We like to interview athletes who use Selle SMP saddles, discover their passions and secrets and then share them with all of you. This time we are in Thailand, in Bangkok. Here, where temple spires compete with modern skyscrapers, is home to the athlete and model Narissara Inthavongsa. This is what she told us.
Narissara, how did you become a cyclist?
I started cycling to keep fit and I became a cyclist when I joined the W2, the first women's cycling team in Thailand. It was many years ago, when Thailand did not yet have a women's cycling team When I passed the test and was admitted to the team I trained hard to become stronger. Today I train on rollers 2 hours after work and I take part in 1-2 important cycling races every month.
When did you start cycling and why?
Cycling is my passion: I've loved it since I was young. Besides, cycling is the best way to relax and train.
What do you like about cycling?
When I cycle surrounded by nature I feel free and relaxed, whereas when I ride fast to exceed my limit, I have fun. But it's not so much the feeling I get when on my bike that I like, but the friendship that you create with fans: this is the best time.
Which are your favourite routes?
There are two routes that I like in Thailand. One is in Doi Inthanon National Park, where I experienced the most difficult climb so far. The average gradient is up to 12% and the route is continuously uphill and downhill.
The other is the Happy and Healthy Bike Lane, in Samut Prakan. It’s a 23.5 km long cycle path that goes around Suvarnabhumi Airport and there is also a 1.2 km circuit for jogging and for children learning to ride a bike. There is also an emergency medical centre, shops selling and renting bicycles, picnic areas, cafés and toilets.
What is absolutely essential on a bike ride?
A heart-rate monitor to know how much strength I have and to record all the data concerning the bike ride.
This year you had a bad fall (luckily not a serious one). How was your recovery?
After two days in hospital I treated myself at home, also thanks to a very effective ointment. So far, I have had 3 accidents: I broke my teeth and injured my hip. I don't mind the scars: they are a reminder. And despite everything, I still love cycling.
What advice can you give to women who cycle?
Many women don't ride bikes because they have pain due to the wrong saddle, so you have to try different saddles until you find the right one. I have solved the problem with Selle SMP Full Carbon saddles. Many cyclists ask me about my carbon saddle: I think it’s very comfortable.
The sun is strong in Thailand, so I recommend using a good sunscreen or a foundation that provides protection from sunlight.
Finally, some women are afraid that their legs will become too big if they keep cycling. I recommend around 90-110 pedal rotations per minute to get thinner and prettier legs.
We're intrigued, what does your name “auauau” mean on Instagram?
Actually, my nickname is “au” but I couldn't register it. The only alternative was a repetition. I know it doesn't have a precise meaning and it's just the repetition of my nickname, but it's unique, isn’t it? :P