Written by @aanaakuu [journalist, blogger, cyclist]
When I started doing more endurance sports almost ten years ago, it had to be triathlon. I was running, swimming and cycling six days a week. I also took care of my family and worked my job in a communications company. Or was it the other way around? Whatever… I remember the fact that it was pretty hectic. As if three sports weren't enough, I still had to train at least as much as my friends who didn’t have a family. I didn't want to fall short of them in any way - and forgot myself about it. My personality became less and less. I lived according to the rule "eat, train, eat, train, sleep, repeat". Almost everything had to be strictly subordinated to my training.
Three years ago, after my first - and for the time being last - half-distance triathlon, I simply collapsed. My body was functioning, my mind was no longer. As a result, I didn't want to have anything to do with the triathlon scene or with any of the three sports no more.
For half a summer I avoided everything related to triathlon. After a long time I started doing again what I enjoyed without exception. Still a lot of sport, of course. But not as determined and well planned any more. The motto was: just do it. Step by step I became the person I was before triathlon. I was doing well, personally, professionally. I was satisfied. There was only one thing I missed.
Whenever I saw a cyclist, a longing crept up on me. Until I sat down on my bike again.
The first ride after a break of more than six months was incredible. It didn't bother me that I couldn't keep my old pace or that the ascent on the well-known mountain route wasn't that easy for me. Feeling the wind in my face and seeing my legs pedalling almost automatically was like coming home after a long journey.
Reaching the top of the ascent, I remember I had to take a break because I was out of breath. I stood there crying. Crying tears of joy and relief because in that moment I realized it was cycling that I had missed for so long.
Since then, hardly any day has passed that I did not spend on the bike. But it’s no longer all about training times and competitions.
I enjoy the sense of freedom when I'm riding. Celebrate the "coffee & cake lifestyle", watch the latest trends and styles of the scene, combine cycling kits with socks, helmets and goggles, look at social media pictures of other roadbike enthusiasts and get inspired. I enjoy networking in the scene. Especially with women. Since focusing on cycling, I've met so many great and like-minded people.
Cycling, yes, with pleasure! Sometimes ambitious but not dogged. What matters to me is having enough space for human interactions and enjoying social, chatty rides.
But I can still have goals: I want to explore Switzerland, my home country, by bike. Preferably together with some cool girls on a bikepacking tour. I’m hoping to ride on Majorca soon and conquer Mont Ventoux in France. I’m keeping a picture of the Stilfser Joch (Stelvio pass) as a motivation during my indoor rides. If everything goes well, I'll finally ride the long serpentines to the top of the pass next June. There are so many adventures that I want to experience with my bikes and stories that I would like to tell you about. Every day is a new cycling chapter.