are Directing Athletic Development for his junior’s team. Why did you take this position on with all you have going on?

DOTSIE: I believe in these kids. Simple as that. They are a great group. Jet has passion, his heart is in the right place, and he cares. I believe he will grow this program to a nationwide junior development program. These kids motivate me and I want to see them succeed. They practice 3 times per week together and live close to me, so I always try and show up at least once per week to give my time and share my experience. Seriously, they give me more then I give them.  I always come home in a good mood from spending time with them.