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Monterey, California, USA

 CLIF ATHLETES: WHY WE RIDE

May is National Bike Month and here at Clif bar, a company “Born on a Bike,” we take that pretty seriously. Our love affair with this human-powered two-wheeler has never waned over the years and we continue to celebrate all the reasons we ride: To beat the gridlock; to preserve the environment; to promote good health; to go further; to have wild adventures; or to compete among the best in the business.

Whatever your reason, reignite your passion to ride this month. If you need some help getting back in the saddle — or maybe on the bike for the first time — take some inspiration from a few of our pro athletes:

Why they ride

Biking has become one of my “zen” activities. I love just getting on my bike and riding. I discovered cycling (and triathlon) fairly late in my life, but the happiness factor I feel when I am on my bike is like none other. I’m frequently in awe of the places I get to ride my bike, but beyond that, the places my bike takes me that I never would have otherwise gone. And then beyond that, the sensory experience you have on a bike is so different than in a car or even running. It is such a wonderful way to stay fit, but really see and experience the world. – Sarah Piampiano, Professional Triathlete

It’s freedom, travel, goal setting, achievement, challenge, friendship, health and adventure all in one. – Catharine Pendrel, CLIF Pro Team Athlete

Riding a bike gives me a sense of freedom and it’s the perfect vehicle to see and experience the world. You can go a lot further and see a lot more than on foot. – Lea Davison, Clif Pro Team Athlete

Biking is very important to me because it’s the “vehicle” or “discipline” I’ve chosen to grow through. I invest everything into cycling and through all the experiences I’ve lived because of it. It has helped me to get to know myself better, learn about the world and meet incredible people. It has taught me to dig deep inside myself and find strength I didn’t know I had, and it has also forced me to face my fears and acknowledge all my weaknesses. It has taught me to be comfortable in very uncomfortable situations, it forces me to try to be a better version of myself everyday and I’ll always be grateful for all that! But on a more simple level, biking just makes me happy. One of my favorite things about it, is that it brings me to so many incredible places (like mountains, hidden lake in dense forests, etc.) that I would never have seen if it wasn’t for the bike. – Maghalie Rochette, CLIF Pro Team Athlete

The bike gives me freedom to explore on my own or with like minded people the best places in the world. Some of my best ideas, I had on bike. Riding bikes helps me to relax. – Katerina Nash, CLIF Pro Team Athlete

Well, biking is important to me because not only does it take up 1/3 of my job (professional triathlete) but I absolutely love it. There is nothing more liberating and fulfilling then seeing some amazing places, climbing a big mountain, or having the freedom or an open road – and knowing you got there on two wheels and with your own body. Biking has taken me on many memorable adventures that have pushed my limits both physically and mentally. – Linsey Corbin, Professional Triathlete

For me my bike was a symbol of freedom and adventure. I remember being so excited when I was first allowed to ride my bike by myself to a friend’s house, or the first time I was able to ride with my brothers to get candy at the local convenience store. I felt like the world was mine to explore every time I got on my bike, and I still do. Whether it is doing a solo 160 mile ride or riding over 12,000 ft passes and the continental divide…my bike still unlocks a world of freedom and adventure! – Timothy O’Donnell, Professional Triathlete

Advice for making biking a part of your life

The places I have seen (even locally), the experiences I have had and the people I have met through cycling have brought a passion and happiness to my life that is incredibly satisfying. Allow yourself the opportunity to see where your bike can take you. It is an experience and ride like none other! – Sarah Piampiano, Professional Triathlete

Give it a go! There’s no right or wrong way to cycle. Let the bike take you where you want to go! You’ll learn along the way. – Catharine Pendrel, Clif Pro Team Athlete

Just start riding. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1 mile or 10 miles. Once you get on a bike, all of your troubles and stress melts away and you feel better. Guaranteed you will feel better. – Lea Davison, Clif Pro Team Athlete

Don’t be shy to ask for advice from someone you know who already rides. The cycling community is like a big family and I’m sure everyone would be happy to share their passion with you and bring you on a beautiful ride! Also, don’t be afraid to be too slow for them, here’s a secret: Everyone LOVES to ride slowly once in a while and take the time to take in the views. Even professional cyclists. Be curious and go out on your bike to discover your environment! Who knows what you could find on that bike ride. ON a bike, you see things differently than when you are in the car. You might discover your new favorite coffee shop on your commute to work, or a raspberry bush hidden on the side of the bike path or just an amazing view at the top of the hill. Be curious, you won’t be disappointed! – Maghalie Rochette, Clif Pro Team Athlete

Find good riding partners. Cycling can be very social activity where great conversations takes place but also where you find real friends in case of trouble. It’s always nice to ride with fun people that you can count on. – Katerina Nash, Clif Pro Team Athlete

I challenge you to try riding a bike someplace you would normally drive and see how you feel. That could mean a commute to work, on a weekend adventure to a scenic point, or even riding to the ice cream shop and back. My guess is you won’t be disappointed! – Linsey Corbin, Professional Triathlete

Don’t be afraid of the bike, the sport or the people. Going into a high end bike shop or seeing a group of overly fit type A dudes in their spandex at the local coffee shop can be intimidating! But biking doesn’t have to be that for you and their are plenty different ways to get into cycling. It can be cruiser bikes to dinner downtown, a crazy single track adventure on your mountain bike, renting a city bike to sightsee in the city or a just a little ride with your kids down to the park. The important thing is just get out there and ride and create your own adventure. – Timothy O’Donnell, Professional Triathlete

Monterey, California, USA


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