Share Your Passion – Road Cycling is mine
By: Linda Jacobsson
Biehler Brand Rider and SCSGBG Ambassador
I found cycling when I was fifteen. My father started cycling a few years earlier for fitness, and shortly after me and my brother followed him. We joined the local club in my hometown in Sweden, and I started the long journey towards the cyclist and person I am today. At this point neither the watts, nor the style was in sight, but after a decade, including growing up, has paid off. We raced for many years and both me and my brother were selected to the Junior/U23 National Team for some races abroad. With my mother completing the “team” as out nutritionist and lovely spirit, we were a real cycling family. Started off with an aluminum frame and wore a jersey two sizes too big and had no clue. Who would have thought that road cycling would be so expensive and specific? We leveled up with high profile wheels after a few years, baby oil on the legs and a full toolbox in the car to deal with any given situation. Just being at a race and not racing yourself requires some accessories. We went from nothing to bringing comfy camping chairs, food, extra water, umbrella, and SPF. You really need a manual to start off smoothly.
I was lucky enough to meet my significant other who shares the passion for cycling. I do not usually post statements of how much we love each other, but it is really a blessing to share my life with a person that loves the same things I do. We love different types of cycling, road racing, bike touring, and hunting crowns on Strava. We raced a lot in the past, we have done 3 big bike tours around the world, and now we are just two happy cyclists who likes to ride fast.
For me personally, I am stronger now then I was when I raced more frequently. I think it is a combination of years of training is adding up, solid base with the two recent bike tours, and just trying to make the most of every day with decent weather here. I do not have a strict plan for my training, but I love the feeling of getting back home after a ride with smashed legs, conquered segments, and a high average speed. Just to mention the words “average speed” says that you are not primarily a racing cyclist, but a person who rides for fitness and fun.
Road cycling has an obvious element of fashion and style. This has increased over the years, and now you can find so many nice pieces of clothing online. When I go out for a ride, I want to look good and fast. It does increase your performance if you feel like a king or queen. Jersey and bibs with a slightly longer fit on a tanned and defined body is gold. Carefully combined with helmet, socks and glasses to complete the look. I am a white shoe, white sock girl, a classic that will never go out of style. White glasses and/or helmet is also fresh. Take care of your clothing, and when you are “finished” with them, or want to update for the next season, do not just stack everything up. Give away, sell, reuse. Maybe a local club member will be thrilled to keep using your jersey on new adventures.
This year I had a plan. I wanted to gather a group of some of the fastest ladies in Sweden to share the road with and to push our limits. We have a big sportive event in mid-June in Sweden, thousands, and thousands of participants every year. The Main route is over 300km, and for several years there has been groups trying to go as fast as possible on the course. The record has been beaten over and over, and that is inspiring. As a woman, I guess it would be possible to draft and be the “fastest” woman on this, but I though it would be more fun to do a women-only effort and see how fast we can be without a male train in front. The women-only ride is 100km, with start/finish in the same town. I carefully invited ladies that I know are both strong, and skilled enough for this task. The goal was to average 38,3km/h on this. It is fast, and it takes some planning to achieve it. I was confident in this group and it seemed that all were inspired. Unfortunately, due to the you-know-what, the date has changed from the upcoming weekend to September, and we cannot do this for real this year. Nevertheless, we will still go on a road trip and make the most out of this weekend anyway. We will ride a 170km beautiful course, go all in on segments, and enjoy ourselves. We will try to find the gold of views and nature of Sweden, and we hope you want to follow us on our day. Maybe be inspired to do something similar yourself with your group of domestiques, copy the lovely course, or just buy a RAD looking kit. Enjoy!
Big thanks to Biehler Cyling for designing our SYN Jersey Chapter Sweden!