Maxime Van De Voorde was educated as an architect, but resolutely opted for a career in what she’s most passionate about. As a sports and nutrition coach she guides people towards adopting a healthier lifestyle. Cycling is a crucial part of this. You could call it Maxime’s favourite way to blow off steam.
It runs in the family
‘I took up cycling about ten years ago. My brother took part in races, and the rest of my family was also bitten by the bicycle bug. I used to ride my brother’s old racing bike and sort of grew into the sport one step at a time.’
Going to extremes
‘I like to cycle in groups as well as alone. In the spring of 2010 I took part in the Start to Bike rides that Angélique of Little Black Bike was organising at the time. This was also the same year in which I joined the local cycling club in Heusden. Cycling as part of a group motivates me. I like challenges. Soon, two group training sessions per week were no longer enough for me. I always want to go to extremes, and make the most of everything!’
Cycling race in 2021
‘In 2013 I participated in the Ride2Barca: a cycling tour with a group of women from Ghent to Barcelona. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 I rode the Tour of Flanders. That was really exciting, particularly in the first year: 250 km without interruption. Would I be able to pull it off? I enjoyed it tremendously. My goal for 2021 is to participate in a cycling race: I just haven’t figured out if this will be a criterium – or what we in Flanders call “kermiskoers” – or something else.’
Not a gadget freak
‘I’m not a gadget freak. I rode my brother’s old race bikes for a long time. I bought a bike of my own, with a carbon frame, only recently. Neither did I attach any particular importance to cycling fashion. I just wore the jerseys from the bike club. They were full of sponsor trademarks: not the paragon of style.’ She smiles: ‘Now that I’m more involved in social media and regularly post photos of my cycling feats, I pay more attention to my outfit. I consider it a great honour that Little Black Bike named a jersey after me.’
Feeling of freedom
‘Why I love riding a bike so much? Cycling gives me a feeling of freedom. There is no other sport that makes me feel like this. It’s also the ideal way for me to clear my head. The only thing I focus on is my bike and the landscape passing by. There is no space for other thoughts in my mind.’
Climbing the Tourmalet
‘My most memorable moment in cycling was the ascent of the Tourmalet, a col in the Pyrenées. I did this tour with my family during a cycling holiday to Barcelona: the combination of pushing myself to the limits (the 20 km long climb seems endless), the company of my family, travelling and being on the road ... those three factors together made me super happy!’
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.
When riding your bike, you’re in the middle of nature. It’s like a totally new world opening up for you. It’s nice to have a shared passion as a couple.