Ayse Van Laethem

Ayse Van Laethem  | Basso Bikes

When and how did you start cycling?

I started cycling 2 years ago after a continuous running injury forced me out of the sport. It was a quick realization for me that I wasn’t just running to stay active, running was my daily escape from life. It was my little moment of silence. That winter women’s cyclocross really started to be on TV, or at least I only started to notice it back then, and I loved it. After most of the winter had passed, I bought my very first roadbike, and it is difficult to summarize how much it has changed my life. My life these days is mostly build around cycling, and my admiration for the sport grows every single day.

Because cycling is not just about turning your pedals. In the last 2 years I have got to know some incredible people, ridden with really inspirational people and I have seen places I could never see myself.

What is your approach to cycling now?
The last year and the forthcoming years my focus is on racing. Women’s cycling is having this incredible evolution that I am so eager to be a part of. It is a challenge for myself to see how far I can get, I am deeply focused and training smart to become the best I can be.

Where would you like to ride in the future?
Born and raised in Belgium, most of the year I am longing for warmth. Next year I will spend some time in the South of Spain and France.

I always find it interesting to ask this question to friends, and have always found the answers fascinating as these aren’t often the places one would go to for ‘training’. For example Lake District in England, or South Africa.

Definitely looking forward to more adventures to come on the bike, and curious to know where this twowheel machine will take me.

Coffee ride or race day. Which one do you prefer?
That is a good question. I love both, but they are so so different.

I love coffee rides with good friends, and good conversations. It makes long easy rides or small recovery rides so much more exciting. Racing is completely different, I long for race day. Race days are so unpredictable and that is exactly what I love about them. The way they always get me a little bit more out of my comfort zone. They challenge me. I am an organized person, I always have a list in my head of how things will go and what I need to do in a day, racing is completely different, every race helps me grow as a rider.