‘It is actually very rewarding to get over that initial fear"
Eline l 25 l Music Psychologist l Coffee lover l Competitor
I studied classical piano and musicology in the Netherlands and Belgium, before moving to Australia to do a PhD in music psychology. My life actually always involved a lot of music, and I was never really into sports at all. I have always been a very goal-oriented person though. Once I set my mind to something, I have to achieve it!
As I was born and raised in the Netherlands, cycling as a form of transportation (a lot faster than walking) is pretty much second nature to me. However, I never really got into the sport of road cycling until I moved to Australia two years ago. It was here that I bought my first road bike, joined a local triathlon and a cycling club and got hooked! Australia might not have the perfect cycling infrastructure (just yet), especially compared to the Netherlands, but the weather conditions here just make it very difficult to not get out on the road!
As I am quite new to the sport myself, it is difficult to compare the current situation to how it was years ago. I find that there are plenty of opportunities for women to get into cycling, but it is still very much a male dominated sport. It seems that a lot of women are a bit intimated or do not know how to start, and I wish that women would not let that fear get in the way. I had a lot of support from fellow female members in the beginning, which has been absolutely great and very helpful. But, it is up to you to take that first step and join a ride. The beginning is not easy and can be scary, but that is the case with every new activity or skill that you learn. It is actually very rewarding to get over that initial fear and makes you feel a lot more confident as a person in general.
A woman in particular that inspires me is Annemiek van Vleuten. She recently won the women's road race at the world championships with a solo over 100k!
I have not accomplished the so called ‘greatest challenge of my life’ yet, but my biggest challenge is completing a 70.3 Ironman that is coming up in 2020.
The drive to improve keeps me motivated. ‘Niet lullen, maar poetsen’ means to stop talking, get working!