Kate Brim Is Relishing All Opportunities To Learn And Grow Before The 2023 Season
by Nicole Haase
Kate Brim trains at the 2023 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National Team Camp in Solvang, California. (Photo: Ian Lawless)
Kate Brim burst onto the Para-cycling scene in a big way over the past two years.
The rising cyclist was invited to join the U.S. Para-cycling national team again for 2023, after impressive numbers in her first road world championships back in August of 2022. In Baie-Comeau, Quebec, she won both the time trial and road race H2, in what was her debut year on the national team.
It has been a whirlwind for the 24-year-old Brim, who described her life as crazy and said it all still feels like a dream. The Lowell, Michigan, native went from cycling because she enjoyed being outdoors to a world champion in a matter of months.
Brim said she is still trying to figure out how to adjust to her new normal.
“It just all happened to me very quickly,” Brim said. “It’s all still so new to me. I feel so fortunate to be able to partake in all this, and I want to be able to be exposed to as much of it as I can.”
Now she’s preparing for a unique season in 2023, which includes the first road world cup competition hosted in the U.S. The 2023 UCI Para-Cycling World Cup event will take place in Huntsville, Alabama, on May 26-29. Later in the year, a combined road/track world championships event will be held in August in Glasgow, Scotland, followed by the Parapan American Games in November in Santiago, Chile.
A Type 1 diabetic who’s mostly trained solo in Michigan, Brim relocated to Colorado to train with the national team. Now, she’s adapting to riding in a group while dialing in her training and nutrition regimen.
“A big part for me is just learning how to ride in a group, which has been a cool experience. I happen to be part of a classification where it’s not a very large class,” Brim said. “I’d like to be able to qualify for the Parapan Games and maybe even the Paralympics in Paris, and (at those competitions) we all start together, so learning how to be able to work with one another on the course has been a lot of fun for me.”
After a strong start to her international career, Brim is trying to manage expectations for her second season. She’s finding the balance in working within a team and focusing on herself. Brim said being surrounded by veteran riders who are more comfortable in the group setting is helping her understand the dynamic of how and when to draft or pull alongside the pack.
She’s trying different strategies to see what works best and getting used to the new bike she started using in October. She has been challenged to find the correct pacing and balance in her training so that she continues to learn and grow without overworking herself.
Brim sees everything she’s been able to be a part of as a learning opportunity, and she doesn’t want to squander one second of it. Each ride, conversation, warm up and meal is a chance to soak in the experience and better herself.
“I really haven’t set crazy expectations for myself as far as performance just because I still feel like I am owning that learner’s cap,” Brim said. “I’ve always been a person who just takes things a day at a time.
“I go into every performance with the mantra that all I can do is the best that I can do. If something happens –– good or bad –– I’m going to take it as an opportunity to learn from it and just be able to soak in as much of it as I can.”
Instead of focusing on specific races or finishes, Brim said her goals are rooted in refining and dialing in the details, such as her nutrition, race strategies, time management and performance management.
Brim believes that if those pieces are working together, success will be a natural outcome.
“As long as I’m happy on the bike, the rest will be able to come with it,” she said. “And for me being happy on the bike is being able to get out there and just continue learning from others and just working my hardest to improve myself.”