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Long distance cyclist and entrepreneur
« I haven't always had a competitive spirit. »
I tried a lot of sports when I was a child, most of them without conviction: I was too shy for team or "artistic" sports. Cycling, on the other hand, gave me the opportunity to progress at my own pace, without having to fear the gaze of others; when my father could no longer keep up with me, he enrolled me in a club and I started to win - without much competition, I must say!
Today, I still run mostly against myself. I set goals for myself and I do everything to reach them. In the women's race, I know I can win; I am aiming for the top 10.
« My passion for ultracycling was born in New Zealand. »
I'll never forget that trip: 3-4 months of bikepacking from one end of the country to the other, following a track set by the Kennett Brothers, you know? The Tour Aotearoa is a 3,000 km journey that the race of the same name takes in February: the same route as I did, but covered in 2 weeks. How was this possible? I wanted to know more!
Back home, I signed up for the Race Across France - 2,600 km in 8 days, 1st woman without assistance. The following year I did it again in Corsica - 1st woman and 4th overall. A first sponsor contacted me. I did a series of races in Europe (1,000-1,500 km) and I quit my job to make a living from cycling: I became a full-time entrepreneur, brand ambassador and event sponsor.
« I'm not a pro so I can stay free and do the races I love. »
What I love most about my sport is the strong sense of adventure. I tend to prefer self-supported races (isn't it silly to be followed by a car when you're doing a green sport?), where I take care of everything myself for several days in a row surrounded by beautiful landscapes. I like to take the time to visit the area after the event, or even to cycle home, without time constraints or pressure.
« To finish in time is already a big challenge. »
In ultra, you certainly need to be physically fit, but the hardest part is the mental part, because there is just everything to manage: sleep (very little sleep to be competitive), nutrition (it can be tough abroad), the itinerary (to be defined by yourself or not), pain, sometimes illness... and the equipment of course!
I'll always remember the time when my I ran out of battery... Finding myself a few kilometers from the finish line, running in circles, looking for the line... It's part of the game! (I never venture out again without a spare GPS, ever.)
« People think I ride 200 km every day... Not at all! »
No, what counts, as is often the case, is consistency. I don't always ride for long, but 5-6 times a week for sure. 25,000 km a year, a lot of it in the mountains - but not only! I met Francisco at the Roc d'Azur show, at the sea. He also tries to live from his passion, like me he leads his boat in the abundant cycling world.
He's right: in addition to benefiting nature, recycling bikes instead of producing new ones makes the market more accessible to the general public. I bought all my bikes new, only because I was afraid to have a bad surprise with a used bike. At The Cyclist House, at least you know what you're buying: bikes that have been certified by professionals. That makes a big difference.
« I am lucky enough to live in the "heart of the giants". »
I don't hide it: I am passionate about bikes, at home I have 3 of them! A hybrid bike equipped with all the gear for my travels and cycle trips, a road bike and a mountain bike for sport. More ecological than the car, I take the bike whenever I can, killing two birds with one stone: I take care of both my physical condition and my carbon footprint.
As a teenager, I already use the bike on a daily basis, to go badminton and horse riding. The practice of road cycling came later. Between 2013 and 2016, I was part of a women's cycling team in Doha, Qatar. I learnt to ride in a peloton, and also to crash... More fear than harm! Between 2016 and 2019, I was part of the cycling club in Pointe-Noire, Congo.
Since 2020, I have ridden alone, with my husband or friends, in the Hautes-Alpes where we live. The region, sometimes called "the heart of the giants" (Izoard, Galibier, Granon passes, etc.), is beautiful, conducive to many outdoor activities. I am now considering joining the Briançon cycling club - I miss riding in a peloton too much!
« There are still few women in cycling. »
I noticed it again on the 2022 Etape du Tour: 6% of women in a peloton out of 16,000 participants, that's not much! Beyond my result (29th woman out of 400), I took pleasure in participating in a long sporting event, and in finishing it "cleanly": what a joy to be sufficiently trained not to suffer it! I like the management and tactics of the race, drafting to reduce wind resistance in slightly uphill sections, managing my hydration and my food, watching my heart rate to produce the right effort, neither under nor over... As for the pre-race pasta party, with family or friends... always a great moment!
« Cycling allows me to refocus on the essential. »
As a self-employed business owner, mother of 3 children and a great sportswoman, I have a fairly life, where it is not always easy to find time for myself. It is during long sports sessions, and in particular cycling, that I manage to "clear my mind", to leave for a while the daily (pre)occupations; in my bubble, I concentrate on the essential - private, family or professional.
« The Cyclist House speaks to the environmentalist in me. »
Particularly sensitive to environmental issues, I adhere 200% to the principles of sustainable development and circular economy on which The Cyclist House is built upon. But that's not all: I also find myself in other aspects of this beautiful initiative, especially in the quality of the products. When I do sports, I like to use very good equipment; the bikes proposed by TCH are with precise criteria and faithful photos, allowing to choose one's mount without surprise. And you don't need to be a professional to make sure that the bike you buy is in good working condition! It is still appreciable.
Convinced of the necessity of such an approach, my husband and I decided to invest in the project.
Engineer and Writer
« A bicycle is above all a companion on the road. An escape buddy. »
I discovered cycling quite late, a bit by chance. My sport, for a long time, was rugby! On the field, neither relays nor curbstrokes, but rather wing balls and cathedral tackles... Thus gently "hazed", my cycling cousins didn't miss me: the next day, I made my first (real) bike ride with them - the ascent of the Iseran pass!
Strangely enough, I haven't stopped riding since. Better still, cycling has become my sport! In Haute-Maurienne or in Suisse Normande, in the mountains of Lyonnais or in the plain of Bresse, I like cycling for the sensations it gives me, the freshness on my skin and the fatigue in my legs.
« Cycling is a child's game that lasts a long time. »
This sentence is not mine, but the journalist Éric Fottorino's. I find it very beautiful. Cycling is always a bit of an opportunity for me to fall back into childhood, to regain the feeling of freedom experienced for the first time in my youth. I am naturally creative, and I believe that cycling, more than any other activity, inspires me and feeds my imagination.
One of my favorite pastimes, summer and winter, is to ride the roads - or to hop on a train with my bike, and get off again, in search of new adventures!
« If you like cycling, The Cyclist House should appeal to you. »
You bet! When my friend Francisco told me about this young company for the first time, my blood ran cold... I must say that the concept is very attractive! At TCH, you can find second-hand bikes, but inspected, with certified quality by professionals. A kind of Leboncoin for cyclists, guaranteed without bad surprises! Another important asset in my eyes: returns are allowed. When you know the importance of trying your bike before adopting it...
Today, I share my passion for cycling as a contributor of the site's blog.
« I like to challenge myself. »
I have been cycling for a long time. In elementary school, I used to ride my little road bike with my friends! The timed laps around the country house were an opportunity to measure ourselves against each other. In high school, I travelled (almost) exclusively by bike.
As time went by, the bicycle became a more distant and extreme travel companion. I undertake with my wife (soon joined by our first daughter... towed!) long trips through France, Romania, Vietnam... What a fantastic way to see the country! By bike, we go further, faster, and we recover more easily than on foot.
« I am a born competitor. »
At the age of 30, a knee injury forced me to stop running. It was a blessing in disguise: without any real experience, I signed up for a cyclosportive in Normandy. Well ranked, I joined a cycling club and started competing at the regional level. A bike race is very tactical, but also very fun. I like the mix of effort and game, of strategy.
« When you are well trained, you can achieve great things on a bike. »
My bike follows me in my successive expatriations, first in Qatar, then in Congo. In 2018, I participated again in the Etape du Tour, for which I prepared in a semi-professional way, 12-15h per week for 6 months. The following year, my wife and I fell in love with the Briançon region, where we have since settled. The place is simply mythical! People from all over the world come every year to climb the big passes. Izoard, Granon, Galibier... At that time, I covered about 10 000 km per year.
« I want to live moments that I will remember in 20 years. »
I have spent some unforgettable days on my bike. I remember a 220 km ride, from Beaufort (73) to Gap (05), taking 5 passes, including the Croix de Fer and the Madeleine... The blueberry pie at the top of the Ornon pass tasted great!
Today, my practice is less intensive, more family-oriented than in the past, but no less rich in memories! The tour of the Emparis plateau by mountain bike with my daughter or the tour of the Écrins park by road are episodes I will not forget.
« I love beautiful equipment! It's my engineering side. »
Before the emergence of initiatives such as The Cyclist House, we used to buy a bike on Leboncoin or Troc Vélo. We would have been happy to have a "stamp" on a 4 to 5k€ bike! I'm thinking in particular of the frame, whose integrity was no more guaranteed than that of the other components (a simple crack, however, can have disastrous consequences). So many problems that TCH is now able to solve by offering a well curated selection of bikes, which are of course already used, but stamped "ready to ride" after a thorough inspection.
I invested in the company because I think it's a smart idea. The concept existed for cars, why not for bikes? As prices have increased a lot lately, I am convinced that the second-hand market has a great future ahead of it.
Finally, I know Francisco for his energy, his seriousness, his loyalty. I trust him and his teams.