Do we not seek to continually grow and improve in everything we do with our lives?
Pushing our limits and getting out of our comfort zone gives us an immense sense of accomplishment that easily becomes addictive.
This will mark my fourth summer of cycling. Before this, I didn't bike at all, not even to run errands! I used to enjoy running. But I quickly became passionate about this sport from the first time I pushed on my clipless pedals. Today, I'm trying to make up for all the years I failed to discover my passion.
For the summer of 2021, I thought I would try road racing. It was a logical idea that naturally came to mind to push myself and get out of my comfort zone. I was ready to make the move. In fact, Cycling Avenue now has a racing team, which will include women in 2022. My plan was to prepare this summer by joining a women's team, learn as much as possible to be ready to race in 2022, and join the Bloom team to earn lots of podium finishes! But why haven't you seen me with some race numbers on yet?
While doing my research, and after good discussions with my friends who race, I realized that competitive cycling is very time consuming. More than I expected.
The reasons I wanted to race were to challenge myself, to test my strength, to improve myself, to work as a team to win, to meet new people who share my passion, and to experience the thrill and adrenaline that this kind of activity provides.
I'll spare you the details of my reflections and the difficulty in choosing whether to go all out or not.
What I realized is that all my motivations for racing could be achieved through many other types of challenges! Pushing myself and testing my strength can be achieved by doing long distances rides, for example. Working as a team to win and meeting new people can be done by creating a cycling collective! Experiencing many different emotions on the bike as well as adrenaline rushes makes me think of bike packing trips and fast descents!
Nevertheless, I am proud of the start of my summer 2021! For the first time ever, I have ridden distances of over 200 km in one shot, as well as rides averaging over 35 km/h. This is a huge improvement and an ongoing challenge for me. For those who want to challenge themselves, last year a 100 km ride was difficult and long for me. It's possible to easily scale up to over 200 km rides. You just need motivation, mental strength, and lots of watermelon flavoured jujubes. Beer tastes even better after long rides, believe me.
My next challenge will be to reach the 300 km mark, and who knows, maybe another bike packing trip.
I'll keep you posted on my upcoming personal cycling challenges and adventures in a future post.
-Krystel Thibault-Lauzon, Cycling Avenue Ambassador