You Can Too: An NGNM series of inspirational stories from everyday women.
Meet Alessia, fashion events, marketing, and sales manager; she only started cycling 6 years ago. She loves doing Chrono climbing races (individual time trials up a mountain road), and that's where her heart is! She's now taking a break from racing, but between a demanding job and a family to attend to, she used to find time to follow a strict training plan out on the road and achieve incredible results at age 50.
Have you ever thought about racing? Road, crit, track, long-distance, time trials, CX, MTB… there's so much to choose from and, yes! #YouCanToo⚡️ !
What's the biggest challenge you've overcome? - Whether that's mentally or physically.
I picked up road cycling only recently, but I went all in! I got a personal trainer and did many structured workouts with intervals and target watt/ HR/cadences to hit, which I thought were beyond my capabilities. I kept thinking, "I won't make it, it's too hard," but with the determination that exists within all women, I did it. And I reaped the benefits of all those hard workouts, becoming a stronger cyclist in a relatively short amount of time, being able to ride faster and for longer, and obtaining good results in a few granfondos and climbing Chrono races.
And I was hitting age 50 at that time!
However, it mentally took a toll on me, mainly because my trainer was too demanding and psychologically pressing, and I was going through tough times at home with my family and work.
I think that when you're left feeling "guilty" or bad for not hitting specific (training) targets, something is off, and it's not healthy anymore.
So I've stopped training with him and I've been taking a break from training and racing for close to 2 years now.
I'm now enjoying cycling more for the fun of it, out with friends and enjoying the scenery, experimenting even with MTB riding.
I've had to regain confidence in myself and the passion for the sport before even thinking of training and competing again. Not sure I'm there yet, but let's see what happens. You never know!
What 3 words would you use to describe cycling?
We all have a person who we look up to or inspires us in cycling, who is that person for you?
Probably my uncle! His determination, his perseverance. So inspiring, I love it!
If you could change one thing about cycling, what would it be?
Improvement of safety regulations and the same rights for professional female cyclists. It's about time we hit parity.
What's your "specialty"?
Climbing forever! I love to time my climbing segments and go as fast as possible on climbs.
Do you ride solo? If yes, how did you do it the first time?
I often ride solo on nearby routes I had first discovered with my uncle and trainer.
You see another woman cyclist coming your way you...:
- say hello,
- look the other way,
- scream hell yeah!
Say hello! I'm always super happy to meet other women on the road.