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Name: Fatima Minor
Location: Moscow, Russia
Discipline: Fixed gear
What does riding mean to you?
Speed and independence. I bought my first fix with the intention of quick moving across the city and being less in the underground, because Moscow is a constant rush for me. It takes 4 hours of commuting by train every day. Endless waiting for transport is also an issue.
But I didn’t expect the bike to completely change my life. When I realized I am addicted to the bike, it was too late. I spend the same 4 hours on commuting, but on the bike now. So the day is never wasted, whatever it is.
There was a point of time, when I forgot how to walk, because I rode my bike to work, to gym, home or just to laze around. My friends were surprised and asked how I can ride so long distances so fast. Now I want to admit that it rarely came easy for me.
Moscow is a rather hilly city and sometimes roads are not the most pleasant. But this is the whole thrill! Constant overcoming of oneself, constant struggling, constant training – these gives a feeling of freedom and independence. The more difficult the path, the more interesting and joyful it is despite you realize it only at the end of the path. So, here’s my motto “If you’re dead – keep going”.
And of course, a bicycle unites the world. I figured out this over time, when I met and got acquainted with the most interesting bike lovers around the world. In short, the person who invented a bicycle is a great person.
What is your favourite set up?
Fixed gear. My first bike was a fixed gear and it is still a fixed gear. Moreover, as a beginner, I bought a Fuji, and had been cycling on it for 4 years and only recently I’ve changed it to a less heavy Aventon. I like being tied to a bike in the truest sense of the word.
As I said, I bought it as a mean for faster and more affordable traveling around the city. I’d been cycling from 20 to 30 km per day. But when I put an end to short stops during cycling, I started to ride from 40 to 90 km per day.
My friends advise me to buy road bike for a long distance. But I am not intimidated by long distances on the fix. By now, the maximum distance I’ve ridden was 150 km on the route from St. Petersburg to Vyborg. And I’m going to ride even more. I am very inspired by people who travel on a fixed gear or go to the mountains on a fix. They’re tremendously strong and enduring!
Do you think the environment is male dominated? If yes what are your
thoughts about it?
My take on this matter is that men dominate cycling, as well as many kinds of sports or other areas. But that’s okay for me, I’m not a feminist lol. Perhaps this was a problem a long time ago, when women were oppressed, but in the modern world I think it is all right, at least I have not encountered it.
On the contrary, I began to notice there are more and more women cyclists. And that is great trend!
Any riding plans for the future?
I was going to go to Spain this year with my fix and have a ride from Barcelona to Valencia. This would have been the beginning of my first journey on a bike. But the virus broke everyone’s plans. So I keep the same plan for next year.
And also I do plan to buy a road bike to ride really steep mountains.
To be honest, I never thought that I would ever think about cycling. And that a bicycle can give such intense pleasure and even can change your worldview.
A bicycle makes you strong not only physically, but also spiritually. It allows you to enjoy your path, your own strength and the beauty of surrounding environment. All that is required of you is not to give up and try hard. A bike is a marvelous invention in all respects.
Ride like a girl is a series of interviews with WTNB (women trans non-binary) riders from around the world. If you would like to be contributed drop us an email.