Join The Ride
I grew up watching the Tour de France and considered the Alps and Pyrenees hallowed ground, which influenced my decision to study in France in my first year of university, in 2013. The reality of my French experience was less romantic: the roads and weather in Strasbourg were less Tour de France and more Tour of Flanders. I was homesick and rode alone a lot, doing heinous intervals. I lost the joy of cycling then. I actually dreamt about someone stealing my bike – I would have an excuse not to ride. But then I met cyclists from a local velo club. I made friends on long group rides, and as we chatted in the paceline my French improved. I started to look forward to riding as a connection to the community. Now, cycling is more than a sport for me – it’s become my way to meet people and push outside my comfort zone, wherever I go.