A week ago, I flew over to London to join Voxwomen on their Big Day Out (BDO). Voxwomen is, as I hope most of you know, a new platform where you can follow womens cycling on social media, see videos from races, interviews of female riders and so on. They now send a Show in a few different countries as well and are growing fast, this is a big sign that there is an interest and desire to see us girls ride as well. They are doing a very importent job and I was very happy to come and join them on the BDO with all they do to help us riders get a more professional stage.
So the BDO was a day where cyclists, no matter what level, could come ride with a few professionals (in this case; Lucinda Brand who's the Dutch RR champ, Hayley Simmonds who's the British TT champ -an upcoming pro, and me). So we went for a ride around beautiful Richmond park in sun shine (believe it or not ;)), than there was an Q&A ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MvB9TfK0ag&feature=youtu.be
) and after all that we had an afternoon tea and I finaly got to try real British scones! It was all a succes and despite a wenedsday, in the middle of work hour there was about 25 riders showing up!!
Before all this, me and Lucinda had an interview each with Voxwomen for their TV show where they wanted to go a little deeper in to my last blog post and what makes me continue despite alot of setbacks. That and a question during the Q&A got stuck in my mind and I have thought a bit about it since. The question I got was; Have you always wanted to become a pro cyclist since you were a kid or did it come later?
So first of all, have I always wanted to become a pro rider? I started racing at age 5, I always had my 2 years older brother, 2 years older aunt and my 4 years older oncle by my side during my youth years and I was always the little one. We had so much fun riding and playing around on our bikes. I remember in the winters especialy when we had lamps on the bikes and rode in the dark. We always got chocolate during our rides from my grand dad and we had hard indoor sessions which I hated and I remember I cheated myself through alot of them to be honest...! Haha. The more I think about it the more I think I didn't really had my mind on being a pro at that time, it wasn't really a big dream of mine.. I know we had a pro each we loved and we said we were them, I know I was Pantani and my aunt was Ullrich, I reckon that was the closest I came to want to become a pro at that point.
But the first time I can really remember knowing it was what I wanted was at age 15. When I was 14 I was so good that I can probably count my non podium spots on one hand, I remember the first TT that year, I rode better than the best 16 year old and people asked me for fun what I had in my oatmeal that morning. I cried on the way home becouse I felt so ashamed. I got double Swedish champ in cat. 13-14 aged girls. That year went so well that when I was 15 I wanted to quit. I didn't know if I raced becouse I always had or becouse I wanted to.. So I quit...But a month later I joined to see my brothers championships. There and than I understood and decided that this was what I wanted to do. After that break I haven't really had a doubt on what I want, even though alot of times I had reason to just lay flat down and give up. I've had long preiods with no motivation what so ever for different reasons but I have always, some way, known that if I just kept going I would be so thankful to myself later, becouse I was gonna go through it all.
This brings me straight in to why I keep going and I can honestly say, I don't know really. But there are so many things that I love about the life I have and despite all the bad, I guess that always wins for me. So exept for the fact that I might have a screw loose who finds motivation from the head wind ;), here's a few things that makes cycling the best thing in life:
First of all, the obvious, I love cycling and even when my carrer is over I will probably ride til I die. It's just the best kind of training I could ever imagine.
Second of all, cycling has given me so much to life and it has made me grow as a person so much faster than I could ever had living a normal life. Just a simple thing like going to a new country at age 20, to a team where you know no one and everyone talks a very strange language (dutch)... To step out of your comfort zone that far can only change you for the better, right?
And as well, after 20 years of racing I do still develop on the bike at age 25! And that every year, which is also a big motivation.
Than there's all the amazing places you see and the big amount of cool people you get to know along the way. But also the understanding you get for others and the respect you learn to show riding in teams and living with people who are normaly from different parts of the world..
The list could be made very long but I guess you get it, I love cycling! ;)
Got quite deep once again, hope you enjoyed the read! Stay tuned to find out about next year in the near future. Some exciting news to come!