Stefanie/Berlin-Bangalore/road and fixed
What does riding mean to you?
Honestly, to ride my bike means the world to me. Around 4 years back, when I started cycling, I was going through some big changes, I felt lost and disconnected and cycling really helped me to clear my head, free my mind and find a way back on track. Besides that, cycling is for me a huge self-confidence and self-love booster; I call it biketherapy. I found love and friends and met so many awesome, strong, inspiring and kind people I do not want to miss.
My Bike brought me to places I would have never thought about it. Be it on a fixed gear bike in the Indian traffic of Bangalore or descending on a road bike down the Nilgiris Mountains surrounded by tea plantations in South India.
I love to ride my bike, because it opens up new possibilities to test myself, pushes myself out of my comfort zone and let me mentally grow stronger. Cycling isn’t merely a sport for me, it’s whats keep me going and growing.
What is your favourite set up?
Right now, I enjoy riding my road bike, which is a Convolution Aspera that I got from India and barely use my fixed gear (Fuji Feather 2016).
Do you think the environment is male dominated? If yes what are your thoughts about it?
Yes, it is. It’s not a limited problem to the cycling scene only. Women in nearly every sport are discriminated and face inequalities because of their gender in some way; in some more in others less. Thus, less women participate in sports, less women race etc. A perfect chain of causation. I wrote my Master’s Thesis about women in sport in India and did a lot of research on this topic in general, which gave me a holistic view on it and made me understand why thing the way they are, why and how we have to change it.
Even though the environment is highly male dominated, I can see – besides some scared, regressive guys- it’s changing and people are talking about inequality in sports. The discussion about equal price money, equal athletes’ salary, equal races etc. is making its way into the mainstream, which is good. Sexist images and useless objectifications of women in cycling are called out these days and the scene seems to come together in some points.
Nonetheless it’s highly ridiculous that in 2019, we still have to talk about it that women deserve the same opportunities as men in sports. Because of that, it made me very happy to see Fiona Kolbinger win the Transcontinental Race and the Internationelles completed all 21 stages of the Tour de France one day ahead of the men, to name only two examples. The discourse is changing, the way is still long, but I’m very proud of the female cycling scene making all this happen and that I’m a part of this journey in some way.
Any riding plans for the future?
I definitely want to explore India and Europe more on the bike and in general get more into long-distance rides, bike packing and maybe road bike racing. There is so much in my head and my legs, I don’t even know where to start.
Ride like a girl is a series of interviews with WTF (women *trans femme) riders from around the world. If you would like to be contributed drop us an email.