It’s been 6 weeks and 5 days since I announced my retirement to the Cycling world, and finally, the roller coaster of emotions is beginning to settle, and I’m starting to find my feet again. I made the decision to pack my suitcase and head to Europe only a few weeks ago. Much to my family and friends disappointed, my heart was telling me to go, and that my time in Europe was not done, even if I wasn’t racing my bike anymore. The decision was certainly made easier by the fact that my partner lives in Belgium, and my best friend lives in Spain. The safe option would have been to stay in Australia, finish my degree on campus, get a job in the local bike shop, set up a small business in coaching, and start “living” like a normal person. It took maybe a few days of being at school again to realise I was not going to be happy if I took the safe route. As much as I sometimes hate being out of my comfort zone, and not knowing what I’m doing next, I do like a good adventure and a challenge.
My Waffle Next Door
So here I am, almost two weeks in Belgium, and I think today is the first real day of sunshine, and I’m leaving for Holland to cover a race. I was just starting to get into a nice routine of riding in the mornings before school in Australia, enjoying my acai bowl for breakfast and coffee in the sun. Instead, I now wake up to darkness, rain, and the cold that is “Belgium”. I knew what I was getting into, I’ve raced in Belgium in the Spring for years now. I guess the only difference now is I don’t have to ride in the rain, and instead I can go straight to the cafe (my hot tip for Bruges is “I love coffee”), have my coffee and treat myself to a waffle next door.
This weekend I get to pull on my fan girl pants / interview shoes, to take on my first job with Voxwomen. I’m really thankful to Anthony and the crew from Vox for taking me on, particularly with my little, to no experience on the other side of the camera. I really love to write, and share my thoughts and experiences with people. So for me, to get to work with the women I admire so much on a different level, is very exciting. Something I struggled with once turning pro, was the fact that I felt the women just didn’t get the same level of attention or respect as we deserve. From racing as a pro for 5 years, against the best in the world, I couldn’t get my head around being under paid, under appreciated and sometimes not taken seriously as professional athletes.
I have seen, heard and felt everything that it takes to get to this level, and these women deserve recognition, they deserve TV time, they deserve to be heard and praised for what they are doing. For me the best thing about my sport was getting to know all the different people who made up the peloton.
The stories behind the riders is really what it is all about for me, and actually motivated me even more to become a better athlete, a better person. My peers are not only bike riders, they are journalists, doctors, nurses, lawyers, physiotherapists, engineers, mothers, humanitarians, and much much more. The ability to inspire others, is truly something special. I don’t think I realised it so much until now, when I spoken with different people about how I have inspired them in some shape or form. Which leads me to believe that a lot of these incredible women racing, have no idea how they inspire others, and what we could achieve as a collective for future generations.
My goal this year, through different partnerships is going to be all about sharing these stories of these amazing women, and showcasing this brilliant sport of cycling. I have the privilege and opportunity now to write about what I want, and what you readers want to read. SO I ask you to share with me, what is it that you want to know about the sport, the riders? Tell me what you want to read and hear, and I will do my best to deliver the goods!
Until then. Happy riding 🙂