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How Adventure Cycling changed my views on life

Monika (RAD Monika) is an adventure cyclist, speaker and life coach, living by her Live RAD philosophy. She lived the corporate life in many countries around the world, competing in bike races and endurance cycling challenges along the way, but she eventually quit the 9-5 life to pursue her passion for cycling.

Here she tells us what motivates here to keep putting the miles in.

“My favorite kind of cycling is adventure cycling, by that I mean riding my bike for the pure adventure. I usually set a destination to reach with little consideration to when I’ll get there. I don’t plan the route too carefully and I’m not worried about the speed I travel. In the warm summer months I take a bag with a t-shirt and shorts, some money, a few spare tubes and a pump. That’s it. Then I head out and find my way.

“The first time I rode like this it sounded scary because there were so many unknown factors - what if I got lost? Where would I sleep? What if I got a mechanical problem I couldn’t fix?

“But exactly because of the multitude of unpredictability, I now enjoy just heading out without any plans other than to reach my destination at some point.

“This scary feeling of not knowing what’s ahead is the same feeling I had when I quit my job or whenever I have to make a big decision. What’s tomorrow? What’s next? How does my future look?

“At first, I was scared about this feeling but now I embrace it because it means one thing: anything can happen

“When I start an adventure trip the first two days are a bit fractious because I’m still in the mindset of my days having defined structure and plans. But then my mind eases, I start appreciating more the here and now rather than worrying about the past or future. 

Also, because I have so few things with me, I start appreciating the small things again and realize once again how little we need in our lives to live and especially to be happy.

Carrying as little as possible with me relieves me from responsibility and from worrying about stuff that starts owning me".

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“I usually ride the entire day so my body and mind start appreciating the constant physical activity, being under the sky (instead of under a 4m ceiling) every day. And when I stop for lunch, the food tastes so much richer.

“Adventure cycling has taught me to stop worrying about the things out of my control, makes me appreciate the few things I have in life and gives me a new feeling of freedom and self-awareness.

“My last big adventure was 1100km from Mallorca to Munich on 14th June, 2018. I visited children’s hospitals along the way to encourage children to be strong in their challenges. It was a build up to my next one – riding the entire Vuelta a España route solo on the same day as the pro’s. I start on Saturday 25th August. Apart from the course map I’ll be following my Live RAD adventure philosophy as much as possible. Wish me luck!”

You can read more about Monika at www.radmonika.comand follow her adventures on Instagram and Facebook.