BMX News Editor Mike Carruth caught up with Felicia just before the World Championships to talk about how having a Pro Gate at home has helped her stay on the top of the W1 podium.
BMX NEWS: Welcome to a special edition of the BMX News Announcers Tower Podcast, I’m Mike Carruth. Today’s show is sponsored by Pro Gate, and I’m pleased to welcome Felicia Stancil back to the show.
FELICIA: Hey Mike! Thanks for having me on again.
BMX NEWS: We wanted to talk a little about the new Pro Gate ad in Pull Magazine. I know that you’ve been a Pro Gate sponsored rider for a while now, so maybe you could tell us a little about how having a gate at home has helped you stay on the program, you know, stick with it and kind of keep getting your starts dialed in.
FELICIA: Oh yeah, having a gate at home is definitely a huge benefit for training. I got the gate four years ago, and within those four years I’ve been seeing a lot of improvements. I just fixed another thing in my gate at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I was working on the Pro Gate there, and it’s just getting better and better. I love it.
BMX NEWS: So now, in the Pull Magazine ad, you were riding the Pro Gate junior but if I remember correctly, you have a UCI Safety Gate at home. Are there any differences between the two, or do they work pretty much the same?
FELICIA: They are pretty much the same. The one in the ad is smaller so that one will probably be more convenient for BMX families to pull out of the garage and get it ready and everything, but the one I have is just a little taller, that’s probably the biggest difference. They work exactly same though.
BMX NEWS: Right on. If you were coaching/advising someone who just got their gate and they’re looking to make some strides forward and stuff like that, how would you advise them to start up with a program?
FELICIA: With a gate?
BMX NEWS: Yeah, because I think that people’s natural tendency is to get the gate and then they go hardcore and start doing 50-100 starts a day, and then they may burn out after a while. They are going for quantity not quality. So, anything to advise along those lines? Like how many starts do you do in a given day?
FELICIA: I was thinking that as you start it, it’s definitely quality over quantity. Not as many gates, but a bigger time difference. Like take a bigger rest in between to get that quality in each gate, because you want to do each gate like it’s a race. You don’t go into a race fatigued, so get at least like three minutes between each gate so that each gate is like 100%, just like a race.
BMX NEWS: And do you normally use timers?
FELICIA: Yeah, I have the Pro Gate timers. That’s probably the biggest thing with training because you don’t know where you’re at and like if you change something little in your form, you don’t know if it’s working. So the timers definitely are as important as the gate.
BMX NEWS: And do you use video as well?
FELICIA: I use a lot more video at the training center, but yeah, I use video at home too, that definitely helps. You could go back and see “oh, I used my hips more on that one, and here was the result” or “oh, my back was more straight on this one” and look at the time differences. But yeah, I use video, timing… everything goes into refining my gates. The gates are the most important, the most technical form, and very important. That’s a huge thing I’ve struggled with over the years, but the Pro Gate at home has definitely helped me a lot.
BMX NEWS: Now obviously there’s an investment involved in getting the gate, so I think a lot of people want to say “well, I’ll just use a gate that doesn’t have a cadence and doesn’t have a ram and stuff like that, a manual gate” – what I call a ‘zombie’ gate. What do you think about that? It’s probably a little better than nothing, but really if you’re investing the kind of money and effort into doing the national circuit and trying to be the best you can be, do you think there’s a big difference between not having it and having the full-on gate?
FELICIA: Well I guess you want to replicate a race as much as possible, so definitely the gate [cadence] and having an actual working gate will benefit you a lot, that’s the cool thing about this new gate. It’s affordable, and more convenient for the average family, so to replicate a real race, definitely go for the Pro Gate Junior.
BMX NEWS: Sure. Switching gears for a moment, you’re going to be heading down to New Zealand for the World Championships which this podcast may be out around the time you’re down there, maybe just after in fact, but what’s going through your head now that you’re back at the training center, and you’re sort of getting yourself into Worlds mode?
FELICIA: I just rode the Supercross track for the first time since my crash within the past two weeks. It was actually the first track that I went back on. But I feel like my head is where it should be right now. I definitely have confidence; my times are back to normal already and everything on the Beijing track and the London track. My head is exactly where it should be going into the World events.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Felicia went to Auckland and scored two World Titles in Junior Women, winning the Time Trial and SX Race.
BMX NEWS: Right on! And how’s the camaraderie down there? Team USA!
FELICIA: Everybody is looking good. David, Connor, everyone is looking very powerful. All the girls, Alise, Arielle, Brooke. Every single rider was looking very impressive, it was very cool to watch and be a part of.
BMX NEWS: Have you seen the track at all? You know, the designs?
FELICIA: Yeah, I’ve seen some. I saw the videos of the amateur and the pro one and I saw the switching the hill one. That’ll be a little weird. I saw one that wasn’t too technical, I know it’s smaller than last year’s world. I like bigger tracks, but you got to deal with what they give you.
BMX NEWS: We’re actually coming to the end of it here. Anything to add for the fans, Pro Gate or otherwise?
FELICIA: I’d like to send out a huge thanks to Pro Gate, Pierce and Jay. They have definitely helped me become the rider I am today. I wouldn’t be close to where I am without them. And then GT Bicycles, USA Cycling, everyone that’s been supporting me along the way.
BMX NEWS: Cool, and what’s your twitter?
FELICIA: @flynfelicia, and that’s the same as my Instagram too.
BMX NEWS: Our guest on this special episode of Announcers Tower was Felicia Stancil , thanks for joining us and we hope to have you on again real soon.
FELICIA: Thanks Mike.