Following the example of Forrest Gump.
Monika Sattler wants to inspire women to ride bikes. For this, she plans to ride the Vuelta a Espana this year.
No matter what she tried, Monika Sattler was not happy. For professional Volleyball too small with 1.72 meters, not aggressive enough for professional cycling and too lively for a lucrative office job. She traveled halfway around the world for her studies and various professions; she never got attached to a place.
Now the 32-year-old from Darmstadt has found her destiny in Mallorca. She wants to show women the joy of cycling. In order to prove that the female gender can pedal well, she has started an ambitious project. Monika Sattler wants to ride the bicycle race Vuelta a Espana (25th August to 16th September) this year. Although not together with the male professionals, but only hours before they leave the total of 3,271 kilometers long stages.
After graduating from high school the Volleyball player received a scholarship for studying in the United States. She majored in International Security at the prestigious Georgetown University with the focus on nuclear weapons. In addition, she went for three hours to the gym every day. It became too much at some point, especially since the chances for professional Volleyball were slim. The next physical challenge included two marathons but it was not really what she was looking for. She needed more adventure and found that in adventure racing which is an “orienteering triathlon” that includes mountainbiking, kayaking and trailrunning. During that time, she found her love for the bike and started training enthusiastically. After university, she found a job at the World Bank which funds development projects around the world. “I was part of human resources with the task to compare the different salaries across the world within the World Bank.”
For the athletic German an office job was not very rewarding. In 2013, she received an offer from the German professional cycling team, Team Stuttgart. She had to make a decision and quit her job. After a summer of professional cycling she realized that she didn’t want to stay in professional cycling. “In those races you have to be quite aggressive and I let others go ahead of me instead of being confronted.” She decided to go for another degree. She was offered a scholarship for a Master in Sports in Arizona. Shortly before the start of the studies, the professor moved to Minnesota so Monika followed him. Instead of the anticipated warm climate in the desert, Monika had to endure the minus 30 degrees in the Midwest winter. “After 1.5 years I said to my professor: Either send me to another place or I need to stop this degree program.” So she finished the degree in Australia and found a job afterwards in Switzerland. She transferred back to Australia with the IT company. But still, it was not what she actually wanted. “The weather in Melbourne is as grey as in London.
I was looking for something new where I could work in cycling and live in a sunny place.” The German came via Malaga to Mallorca last November. She is training here with English-speaking cycling camps. Now, the 32 years old wants to inspire others for the passion for cycling. She considered herself an influencer. Those are mostly pretty girls who give beauty advice on social media. “You wont find those pictures from me. I also show myself after exhausting rides.”
She has 17000 followers on Instagram, enough to attract sponsors. Still, she is dependent on the help of her audience. “With a crowdfunding effort I want to get the necessary 30,000 Euro together.” The Vuelta a Espana spans over 23 days with 2 rest days. “My vision is, like Forrest Gump, to start alone and finish with a big group.” Sattler wants to start each stage before the professionals. “They start at 11am, I will be on the road already at 5am. ”There will be stages where the pros could pass me.”
It is possible to follow her virtually via GPS tracker. For those who want to ride with Monika Sattler beforehand are invited to join her monthly rides. The first one takes place at 9:30am on Friday (23.3) at The Workshops Café and Cycles in Carrer Magalhaes in Palma.