"Outgrowing my own limits, and seeing what I am capable of amazes me."
In our series #aboutcycling, female riders talk about how they got into cycling and what it means to them. In this edition: @rennradlwadl about a training camp on Mallorca, her first 100k ride and her upcoming ultra-distance challenge
I am Anna-Maria - and my passion is not hard to guess. Cycling as much and as far as I can. Euphoric, sometimes chaotic, adventure-seeking and always with all my heart and soul. That's how I would describe my journey and love for cycling.
But let me turn back time: four years ago, the addiction grabbed me to ride the lonely paved prairie alone or in a pack. My partner had fallen for his roadbike long before, at that time I actually preferred trails and exploring new paths in the forest. Downhill - over hill and dale! I couldn't imagine it being fun to ride on boring streets and also have to compete with cars in traffic. When he decided to do a training camp on Mallorca, I immediately knew: not without me!
That feeling of the first 101km stays forever
After my decision to join him for the camp, things went quickly: Bought a roadbike, rode a few kilometers in the Styrian hills, practiced clicking in and out, fell off, got up again, and suddenly I was already on my first “long” ride! This situation and that feeling I had when I saw the 101 km on my bike computer, left an everlasting impression on me. Butterflies in my stomach, pride, the wind that ruffled my hair, the gentle rays of the sun tickling the tip of my nose and applause and cheers from my friends – all of those things will never let me forget this moment. When I ride a bike nowadays, I still have that feeling from my first 100k ride!
From this point on, I was all about cycling and the passion for chasing lonely paved roads was born. I participated in my first-ever race only two months after, my rides were getting longer and longer and more intense. Having fun alone or in a group, mastering new challenges and enjoying a coffee after each ride while reliving the adventure. That's how I live, and I just love my passion.
Limits only exist in your mind
Pedaling with all my heart and soul, it was a logical consequence for me to go beyond simple rides. I was fascinated by bike tours. The challenge of traveling through different countries on my own, discovering new paths, outgrowing my own limits, and seeing what I am capable of amazes me.
True to the motto "girls can”, I taught myself how to change tires and do small repairs myself, so that I can make ends meet on bike trips alone. If someone had told me about that four years ago, I would probably have burst into laughter and shaken my head. But I did it. And I learned that limits only exist in your mind.
New season, new goals
In addition to my bike tours, which are also part of my training, there is a new adventure for me coming up this year: Race Around Austria - The Challenge. Ultra-distance cycling? Yeah right! I know that I can ride a bike. But will I make it? We will see. Am I fully dedicated to doing it, like I am with all my projects? Yes. 100%.
My saddlebags are packed, and I am ready for all the challenges and adventures. I will surely sometimes have a tear or two in my eyes - out of exhaustion, and out of pride. But always with a smile on my face.