What’s up for next year?

A year ago my longtime bike buddy and best friend Annemieke and I choose the inaugural The Ride Gravel as our main event. The one big thing we’d ride together.

The best thing about picking an event together, is you share the joy of anticipating, preparing and training. And you consider your risks together: injuries of course and since we live in a new world: covid related reasons why an event can’t go through. Never did we expect The Ride Gravel to be cancelled due to flooding.

Empty handed

The floods in Europe of July 2021 not only cost a lot of lives but also caused a lot of damage. Cars, homes and roads, such as the ones we were supposed to travel on our route back to the Netherlands from the Vosges. Even though it was sad for us to have our main event cancelled, it does not compare to the personal drama of so many families.

After a lot of consideration, we did a local bikepacking event called The Green Divide. Which turned out to be fantastic, with great terrain and good weather. Obviously good company and a great time. I will write about it soon.

Riding The Green Divide was a great alternative, and perfect seasonal timing.

To focus or not?

But, the whole thing did make me wonder, should I focus on one big event? With the risk of it being cancelled, being injured or have other reasons for having to cancel an event myself?

Perhaps not.

But on the other hand… I am not a pro cyclist. I have a job (one that I usually like). A family with kids that go to school. So I need want to be smart with my time. How much of it do I like to be away from my kids? How much time can I leave my job without them complaining (this includes family holidays)?

This makes me want to think and plan ahead, and carefully pick my events. A few shorter ones and one longer one. That is my bandwidth. And if I have to choose one big one for next year… it’ll be the Torino Nice Rally.

Strada Militare dell colle dell'Assietta
Strada Militare dell colle dell’Assietta

Torino Nice Rally 2022

I am obsessed with the Torino Nice Rally since I followed Lael Wilcox and Emily Chappell during their ride this year with a group of women, The Komoot Women’s Torino Nice Rally. If following them on social media and Komoot wasn’t enough, I also found some great coverage on Bikepacking.com with photos by Rugile Kaladyte (@rugilekaladyte). And after some online digging, I found great info from thebrokenline.co.uk and jaxiting.com (especially this roadbook here). It was more than enough to convince me. If I needed any at all…

There is no date for 2022 just yet. I am assuming September 2022. But it’s on my calendar. My trainer is on board, my partner is (sorta). My bike buddy has doubts, I hope she’ll come around and joins, but I am on fire and I am going. I am this close to booking a train ticket to Turin. I am obsessed.