Setting an Hour Record is big news - immediately after the athlete has finished there will be a crowd of waiting journalists ready to interview the victorious rider. When Evelyn Stevens broke the women's record over the weekend, it was nine-year-old Abby Henderson, daughter of Stevens' coach Neal, who was first in line, ahead of experienced journalists with bulging budgets and reams of bylines to boast.
TWC contributor, Jessi Braverman, gave Abby a call to find out more about her...
Abby Henderson was home sick from school on Monday when she fielded my phone call.
“Hi Abby," I said. “How are you?"
“I’m awesome," she replied. “This is so cool. I love being interviewed."
Turns out she also loves interviewing.
There were plenty of journalists at the 7-11 Velodrome in Colorado Springs on Saturday that wanted to speak with Evelyn Stevens following her hour record-setting ride, but it was nine-year-old Abby who scored the only one-on-one interview the American gave all afternoon.
“She was my first interview," Abby said. “I’m also planning to interview Taylor Phinney and Rohan Dennis and Cam [Dye] and Flora [Duffy]."
Abby’s father, Neal Henderson, coaches Stevens. He works closely with the Phinney family, coached Dennis to the hour record last February and works with triathletes Dye and Duffy under the Apex Coaching banner based out of Boulder, Colorado. Needless to say, Abby enjoys special access to some of the biggest names in endurance sports.
“I see Evie a lot," said Abby. “I went to her wedding. She comes to my house sometimes. One morning I woke up, and she was there already, talking to my dad. She’s not just some bike rider that my dad coaches. She’s friends with my whole family."
Pictures of Abby interviewing Stevens began circulating on Saturday and by Sunday evening, Abby had posted a video of the interview to the YouTube channel she named “Abby the Awesome" – which is the perfect name for it. Because Abby is awfully awesome. Here's her video....
Abby was at an Easter party when the seed was planted for the interview.
“I was talking with [a friend], and she said ‘you’re really talkative’ and she said I had some good questions, and it all just came from there," Abby explained.
Journalists take note - Stevens said Abby’s questions were the best she fielded all day. Does that mean in 15 years we’ll see Abby in the trenches at the biggest bike races in the world?
“Actually, I like acting, and I want to direct," said Abby. “Directing includes using a camera, which is how I did this interview."
That’s right. Abby didn’t simply interview Stevens. She also filmed the hour record attempt and the interview, edited the clip and uploaded it to her YouTube channel without any adult assistance.
“I went to this camp called YouTube class, and it taught you how to edit," said Abby. “Mostly I just learned on my own. I taught myself."
“It was pretty fun during the hour record because I filmed videos with my GoPro and took pictures of Evie and all the surroundings," Abby added. “It was also funny at times because I was watching my dad’s face, and it was really, really crazy."
While much of Abby’s story is unique, she shares something in common with most nine-year-olds as well as the athletes her father coaches.
“I do ride my bike a lot," she said. “I ride to school, and I’ve been going on more bike rides with my dad lately. I got a new bike for Christmas, and it feels really nice to ride it. It’s a road bike – red and white."
Check out Abby's interview with Evelyn Stevens below, and read more abut the hours leading up to the attempt here...