You Can Too: An NGNM series of inspirational stories from everyday women.
Our series continues with Valentina, married and a lawyer. Find out what motivates her to hit the road at 5.30am before going to work.
Thinking you need to find more time to ride? #YouCanToo⚡️ !
A relentless climber, a true "grimpeur" as the french would call her, Valentina has successfully conquered most of the iconic mountains in Southern Europe. This year she's hitting over 255,000m of elevation gain and 15,000 km ridden .
Her motto? "The only way is up!"↑
Read on to find out what challenges her and who inspires her to ride.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome? - Whether that’s mentally or physically.
The “Tour of Monte Bianco”: The longest and most challenging tour done in a single day. A wonderful day - A lot of road, a lot of climb and a lot of effort (326km and 7500m of elevation gain)!
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?
Two women: I started cycling following the example of my sister-in-law, nine years older than me and with three children. Even today she continues to ride with the same passion and dedication as 25 years ago: an example and an inspiration to never give up.
And then another woman, that I met thanks to Strava. When I started using Strava, back in 2012, not many women used it ... well, she had already been using it for a long time, and she made incredible tours, often alone, without competitive spirit but with an incredible passion and a desire to explore out of the ordinary. Shortly afterwards we were able to meet in person and still today she continues to amaze me for what she is able to do
If you could change one thing about cycling, what would it be?
I would change the image that (at least in Italy) those who don’t practice cycling have of cycling and cyclists. Most people say cycling and think about doping, drivers see a cyclist and think about an obstacle … there’s no respect for those who, with so much passion and often with so many sacrifices, try to do what makes them feel good.
What's your "specialty"?
Climbing over long distances.
Do you ride solo? If yes, how did you do it the first time?
I ride alone during the working week because I go out early in the morning before work. On weekends, I ride with my husband and a few friends. I have ridden so much and in so many places that even if I ride alone I don't need maps. In any case, the maps on the cyclo-computer or the GPS on the mobile phone are always helpful.
You see another woman cyclist coming your way you...:
- say hello,
- look the other way,
- scream hell yeah!