Every spring, cycling fans worldwide gear up for the Tour of Flanders, the Flemish cycling year's undisputed crown jewel. With its mix of brutal cobbled climbs and flat stretches, this monument classic is one of the toughest one-day bike races around. One day before the professionals, amateur cyclists can ride the race. That is how, a few years ago, my husband and I cycled "Flanders Finest."
Here are some lessons I learned:
Initially, I wanted to sign up for the 79 km, which seemed a realistic goal. Although I had never climbed the cobbled routes or cycled such a distance, my husband convinced me to ride the 140 km. I learned that you have to set bold goals, even beyond what you think is possible, and push through the limits to reach them.
Enjoy the Ride
Without my passion for cycling, I would never have been able to finish this tour. If you love what you do, you will go a long way. Surround yourself with a great team and encourage each other. The 'camaraderie' amongst participants, who came from all over the world, felt even more rewarding than finally crossing that finish line.
Share your Goals
Studies show that your chance of actually achieving your goals increases when you share them with others. Sharing your goals motivates and keeps you accountable. Here we go: when amateurs can cycle the race again, and I can travel to Belgium, I will cycle the Tour of Flanders. This time I will sign up for the 140 km right away.
Congratulations to the winners of 2021: Kasper Asgreen and Annemiek van Vleuten!