We're so excited to welcome Vera onboard the Sonder team. We caught up with her to find out a little more about how she got into cycling, and her future cycling endeavours.
How and why did you get into cycling?
I first got into cycling in 2017 when I was lured into doing a 200mile charity ride on a tandem, having been promised that as a stoker, I wouldn’t have to do much pedalling. Although this turned out to be a lie, I caught the bug for cycling because of the sense of freedom it gave me, how challenging and rewarding it was, the beautiful landscapes it took me through and the opportunity for affordable adventures that it offered.
What is your greatest cycling achievement to date?
In January 2021, I was awarded the Ultra Distance Scholarship aimed at increasing representation of BAME cyclists in ultra distance racing. This incredible opportunity provided me with the support to prepare me for my first self-supported endurance cycling race in the summer of 2021, going from a leisure cyclist to an ultra distance cyclist in the space of 6 months. My greatest achievement was completing this 2000km race in just over 9 days, battling some of the toughest cycling conditions I had ever experienced, and witnessing my mind and body overcome countless challenges and thrive in conditions I had previously thought myself incapable of handling.
One big challenge you’d like to take on in the future?
After completing an ultra-distance road-race, the next chapter in my story is to venture off-road. I have recently started to go on gravel and mountain bike rides, and I’m enjoying developing my off-road bike-handling skills. I have recently come to appreciate that off-road cycling is a whole different world of its own, and I’m enjoying the feeling of being a beginner at something again. One challenge I would like to take on in the future would be to do a multi-day endurance event off-road, something like the Torino-Nice Rally, or Race around Rwanda appeal to me.