When Marley Smith jumped in her first cycling race in 2008 at the Land Park Crit, which she won, she instantly fell in love with racing on two wheels. Her strong work ethic and passion for the sport proved to be the perfect recipe for success which is evident from her quick climb from a Cat 4 cyclist to a Cat 1. Over the past several years Marley has been a force in Northern California racing earning titles numerous titles at classic races including Winters Road Race, Copperopolis and Dunnigan Hills…to name just a few.  Recently Marley has taken a break from top level racing to focus on her family, mentoring developing athletes and to lead cycling classes at Lifetime Fitness.

Read our interview with Marley below to learn more about her plans for 2016.

In 2015 you shifted your focus from Cat 1 road racing to being more of a mentor for the Folsom Bike women’s team and leading cycling classes at the new Lifetime Fitness club in Roseville.  What made you decide to make this change and what do you love the most about your role as a mentor to other athletes in the area?

When the opportunity to work at Lifetime Fitness (LTF) came my way I knew it was time to make the transition from athlete to coach- Working at Life Time has given me the opportunity to both lead and mentor the indoor cycling program and instructors and run the cycle club. I coordinate the LTF Outdoor Program and lead members on outdoor ride to help them develop road skills and endurance. I also knew it was time to transition away from racing so I could dedicate more time to my daughter McKenna and her cross country running at Woodcreek High School.

Describe how your cycling classes at LTF are structured and they can compliment both cyclists’ and triathletes’ training?

I build my workouts to both appeal to members that simply want an indoor- cardio experience and athletes that are coming in to train for races and endurance events. It’s about creating a culture of fun music, high energy and organized workouts that set up participants of any fitness level to succeed. We have the new Stages Indoor Cycle bike with a console for members to view their watts, RPM’s and heart rate. It allows them to have immediate feedback on their intensity and log their miles-it’s an amazing experience and so fun to teach.

What are your sport-related goals for 2016 in terms of staying active, at Folsom Bike and LTF?  

I love Folsom Bike and still have a great relationship with the owners Wilson and Erin Gorrell. Folsom Bike has been selected as the affiliate bike shop for Life Time and we have a great working relationship for members to get discounts on products for both indoor and outdoor cycling at Life Time. The Ride Like a Girl Campaign Folsom Bike has created has allowed opportunities for females to get connected to clothing and riding clinics specific to women and I try to support and assist those events as often as possible. I still want the Women’s Race Team at Folsom Bike to be successful and new team captains and team members have been selected that I am confident will carry on and do well at a highly competitive level. Sports related goals for myself personally will be to train outdoor cycle club members to complete a century ride late spring or early summer next year.

What is your favorite ride in the area? 

My favorite ride is through Auburn to Colfax and back through Meadow Vista. Those are by far some of my favorite back country roads and terrain. The scenery, especially in the fall, is incredible!

What winter riding apparel can you not live without?  

I can’t live without warm gloves and toe warmers designed for skiing but perfect to place inside a cycling shoe to keep your feet warm. If my feet and fingers are warm I’m comfortable and can ride in the coldest temperatures. A good wind vest for the core is also a must in my list of warm for winter apparel.

What is your favorite post winter ride treat or drink?  

A warm hot chocolate after a long winter ride is a great go to for post ride drinking, warm mashed sweet potatoes for recovery food. The first thirty minutes following a ride or tough work out is the optimal time to re-fuel and re-hydrate!