When Annelies Rutten started cycling a few years ago, she never thought her bike would have become such a valuable life companion today. “I work for a newspaper and they were looking for a cycling rookie. They needed a woman to test the newest Merckx ladies bike under intense supervision. And they quickly found me,” Annelies remembers very well.
No longer prejudiced
Annelies was convinced that she wouldn’t like cycling. “Biking takes a lot of time, that’s just the way it is. I work for a newspaper and I often do evening and weekend shifts. I wondered when I would find the time to jump on my bike. And where to go? On top, I couldn’t imagine myself in a way-too-tight outfit…” Annelies started her training schedule in February. The goal was to ride from Maastricht to Reims in September with Ladies Fun Sports – quite a tough challenge. “But it was absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed the steep climbs: who would ever have thought that?” she recalls, still smiling when looking back on it.
Cosy cycling club
Annelies decided to join a cycling club. “I’m a proud member of ‘Der Wielerclub Spaak & Spier’ in Ghent, a nice group of people. We gather every Sunday and we often organise cycling weekends. The club keeps me motivated because it’s not always easy to combine cycling with my job and my family. Fortunately, my partner also loves biking and my 12-year-old son recently started cycling too. So now we can go for a ride together every now and then!”
For Annelies cycling is a complete sport that helps her empty her head and use every muscle in her body. “I love cycling but I’m not a ‘die hard’ person. On holiday I always try to take my bike but I don’t deliberately pick a destination so that I can go cycling. One day I’d like to join an organised tour abroad. It’s clear that I can’t live without my bike anymore. I often count down to the moment I can jump on it and take off for a ride!”
Annelies about being a model for Little Black Bike:
“Before I started cycling, I thought I would never find a nice outfit. But I quickly had to change my mind and fortunately there’s Little Back Bike now. I’m flattered that Angélique asked me to be a model, although I don’t really like to be in the spotlights. I do this as a friends service for her and I think it’s positive that she chooses for ‘real women’ instead of mannequins.”
Running was my way to blow off steam with a preference for long distance running. I was forced to stop. The sports doctor advised me to take up cycling.
Two years ago, I was having a hard time with my knee. In an impulsive mood I bought a bike. At first, I went cycling alone but I soon decided to join a team.
I took up cycling about ten years ago. I used to ride my brother’s old racing bike and sort of grew into the sport one step at a time.