My name is Maan Klomp and my challenge for 2018 is to participate in The Ride Dolomites as one of the teamcaptains of the StrongHer team.
And while I am writing this I ask myself why I should go for such an extreme challenge once again in 2018.
Shouldn’t I just call it a day, hasn’t it been enough and will I be able to train as much again as I did in 2017? At this moment my bike is sort of tucked away in the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I do get out for rides on Saturday or Sunday, and I do join a trainingweekend in the Dutch hills, but I feel no urge to ride fast or for real long distances. And next to that, my legs begin to protest after 60km or so, and average speed on Strava I find no longer interesting.
My once well-trained body starts to show some traces of too many hours of couch-sitting. Well I guess you get the hang of what I am trying to say.
2017 Was my best year of cycling ever! It all began to look like an addiction. People started asking me questions if I had a ‘normal’ life next to this cycling mania. Obviously I have a busy job, family and non-cycling friends whom I want to meet every now and then. It asked for some improvising sometimes, how to combine all this and keep everybody happy. But I managed! One big advantage is that my partner was also training for The Ride. And most important of all I had this big goal I was training for: The Ride. In 8 days from the Stelvio in Italy to the Cauberg in Zuid-Limburg. What an amazing adventure. Beforehand I was not so sure if I would be able to finish this monster ride. But something amazing happened during this week. I got stronger every day and was enjoying every ride to the full. Initially we had a team of 3; The Three Degrees. But on the 3rd day we joined team Fiets Magazine and there was an amazing atmosphere in our group of 14 riders. It felt like a dream come true. On the 8th and last day we rode up the Cauberg with a big smile. And what was next? I had heard stories of people who had participated in such a big event the year before and they hadn’t touched their bikes for months.
So we came home on Sunday afternoon and the next day I was on my bike again. I was totally hooked to the bike. We made some beautiful rides, through the forest, gravel trails, some climbing in Gran Canaria, Team Time trial with Vrouwenwielrennen, Saturday spins with the Amsterdam Windjammers etc
Unstoppable! But then something happened, my body told me it was enough.
Too many kilometres, not enough rest. So beng! I lost the joy in riding. This is still a bit the case, but I can also feel is starting to tickle a bit. So I am going to make a plan for the next coming months. Start working on my core stability, get rid of this ‘couch-sitting extra weight’ and become fit again. And then I think that in September I will climb those Italian hills with a smile on my face and will enjoy the suffering again as I used to. So I will share my road to this goal with you and hope it will inspire you to get on your bike, enjoy nature and being outside. And most important of all experience the joy of riding. Because let’s be honest riding your bike is more than just doing sports. It’s all about meeting friends, experiencing strength in your body, enjoying the life outside and getting out of your comfort zone.
I hope that Nienke Oostra and I will be able to spread our enthusiasm and cycling vibes. And we truly hope that on the 16th September 2018 we will start off our adventure at the Lago di Levico with a strong and happy StrongHer team. Nienke and I will keep you posted on our way to…..The Ride Dolomites!
About Maan Klomp
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