Marjorie, a passionate cyclist tells us about her relationship with cycling. I had the chance to meet her during the Race Across France this summer, a real ray of sunshine that will make you feel good in this autumn weather.
Can you tell us where are you come from, and where do you live now?
My name is Marjorie, I am from Lausanne, Switzerland and I have always lived here. I am 31 years old and I have a rather special professional background. I am a nurse palliative care specialist in home care as a first step in the development of a time. At the same time, I decided to invest in the quality of care by integrating
teaching for the past few years. I am specialized in this field context by currently completing a master's degree in pedagogy.
When did you start cycling? And what made you choose cycling over any other sport?
I started cycling 5 years ago. I came from synchronized swimming and was looking to discover a new sport after spending many years counting tiles. I often saw triathletes swimming in the adjacent lines, and the prospect of being able to do several sports at the same time appealed to me. So I got into triathlon. I was already running a little but I had never ridden a bike since I took off the small wheels as a child. I decided to buy a bike before I even knew if I could still ride one! I must admit that I didn't ask myself many questions. I'm a determined person and I knew I would give myself the means to make it happen. And as we often like to say, the bike is not forgotten. Well, it's not forgotten but it still earned me a few falls as a beginner who wanted to put some clips on my first ride. I realize now that at no time did I set myself limits. I quickly joined a triathlon group and participated in their Sunday outings regularly, which allowed me to benefit from good advice and quickly increase the distances.
Among the three sports, cycling is the one in which I flourish the most! It was an immediate revelation for me. Since the day I bought my first bike, a Lapierre Sensium 200, all I've done is think bike, eat bike, travel bike and dream bike!
Does cycling helps you with the other sport that you do? How?
Cycling seems to me central in my sport practice but also in my life in general. Indeed, I use the bike to get away from it all, to discover the beautiful region where I live but also as a valve when the working days are busy, or as a means of transportation and for traveling.
I am a hyperactive type and I often have difficulties to relax and take time for myself. The bike offers me a moment to refocus and even to meditate while letting the landscape scroll by. Cycling allows me to be in tune with myself and with the nature around me. I love to ride alone or accompanied by my husband, who shares the same passion, or by friends.
In terms of my physical condition, cycling allows me to work on my endurance without getting injured. Being a former swimmer, I was quickly injured when I started triathlon. Cycling has allowed me to continue training despite the injuries and gradually increase my training loads.
Cycling requires a lot of time, and regular training if you want to progress, how do you organize yourself on a daily basis?
For my part, I benefit from the training plans of a coach to ensure my body has sufficient rest time and to organize the work of intensity and endurance. But this choice is mainly linked to the many injuries caused by running. As I told you, I am a hyperactive person and I started by fracturing both legs from running too hard after only 3 months of triathlon. This was followed by a series of disabling injuries until one day I took the time to listen to my body and get to know myself.
Cycling is much easier to do without injuries as long as it is well adapted.
- My first piece of advice would be to do a bike tune-up based on a fitting done by a professional.
- Then as soon as the bike is ready to ride, I personally work on a base of 80% land and 20% intensity. This allows me to work on my basic endurance by organizing fun outings that focus on sharing with friends and the community "les bornées" that I animate in Lausanne.
What I love is spending time planning my next trips and going on the adventure alone or accompanied. Sometimes I even end up carrying the bike on impassable roads because I want to explore all the paths available to me ;-).
This element is essential for me. Each outing is a moment of pleasure and exploration. It allows me to have fun at each training session, and it is in my opinion a key to progression!
- I also take advantage, as soon as I can, to take my bike for my daily trips. This allows me to increase the time I spend on the bike without thinking about it and contributes to the long distance training. Sometimes I even go on vacation or on weekends and meet my husband with my suitcases on the spot.
What advice would you give to a woman who wants to start cycling?
What I would like to say to women is that you must dare and above all be proud of every accomplishment! There are no "small" climbs, small improvements or "weak" competition during the races. There are only successes and they all deserve to be celebrated!
For those who don't dare to increase the distance, we shouldn't hesitate to plan outings that are always a little longer, but which offer possibilities of withdrawal, such as the possibility that someone can come and pick us up, or the proximity of public transportation if the legs don't move any further. In fact, I think one of the most important tips is to always take something to eat with you! Sometimes we think that our legs don't move anymore but it's just that we are missing some sugar! Like when I wanted to tackle the Mont Ventoux at the end of the Race Across France and I realized late (when I couldn't put one foot in front of the other anymore) that I hadn't eaten anything for more than 3 hours!
Do you have a place where you like to go for coffee, a cycling spot, or an inspiring place that you would like us to discover?
I love to leave from the café "ça passe crème" in Lausanne. It's obviously the best coffee in Lausanne and even in Switzerland! Steve and Davide select their coffee with a lot of passion and share it generously with us! I love this place because it's also very cosy and often we end up talking with all the customers when we didn't know them 5 minutes earlier. These are very spontaneous moments that I love.
In your opinion, as a woman and a cyclist, what could be done or put in place to change the image of women's cycling?
For my part, I have decided to represent "les bornées" here in Lausanne. "Les Bornées" is a project of feminization of sport and cycling in particular by the mixing of men and women. It is a community of cyclists that can be found in several cities in France and now in Switzerland as well.
I think it's great that men and women organize bike outings for everyone. I'm convinced that the feminization of cycling will gain in visibility through gender diversity. It allows women and men to realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses regardless of our gender. We are all able to spend a good time together on the bike.
Concerning the Lausanne team, we are lucky to have women and men of all levels among the regular members. We are often told that people feel confident to come and ride with us because there is a real benevolence and the questions of levels are not at all a priority, and yet everyone finds something to their advantage.
I love the outings that I organize with my teammate here in Lausanne. Generally, we avoid separating the levels of the participants too much and focus instead on the collective aspect of the group. I love to see the fastest people going down a hill after racing and then coming back up a second time and encouraging the slower ones. It allows everyone to get to know each other, get good advice, all in a good mood. After a few months, it seems quite natural to ride with women and men of all levels.
What is your (or what was) cycling dream?
This year I entered the small format of the "Race Across France" by chance and since then I only think about one thing, it's to go into ultra distance. I saw this only woman facing the 2600km and even if at the beginning I said to myself "no, but I will never be able to! "since then I can't stop thinking "what if it was me?" The thing is that I know myself now. When a seed is planted, it always ends up germinating. As a result, I've already talked to my coach about doing an extra triathlon season by gradually increasing the bike load for a future ultra distance project. In the meantime, I have decided to explore the different regions of Switzerland to train to gradually increase the distance! Don't hesitate to follow me on Instagram to discover beautiful pictures because my husband and I are considering a nice project to make you travel close to us.
Do you have a morning routine?
Right now, my morning routine is to get up continually too late to have a routine! ;-)
Well but that's only at the end of the season when autumn shows the end of its nose and my body needs time to adapt to the lack of luminosity. Otherwise the rest of the year, I love getting up 1-2 hours earlier so I can do a workout before work. Even if the alarm clock is hard, I love it! When I arrive at work I feel zen and rested. Ready to face the day on the right foot!
What does cycling means to you?
Cycling contributed to my emancipation. If it was a person I couldn't stop thanking her. Cycling allowed me to discover my strengths and weaknesses. It allowed me to find inner calm. It made me realize how lucky I am to be able to live free every day. Cycling allows me to realize that the world is within my reach, and that by giving me the means, I can reach my dreams. Cycling is not only a sport for me, it also allows me to feel stronger and more confident in my professional projects and to dare to follow my path. Thanks to cycling, I have realized the extent of my psychic strength and perseverance. It is thanks to all of this that in the last few months I have decided to share this passion with other people, especially women.
Do you want to share with us something important for you, a passion, a job that you love, or anything that you want
The best thing I have to share with you would be a wonderful bike ride in my region from my favorite coffee shop. I look forward to welcoming you there!
If you want to follow her on Instagram: @_maki89_