[#aboutcycling] "I have a strong ambition. Not to beat others. But to beat myself."

Sandra / Veloine
Sandra / Veloine
March 21, 2020

A green steel bike, daily commutes by bike, and a feeling of endless freedom: In our series #aboutcycling, female riders share how they got into cycling and what the sport means to them. In this edition: @lisa_brunnbauer_wetterfee

 

Tell me what cycling is all about. Is it speed? Power? Victory or defeat? Well, I don't think anyone can give the answer clearly, because cycling has a different meaning for each and everyone of us. Cycling is extremely complex. More complex than many other sports. Simply because cycling can be integrated into your everyday life. And I’m not talking about integrating the training. Just try integrating golf or basketball into your everyday life. A bike is also a means of transportation and enables people all over the world to commute or do their shopping. And yet, even for these people, the bike is often so much more than a useful item.

I feel the cold, the heat, the rain and the wind. I feel alive.

I commute to work by bike every day. I don't want to drive a car. Not only because I like to move a little before my work in the office starts, or because I can regularly ride past the cars in a traffic jam. The bike pulls me out of the dreary everyday life. I feel life. I feel the cold, the heat, the rain and the wind. I feel alive. I know that I'm alive and that it's all not just a dream.

I bought my first proper bike after moving to Upper Bavaria. I chose a cyclocross bike, which was not very fashionable at that time. I was on my bike almost every day, the cycling fever had caught me immediately - and I’m still feeling it today. I have to admit that I don't feel the same desire to do sports every day. But I also know that after 10 minutes on the bike, there will be this feeling of happiness.

Soon I started looking for like-minded people and figured that a cyclocrosser was not the easiest choice for group rides. The rolling resistance and weight are noticeably higher and you have to put in much more effort. So it was clear that a proper roadbike would be needed. In addition to the first roadbike - which was still made of aluminum – I did my first cycling holiday in Mallorca. And as every cyclist knows, the right number of bikes to own is n + 1. A friend of mine is a passionate mountain biker who regularly rides the trails south of Munich and organizes mountain bike tours in the Alps. Of course I wanted to join him and got my first mountain bike, a fully.

Cycling is like meditation

My father certainly had a great impact on my love for cycling.  He had an old, green steel bike with a frame gear. As a little girl, he took me regularly on his rides. I would sit behind him in a child seat. I loved those rides with the wind blowing around my nose.

Even today I still feel this kind of freedom when my roadbike takes me out of the city straight into nature. I get goose bumps the minute I click into the pedals. I have not lost any of that spark for cycling in all these years that I ride. No need to say that I also love cycling because it contributes to my health. But above all, cycling for me is a passion. When I ride my bike, it's like a meditation. My legs move as if by themselves. I perceive nature as very intense. I feel deeply happy.

My ambition is not to beat others. But to beat myself.

My annual mileage was already quite high after I got my first bike. However, I only rode for myself. I wasn't really interested in competitions. Even until today, I mainly get on my bike because I enjoy cycling. The health aspect comes right behind. Competitions and benchmarking myself against others is not in my nature. However, I have a strong ambition. Not to beat others, but to beat myself. True to Laotse's saying: "(S)he who conquers other has force; (s)he who conquers (her)himself has strength." Yet, I think it’s important to compare yourself to others from time to time, because it’s the only way to figure out to which extend you’re already utilizing your potential. Constantly improving myself is what drives me in life.

New Season, New Goals: Race Around Austria

There’s an extremely exciting event coming up for me this year: participating in the Race Around Austria Challenge. My friend Anna-Maria and I decided to proof that two passionate, ambitious amateur riders are able to outgrow themselves and master a distance of 560 kilometers in 24 hours.

Written by @lisa_brunnbauer_wetterfee