"Being a cyclist is putting foot to pedal on the road. It doesn't matter if you're thin or fat, fast or slow. It's the fact that you're out there, you're trying. That's what's important" -- Lynne Ashdown.
The other day a friend and fellow female cyclist posted a link to an article titled "One American woman, 54 Italian men and a cycling journey." The article tells of Lynne's unplanned 10 day, 1,000 mile cycling journey across Northern Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland with her then partner and 53 other Italian men. The trip was originally thought to be a romantic getaway, however, soon after arriving in Italy she learned that her partner had arranged to go on this cycling tour. She explains how cycling in Italy is looked upon as a male sport, and even though she was invited to join, the invitee did not actual want her to join. Lynne decided to go anyway. She was 52 at the time and had begun cycling at age 37 and have only participated in two centuries since then. "I just felt it in my gut that I could do this, and that I was a person who could do this. And this overwhelming desire to do this just took over me," she says. She did complete the tour and has gone on to write a book about the journey and all that she learned about herself through that journey. The book is titled "One American Woman, Fifty Italian Men: A Journey of Cycling, Love and Will."
I think I will be getting her book sometime in the near future. I really would love to read it because just from what I read in the article, I felt even more inspired for my upcoming journey (ALC). Many times during my training, I end up being the only girl in the group of riders that form. I'm not saying that I'm the only girl in the entire group, but once we break off and gang up into groups of riders of the same speed. I don't actually mind; I've always been one of the guys growing up. I find myself actually pushing harder, to keep up with those stronger, faster guys. This, inturn, makes me a better cyclist.
The link to the article: