Let’s be honest: To start cycling you really only need one thing: a bike. And if you’re not completely suicidal, a helmet too. Everything else comes little by little unless you have far too much money left over and/or if you know directly: “This will be my sport”. Admittedly: I can pretty well imagine that this will be “your” sport – once you have discovered the freedom, the adrenaline and the movement for yourself, there is actually no way around the hobby of racing cycling.
How did I get into road cycling?
How did I actually get there? Pure random! Before I sat on my bike for the first time, road cycling was about as interesting to me as golf: not at all. I got a little upset when I had to drive behind cyclists in twos and threes riding down a country lane (I still turn into a scolding sparrow when I hear that on an exit. It’s easy disrespectful to all other road users!). My cycling career actually started in Monaco. Yes, the Monaco, which actually only consists of streets with inclines. And on my first trip (I have NEVER sat on a racing bike before) I rode from Monaco to Italy via France – good story, I know, but all in all it’s less than 20 kilometers 😉
Since I was invited to this sporting event as a fitness blogger, nobody assumed that I didn’t know how to handle a racing bike. I only found out later that there was an option between a classic racing bike and an e-bike, but afterwards I am absolutely grateful to have been thrown in at the deep end.
I’m just incredibly glad that I rode with normal pedals and sneakers and wasn’t “caught” on the pedals, because already on the first climb (and there were quite a few!) I tried desperately to downshift, but it only went up a direction! Who would know that each side of the shifter has a big lever enclosing the small one? Exactly – nobody who doesn’t know (or doesn’t ask). So I first had to dismount, embarrassed, like a complete beginner (which I was too) and was very lucky that someone from the group took pity on me, stopped, briefly explained the circuit to me and then cursed me. He had clipless pedals and “starting” with them on the mountain is anything but easy – sorry again for that! From that point on things went relatively well, of course, I miswired a lot, but at least I knew how to correct it and got along better and better with the bike.
So that was my first outing. Did she catch me? In a way, yes, but not in such a way that I only wanted to be on the bike from then on. I also knew zero people in my circle of acquaintances who rode racing bikes. Exactly one year later I was back in Monaco, again I rode the route from Monte Carlo via France to Italy with a large group, it was freezing cold, it was snowing and despite the top equipment I couldn’t feel my feet or fingers and was almost gone able to get ready for the gala that was taking place that evening. Long story short: First of all, I need a real experience of suffering to let myself be carried away by something. Back in Munich, I dealt with the topic of road cycling more intensively and decided to buy a road bike. I set myself a budget (we could all laugh for a moment, because it was blown up with more than twice that amount), approached racing cyclists in my city and then didn’t ride at all.
I had – of course – bought clipless pedals, had a different gear system than the bike I rode the last time and didn’t even know where to ride in Munich. So it’s a good thing that my Bianchi wheel in the classic Celeste tone at least looked nice in the living room. After the bike had been covered in dust for a few months, an inquiry came out of nowhere as to whether I would like to cycle on Mallorca and capture the whole thing on film for a flight provider. I? Cycling in Mallorca? Of course no problem! Will this attitude ever be my undoing? Pretty sure, but like every other time so far: Today is not that day! So, dusted off my bike and asked a former Tinder date (no joke) to take me on a tour. I don’t remember how this constellation came about, but on that exact day before I originally ran 20 kilometers, had no food with me apart from water and died on the bike: died. That is, almost. Four guys, one of them professional and me, by the way. You can’t imagine how much I struggled with myself, tried to pull myself together, was almost in tears at times because I just couldn’t take it anymore, gritted my teeth and still ripped them off again and again. slipstream? Never heard of, never done! Replenish carbohydrate stores? Half a bar from one of the passengers had to do it at some point. I don’t even know how many times I apologized and even if nobody really showed it, I think the whole crew hated me and especially the guy who dragged me along. 😀 Somehow I got through the 100 (!!) kilometers and learned so much in less than four hours and realized that I will summarize it in the following article “What I would have liked to have known beforehand”.
Incidentally, I’m still an absolute advocate of “throw in at the deep end” and to often be out and about with people who are better than you: This is the only way to make real progress in the shortest possible time, because you push your limits and “simple might”.
hp Luckily I didn’t do so badly in Mallorca a few weeks later and I’m sure that apart from the mechanic in the support vehicle, who I asked some pretty stupid questions, no one really checked how much I had recently Beginner was 😉