I got an email from Brent a few months ago. He wanted me to cooperate for his website. I did, but things were never published (as far as I know). Don’t want all the work to be for nothing, so I’ll share it.
This is how it started:
Brent reads like this and Cindy reads like this
I got an email from Brent. About trying to raise money for sponsoring women and LGBTQ adventure cyclists. I am clueless about LGBTQ? And I am displeased with the fact that he is trying to get a better position for women! Oh god, like we need that?! Or am I feminist? I don’t know. All I know is that I am offended!
This is my reply: women are equal to men and therefor I see no benefit in giving women on a bicycle more attention. It’s more like discrimination now?! Maybe he is from Afghanistan or Iran, and I should give the man a chance. Right?
I find out that LGBTQ means lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning. Again, this is not a reason to raise anything, not an eyebrow, not money. At least, not in the Western countries or many Asian places. Is it?
Brent says: as someone who follows a lot of cyclists, cycling blogs, and cycling publications on the Internet, I just don’t see women and LGBTQ cyclists’ adventures shared as much as I do with men’s adventures. Also, the most trendy hash-tags on social networks involved with this media seem to use “bro” “man” and “dude” a lot.
Now, I get his point. All I want to say is: live your dreams! Man, woman, gay, questionable, we are all the same! Read more about ‘Route Feminent’ here http://www.everythingwillbenoble.com/routefeminent although my first response was: Of course, I can make a post about it on my weblog. From another perspective, that I am surprised that men think women are weaker or at least less adventurous, or whatever. I think its absolute nonsense! So yes, maybe I get your point.
I started this serious cycling three years ago, and with that it is my first cycling trip. In the country where I am born (the Netherlands) cycling is as normal as tying my laces. I don’t see my adventure of cycling as a holiday or as an extended trip, it is a way of living.
Before I bought a good, strong bicycle I was backpacking the world. On three trips lasting from one year up to 3 years on end I explored many countries, including Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran and Pakistan and I eventually found out traveling by public transport is missing out on all what lies in between.
I worked, lived in at my parents and saved money so I could set off. When I got the luminous idea to start cycling I didn’t know whether I would like it. I only cycled to and from my workplace, 7 kilometer each way. I knew I was tough as I was the only one cycling in winter, through a fierce southwestern wind, through snow and heavy rain. I would even tumble now and then and I would be dressed in funny rain gear. But I was faster than the overly crowded bus with its steamy windows.
And tough I am, though not so much in psychical strength. Unlike the very few men I have cycled with, who somehow need to prove their ability by making at least a hundred kilometer a day or need no rest, my power is in the head. Cycling through countries like Nigeria or Iraq or cities like Dubai I was mostly struck by how people received and perceived me. Yes, I am a women doing something their women don’t do, yet I was treated as a hero. I sensed people’s admiration for living by heart in their hospitality and their will to help me in any kind of way. I learned that a real pleasant person is someone who sees his partner as an equivalent. Need I mention that I am overly excited and plain happy to have recognized the love of my life though cycling?
I cycle because I love the connection with Earth, even when the road stops to exists. The feeling of making Nature your home, sleeping on her ground and riding on her rocky surface is often a true meditation by itself. For me, cycling is living a simplified lifestyle. I love to go off the highway, away from roads where cars fly past me, far from shops and ‘convenience’ stores, but closer to Nature. Really, there is nothing to fear from a forest or a desert. I must admit I was a bit afraid when I first erected my tent in the bush of Guinea. I though I might get raped, then I thought again and saw my own silly fear: who knew I was hiding at this spot? Later on, when I was sleeping amidst cocoa trees I was spot by an early worker and it turned out he was way more afraid of me than I could ever be of him. It’s funny to realize local people are sometimes afraid of their own natural surrounding, where ever that is on the world. That might even be where you are reading this…
I don’t think it takes real courage or a lot of money to live your dreams. What it really takes is the power to start and to do away with the thoughts forming in your head fueled by television, any other media or society believes. People often tell me how courageous I am, and I never really understand them. Is it brave when you are doing something different from most people around you? Is it heroic to follow your inner compass? Well… come to think of it, I think it is!
Oh, in case you are curious, my name is Cinderella, I am 43 years young and you might want to read all about my adventures, doubts, hardship, questioning and happiness on www.cyclingcindy.wordpress.com any donations to keep me going are most welcome!