Can you tell us how you started cycling? Olala it goes back so far ... I had my first bike when I was a child, but it didn't start "at a very young age", no it started when I was already a child. In elementary school, I didn't actually pass the small wheeler stage. It was a gift, at the time I used to take my bike and go for short rides in the neighborhood with children of my age, but as a child, the practice of cycling was not my favorite sport. I practiced judo and athletics for a long time. Cycling became more important in my life when it really became my preferred mode of locomotion. My practice has evolved over the years until it has become a real passion: cycling is an integral part of my life, and this for my greatest happiness. I went from a city bike to a slightly better-equipped hiker. With a slightly more sporty look too, equipment that allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. From the moment I started driving a little further away (a little longer then) and therefore feel sensations that I hadn't felt until then and well... I began to focus on my practice and become more interested in all the things related to the world of cycling. I also had to acquire some basics in bicycle mechanics (how to change an inner tube, how to know the components of my bicycle).
Do you have a funny anecdote about your first bike rides to share with us? What comes to mind is the climb from my first pass a few years ago in the Pyrenees in the middle of summer. I didn't wear the most suitable equipment. I left like that without really knowing what was going to happen to me, what I was carrying was the call from the sun, the discovery of the mountains and its valleys and its magnificent plains. That day, it was very hot and I had only a can of water ... I had neither change or my ATM card... not much, really. And I went up, just like that.
It was one of the hardest exits of my life because at some point you ask yourself "where the hell is this damn thing?" And once you're up there... what happiness, indescribable at the time. Yes, for me it was an emotional moment. An outing that changed my outlook on my practice a little bit and above all taught me a lot of things. Since then, I haven't had the opportunity to ride in the mountains again and I only dream of one thing: to go back and take my revenge. What I almost forgot is that on the way down that first pass, we (there were two of us) found by chance a little bit of water dripping down and we took the risk of falling down sick, but seeing it flow there before our eyes streaming over that shining stone in full sun: hop' we slipped our cans in and drank this water without thinking. A little further on, the thirst comes back and there we pass in front of a small house, I cross the owner's gaze: an elderly man sitting in the shade, away from the sun and the heat. I get close and ask him if we can have a
little water and he fills our water bottles. A moment of kindness.
Cycling is a great story: it's an opportunity to meet people who are caring for people.
Do you have any tips to share?
As a general rule, listen to yourself: your body, your mind (of the moment... of your mood). It seems to me that it is essential to be in agreement with yourself, to know yourself. Know your limits and the meaning you want to give to your practice. It's a real learning experience. I learned it through the sports I've been able to practice (in competition and as an amateur). You may want to do sports to take your mind off things, to perform, or to share a moment with other people. Sport is a choice: it can be a part of your life.
An integral part of our way of life, or, on the contrary, be practiced on an ad hoc basis. The choice is up to each one, and that is "ok" not to compare and not to complicate. I like to know that sport can be as much a response to my need to challenge myself than my need to escape. For my part, I emphasize on the outlet side of sports, just doing sports makes me feel good. So I don't have sport routines, I consider it more a part of my lifestyle.
Can you tell us what your favorite driving spot is? I don't have a favorite spot in mind, however, I know what I don't like: the long roads without any difference in height... What motivates me to drive is the fact that I discover new things, new landscapes: the difference in altitude is to make the outing a little more pleasant fun by a point of difficulty otherwise it's not funny!
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to take up cycling?
I would tell her, "but yes!" You'll see, you won't regret it! Then I would advise her to think about what she likes about biking, if she is looking for something through this practice (escape, competition...) and according to that, to be interested in the diversity of disciplines so that she can choose a bike adapted to her desires (a racing bike, gravel, a city bike...). I would also advise her to read some specialized articles on the subject to accompany her in her reflection. And finally, to choose the right bike: adapted both to the intended use and, above all, to its size. Because once the acquisition it is necessary to use it!
How did you progress in cycling? Club, a coach, meet? I think that I progressed from the moment I gained self-confidence, I started to "venture" out of my comfort zone: by covering longer distances (in stages). I started thinking about maps, starting with the equipment I would need, a suitable outfit, invested in a bike GPS and as my interest in cycling grew. The bike became more and more important in my daily life, I learned "a few tricks" in mechanics, learned to differentiate the practices, because the bike is a philosophy too ... on the other hand, I do not have a coach and I am not registered in a club. However, I have met other enthusiasts with whom I have exchanged ideas and each time this is a real source of enrichment!
You can follow Segolene on Instagram: @mindset.bkg