After an exciting year 2018 with the highlight of setting a world record cycling as the first female in history the 3300km Vuelta a España at the same day as the professionals, the 2019 cycling calendar is getting busy.
I love gravel events, ultra-light, cross-country cycling adventures and have a thing for testing my physical and mental abilities in tough cyclosportives or self-created challenges. And there is definitely no shortcoming for 2019.
The year will start with a trip to the USA where I will discover new and old gravel roads in the Midwest, Southwest and especially in the region around Grand Canyon and finish with the 115mi Chino gravel grinder in Arizona. Just looking at photos, the scenery must be spectacular. For the ultra-light cycling adventure around the Grand Canyon I am planning on taking only a small string bag with me (like my Mallorca-Munich trip here). After a good breakfast and looking at a map to make plans and knowing that they are quickly thrown out of the window, I start riding wherever I feel like, stopping for lunch along the way at a café that looks inviting. After the refuel, I am getting back on the bike riding until the setting sun or tired legs ask me to stop. I find a hotel to stay, wash my one set of cycling clothing and call it a day. It is such a self-discovering, meditative experience cycling on new roads with as little stuff as possible. Only the bike and the road ahead that matter!
In June, things become a bit hillier as I am planning on cycling every single climb of Andorra in one go. I call this event “All-Summit Andorra Challenge”. This mountainous country is sandwiched between France and Spain in the Pyrenees and has no single flat road. With 300km and over 12000m of climbing I am hoping to finish within 24 hours. I am inviting everyone to join me for this adventure and the world record attempt as it has not been done by a woman yet. Currently it is planned for 9th June but stay up to date via Instagram.
Usually, I ride cycling challenges only once because there are so many new good ones out there that there is no time to repeat them. But there is one that I loved so much that I plan on doing it again: Tour du Mont Blanc on 20th July. 338km and over 8450m of climbing around my favorite region in the Alps.
After some heavy one-day riding, I will change gears to a more leisurely cross-country cycling adventure trip. Never have been there, I am eyeing Norway as I have great things about the nature and culture.
I leave the end of the year free as new ideas and adventures always pop up during the season.
But no matter how remote, how long or how dirty the adventure gets, there is always one thing I can trust: my bike setup. I am especially a huge fan of my Ultegra disc setup because I never have to worry about my breaking power no matter what type of terrain or weather conditions.
Any cycling challenges you would recommend? What are your cycling plans for 2019?
Photo credit: Joe by Lebikestop, Sidges