I like challenging myself. Putting myself to the test and then pushing a little more. I love doing things that scare me a bit. Exploring new grounds. But strangely enough I completely forgot about that for a while. Until I started cycling.
I guess it all just got smothered a bit. 'Normal' life caught up. A job (although adventurous in it's own right), a relationship, a house, a kid. Don't get me wrong. Those are all amazing things, and being a parent is one of the best challenges I encountered so far. But the seeking-adventures-and-pushing myself-part basically disappeared to the background. And in a way I let it. Finding time for that in day to day life can be daunting. I traveled a lot before: solo trips to Patagonia, an Atlantic crossing by sail yacht, trips to Japan, Brazil and Iceland. So in my head, adventure was all about lots of time and big dreams. Which weren't compatible with my regular life. Or so I thought for some time.
The first time I got on my bike was about a year and a half ago. As a Dutchie I had cycled a lot of course, but never as a sport, just as transportation. But this time I took my old, rusty MTB/city bike out for a spin, just to get outside and get some blood pumping. One ride led to another, and before I knew it I was doing 2 to 3 rides a week. In October 2014, a dear friend of mine found me my first road bike which I bought from a seventeen year old boy who outgrew it, and that was it. I was hooked. Also, within a month I had set myself quite the challenge: cycling up the Mont Ventoux.
Although it's considered a bad ass mountain by every standard, for loads of cyclists it's not much more than a few hours of hard work. But it was my first mountain ever and I didn't know what to expect, or if I even would enjoy climbing at all. Well, I did. Loved it, and even managed to do it in a decent 2h04. So definitely more to come this year.
But in the end, climbing the Ventoux wasn't the only life changing experience. It was every ride I did so far. From short morning spins when the city is still asleep, hardcore speed sessions with the boys, cold and nasty winter rides, to wandering through tiny villages in a hot summer's Provence. Every time I go out, it's an adventure. Because adventure isn't about exotic places. It's about experiencing new things, getting out of your comfort zone, finding new ways, challenging yourself, meeting new people, having a real good look at what's around you. Adventure is a mindset. And I love that cycling gives me the opportunity to experience that feeling on any given day.