Imagine the most beautiful alpine scenery: snow-covered peaks, lakes as blue as the sky and miles and miles of cycle paths immersed in nature. Every day, in this amazing place, we can see the smile of Kristin Atzeni, a cyclist and, above all, someone who loves cycling, sport and life. On her Selle SMP Carbon saddle she offers us the most beautiful views of Switzerland. Here is the interview with her.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Switzerland, on beautiful Lake Zurich and I run my own bike store in Siebnen, with my husband. In short, I deal with bikes every day.
How did you become a cyclist?
It was thanks to my husband Giuseppe Atzeni. I met him in 2009 at the velodrome in Forst (Germany). His enthusiasm for cycling immediately attracted me. I have always been sporty, but I felt that his enthusiasm was something different.
When did you start cycling and why?
I started cycling intensively in 2010. For me cycling is a way of life. Cycling is about family and being alone, exercise and rest, therapy and training. When I received a very upsetting diagnosis from my doctor a few years ago, cycling acquired a new meaning for me. It became a struggle for life. Pure mileage became insignificant, whereas time for me and my body became everything. I no longer cycled for my legs, but only for my mind. I realised that cycling is not an escape from everyday life but a return to oneself, and that women can reach much more than any alpine peak.
What do you like about your bike?
The technology, the aerodynamics, the braking performance and of course the comfort when on the saddle.
Which are your favourite routes?
Here in Switzerland I have many favourite routes, such as the Klausen Pass, the Gotthard Pass and the full tour of Zurich, where I can pedal fast. I like spending my training periods in Italy (South Tyrol and Sardinia) and recently also in the French Alps.
What is absolutely essential on a bike ride?
The fun and pleasure of the ride itself.
Let’s talk about how you customise your bike. How important is it for a cyclist?
It’s the most important thing. Without the right adjustment of the bike, you can also have a bike worth 10,000 francs, but it will be useless.
What advice can you give to women who cycle?
Continue cycling: it’s fun, it makes you feel the joy of life and keeps you healthy.
How can you combine femininity and sport?
I love cycling and yes, I like to invent and create my own style. For me it's also a little part of riding a bike, if you want to feel good cycling. I don't have to pedal with a turtleneck jersey when it’s 30 degrees in the shade just to fit the stereotype of cyclists. I just have to be happy with myself. For me, cycling is also this. The tolerance of letting everyone do this sport and the tolerance of letting everyone be as they want to be.
Cycling and football are traditionally male sports, where women are sometimes the subject of stereotypes. What has changed in recent years?
Many more women now go cycling and, as a result, the way women are perceived when cycling has also changed. There is a growing trend in women getting into this sport, and I support this positive trend with my women's clothing for cycling, which I design and sell. The fact that about 40% of our customers are women confirms this trend.