MOUNTAINS ARE A WONDERFUL CYCLING PLAYGROUNDEcrit par Celine Champonnet06.16.2020
Hi, my name is Maud, I'm 30, and I live in Paris
Tell us about your first time on a bike...
It was in Voiron in the courtyard of my parents' house. I remember that day when they took the wheels off you so you could roll on your own wings. My father pushed me and didn't tell me he was letting go. The feeling was magical, between weightlessness and speed, breathtaking, and a smile on his face!
Can you tell us about your best bike riding experience?
My summer 2018 vacation took place in the Mercantour. Based in Barcelonnette, my boyfriend and I had a range of passes around us. My best memory was on the mythical Bonnette. It wasn't really the arrival after the last Km at 14% (the surprise that closes the route well), but the whole ascent which, between the landscapes and the changing temperatures, the general atmosphere in which the effort plunges us, and the concert of wildlife, is a real journey in itself.
What woman inspires you the most?
Charlotte Perriand has been inspiring me since my early years and continues to amaze me as I decipher and understand her journey. It is not in her athletic achievements that she is recognized, but her great freedom of spirit and choice are components particularly related to self-expression and perseverance that expresses itself in great challenges.
Do you have a fun anecdote to tell us?
When I arrived in Paris, I followed my boyfriend on the polygons and other speed rings during the weekends. The car pedals got the better of me a lot of times on the way. Once I fell at the stop on the Avenue du Trône, I got stuck under the bike and blocked the traffic until someone came to pick me up.
Tell us, where's your favorite driving spot?
I come from Grenoble, and I must admit that the mountains are a wonderful playground. As for Paris, I have a huge weakness for the banks of the Marne, which gives food and drink, with a sumptuous architectural landscape, and a very nice road to practice.Cycling is a sport where you need to be resilient, what resources do you call on when you're at the end of your rope? At the moment, I've dealt with two types of "end of the road".
First, there's the craving, and unfortunately, nobody can do anything for you except the coffee shop on the corner that can serve you 12 coke that will take effect after 30 minutes and hopefully get you back to the nearest train station. And then there's the mental end of the road, the emotional cracking, the "I can't breathe". When I get to that point, it makes me all the more determined not to let go, because the hardest part has been done. I tell myself that I am the only person who allows me to judge myself and that it is out of the question to stop on such a good path. A wise person who shares my life once told me: "the hardest part is the first meter" and he continues to be right.
On my first climb up the Alpe d'Huez, I told myself at every bend that I was a machine, even if I was passed by a local on the second. It paid off, and I can't wait to do it all over again!
What do you like about Wilma?
I got to know Wilma by meeting Celine through our mutual friend Aude (who has a knack for putting people in touch, it has to be said). What I liked about Wilma is first of all the fair and true approach to the project, without any fuss. Inevitably, the idea of riding in style immediately caught my mind. What I also liked was the idea of creating a community of women riders, who claim nothing else than riding, having fun riding, and sharing tips! I learned to ride and I ride most of the time with male riders, who federate among themselves; and it's nice to see. I like the idea that we can continue to share this together, through our own identity!
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start cycling?
Get over yourself, learn to appreciate the pain, and, above all, try several bowel movements to find the one that suits you best! It really changes everything to feel good on your bike. It allows you to be more relaxed, reactive, alert, to always go forward and have fun on any kind of outing.
You can follow Maud on Instagram: @mdlrz