During my ride through the landscapes of Limburg last weekend, my thoughts drifted away to my first year with BEAT. While fighting the elements on my bike, alongside familiar and new faces, I came to the conclusion that you can compare my #RoadToBEAT to a challenging bike ride. You start planning a ride together, and you choose a route. You set out with a lot of motivation, but you are also a little bit nervous – the things you will meet on the road are unknown, but the main goal is to finish all together. And once you arrive at the finish line, you are already planning your next cycling adventure.
My #RoadToBEAT started with the enthusiasm and passion of Geert and Bobbie when they were telling me about their experiences and their vision for the world of cycling. I followed cycling as an active cyclist and a passive fan, but I never imagined the problems the cycling world is facing. The feeling of really being able to benefit the sport with this initiative helped me decide to devote all my energy this project. So was I part of the birth of BEAT when we released the first press release in March 2016: the start of a ride full of adventures. A journey I was really motivated for.
As in March, I was a little bit nervous when we launched the #RoadToBEAT at the WielerPassie Festival in November 2016. In recent months we had traveled an impressive route. A route with only a rough road map. A route with some hills and tricky corners. But we’d also maintained a good pace. The enthusiasm and determination of the entire team gave me confidence that we were on the right track. The route led us to the official launch of the #RoadToBEAT. This finish was also the start of the next ride.
The start of the #RoadToBEAT is my biggest achievement so far. Just like on my ride against the elements last weekend, when we crossed the finish line I saw big smiles on the faces of the other riders on the team. Faces with traces of mud, indicative of the route we had just completed, but especially with the satisfaction and the hunger to look forward to the next part of the journey. The next part is already better than I had imagined – so many people signed up spontaneously as pioneers and are taking part in our brainstorm sessions, are proudly wearing the BEAT jersey, and, above all, believe in the project and mission of BEAT Cycling Club. This gives me a warm feeling during the coldest weeks of the year.
What does the #RoadToBEAT look like in my dreams? Of course, it leads to the launch of the club. Also, I would love to see the BEAT jersey in the professional peloton and in big races in 2018. But I would be even more satisfied when all BEATers feel connected with each other and BEAT. Each with his or her own ambition and degree of involvement, but all being part of the birth of a fundamental change in cycling. To me, the greatest value of the #RoadToBEAT is creating the feeling among the pioneers of being connected and engaged.