Why riding the Vuelta a España?
Only 40 days to go for the biggest cycling challenge I have ever done. One year ago, when I was looking for a cycling challenge that would give me the opportunity to convey my mission to inspire others, especially women, to go for their challenges and to ride bikes, I knew it had to be something crazy; a challenge where this craziness is easily understood. Plus, I needed something that has great potential for media coverage. Because although it is a personal challenge, it is not about me – it is about conveying my mission inspiring and enabling others to dare to go for their own challenge, to pursue their dreams. I want others to join this challenge, whether it is only a few kilometers or a few stages! This challenge is about bringing people together!
Since I live in Spain, the idea of riding the Grand Tour, the 3300km Vuelta a España, was born.
First project manager, then rider
Although I have not ridden a single kilometer of the actual cycling challenge yet, the journey of this project has started well before. It is a massive undertaking organizing the logistics of the 21 stages while getting the media attention for this challenge and searching for sponsors and other financial means. I have been having the most incredible experiences throughout this preparation – from an incredible cyclist, Sonia, who will create a celebration party for my arrival in Madrid to email responses with outright disbelief that I can make it happen.
Don’t let others keep you away from pursuing your dreams!
One thing I can tell for sure, I have been loving every single day preparing for this big challenge – the good and the “lessons learned” days. I have gained so much from this experience and the ride hasn’t even started yet. The biggest lesson I have learned is that you have to believe in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t let others limit your dreams, go for what you want. Because although there will be always people trying to keep you away from pursuing your dreams (for whatever reason), there are many, many more people who will be supporting your beliefs, your goals and your dreams.
I cant express in words how grateful I am for the support of so many amazing people from around the world!
There is Franky who helps me with media, translation, organization and logistics. There is Anneke in Andorra who will be my support person for the latter part of the challenge while accommodating me in the hotel, called Nordic Hotel in Andorra. The owners of the hotel, Oscar and Marc Casal are top skyrunners and their hotel is perfectly suited for athletes training in Andorra. There is Peter from Salobrena who will be supporting me for the first part of the ride. (I am still missing someone for the middle part). I am grateful for all the hotels who have offered me and my support crew free accommodation so far. I greatly appreciate the help of my sponsors, especially Gobik, who helps me financially as well as with my cycling kit. Thanks to Cycling Friendly who provided me with a car for the Vuelta Ride! I cant believe how many cyclists and cycling groups have contacted me wanting to join a few kilometers or stages with me. I am happy about all the media coverage on TV, radio, podcast, magazines and newspapers from different countries that have covered this project to spread the message. And a very special thanks to my family who have been the biggest support in my life!
The project is a success if it inspires and enables others to go out for their own challenge and to dare to make their dreams come true.