An Epic Challenge for Beginner MTB Rider Madeleine Gerard

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed cycling. My father is a farmer and I grew up in the country, so cycling was like freedom to me. My childhood was spent outside, building shacks in the forest, fishing and riding my mountain bike with my sisters and cousins. When I had saved up enough pocket money, I bought my first road bike. What a feeling to go faster and faster! This was the beginning of a real passion for cycling.

Later I moved to a big city (Lyon) for my studies and I built my own single speed bike with a friend. That bike opened up a whole new world for me – it took me everywhere! I even worked for a period as a bike courier. Now, living in the South of France, I’m in the perfect place to ride.

Growing up, I was never a very sportive person. In fact, I was so bad at sports that some of my teachers would laugh at me, which was discouraging. When I found cycling, I also found confidence in myself. Finally, I’ve found a sport that I enjoy and helps me stay fit and active. Thanks to cycling, I’ve gained endurance and even started running. Now, people call me a "Sportswoman," which still sounds a little funny to me... but I’ll take it!

Now I’m faced with a truly epic challenge – The Cape Epic. As the most beginner mountain biker on the team, I know I will have to train very hard.  Though I am nervous, I am not afraid. I don’t mind getting dirty and falling and I love to challenge myself. If my teammate and I manage to accomplish this huge goal, I will have more confidence to try other sports that I’ve always thought were too difficult – like triathlon or climbing!

Becoming a part of the Liv Trail Squad still seems like a dream; every step is so new and exciting. As I embark on this journey, I’m inspired by the other women who are a part of this team and motivated to work hard and do my best. The Cape Epic may seem like a crazy challenge, but I’m up for the adventure!

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