Bicycle riding is big in Europe and even bigger in France. With a whole new season of Le Tour fast approaching, Crank decided to take a peek at what is cooking in France and bring you Marion Villette, a 27 year old high school English teacher whose connections with cycling is rather unique.
Marion has been riding seriously since the past year, but has always had a bicycle around her. She rode around as a child and progressed to riding around her village in her late teens. She narrates the resurrection of her habit, “My partner is a cycling addict and so when he went out to see friends, they would just go somewhere to cycle. It looked like a lot of fun, and so I bought a second-hand bike and started riding with the guys!”
Realizing that her partner is not the only one who is addicted to cycling, Marion accepts, “I now spend most of my free time cycling but I also like watching series and movies, and spending time with my friends and family. I have come to own several bikes, a Cannondale Supersix Evo equipped in Shimano 105, my first real road bike, but these days I’m lucky enough to ride a Hi-Mod Supersix Evo equipped with amazing Sramred gear and Zipp wheels. I also have a Dolan Seta fixed gear bike, a Merida mountain bike and a custom steel frame that I started on.”
France is a beautiful country to cycle in. No wonder it is called the Tour De France. “In France, it seems like everyone owns a bike. But not everyone uses one regularly, but everyone has a bike in their garage. Parents ride with their children for family time, teenagers cycle to see their friends, some adults cycle to run errands and other people ride their bikes to exercise or to compete and seeing people on bikes is just very usual here in France. I started riding “for real” this summer and I have to admit that spending my afternoons watching Le Tour helped me realize that I really wanted to cycle. Le Tour De France is so exhilarating, even when you’re just in front of your TV. I loved watching it and so I started spending my mornings riding and my afternoons watching the race.”
Marion loves to ride in the Lot region in the South West of France for the long empty roads where once can choose to have a mostly flat ride or to cycle over some hills or even to do some serious uphill training. She never give up the opportunity to discover new routes and landscapes and has recently climbed Mt. Ventoux making it her current favourite route.
Speaking a little bit more about her riding habits, “I ride all kind of distances, sometimes I cycle for just 25km when I don’t have time for more, but if I’m in a group, I regularly cycle up to 80km or more. On my own, on a normal ride, I’d say I ride about 40-50km, but I like changing distance, speed and types of rides quite often.”
Her philosophy towards cycling remains simple, “It’s fun, it’s fast, it doesn’t cost you money after you’ve bought it, and it makes you feel free.” She goes on to recommend it to more people, “Try it, you’ll love it. Cycling is good for your body and mind; it makes you healthy both physically and mentally… When you feel stressed out, depressed or angry, nothing beats cycling as a way to chill out.”
Marion’s riding habits and her determination to keep riding for something as simple as fun goes to show that bicycling is not a hobby or an exercise but an attitude, one that almost guarantees happiness, every time. Ladies, it is time to start setting your Le Tour goals. #getoutandride.
You can follow Marion on instagram @marion.vlt