ALL RIDE with?
We from “The Women All Ride” – collective want to represent the cycling world in all its diversity. Therefore we have initiated the category: ALL RIDE WITH…! Every month we present a unique personality here: A person who has caught our eye through their presence, their appearance, their sporting achievements or thanks to their ability to inspire and motivate. Every person is different and unique.
In the form of an interview, the persons presented can choose their preferred questions from several and answer them or, as in the case of Sara here, answer all questions.
Can you immediately think of someone? Then send us a message! We look forward to your suggestions and can’t wait to meet more inspiring personalities!
ALL RIDE WITH Sara Hallbauer
Sara Hallbauer, 41, lives south of Munich. She likes to ride fast from A to B and, for example, cycled from Lake Garda to the North Cape in 2021 – an average of 270 km per day.
Where are you from?
89584 Ehingen, which is near Ulm at the foot of the Swabian Alb.
A few words about you:
According to my motto “Out of the slipstream and into the adventure” I report on my tours on bikepackers.de.
Since April last year, I have become self-employed and now head the marketing department in a family business and advise SMEs on entering the e-com and content marketing.
We meet you on the bike – for what, where, on what?
You will meet me either on my Enduarnce racer, gravel or bikepacking bike. Depending on the surface and the destination I take the one or the other bicycle to ride as fast as possible from A to B. I take part in different bike events, brevets or long distance races.
she / her
12 QUestions to Sara Hallbauer
1. How did you get into cycling?
I’ve actually only been cycling a lot for four years – this has to do with the fact that I broke my ankle in a ski touring accident and was then not allowed to do anything else except cycling for 6 months. Therefore, I had also bought a smart trainer, so that I could slowly start with sports again. In addition, my husband Axel and I had the big dream to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I trained for that, too, but unfortunately nothing came of it because of Covid-19 – although we already bought plane tickets, bikes etc.. That’s how my blog Bikepackers.de came into being.
2. Who inspires you on the bicycle?
Kristina Vogel, the German track cyclist. She had a serious accident and has been in a wheelchair ever since. I admire her power, her optimism and her humor very much and especially that she deals very openly with her fate and allows other people to share her fate. This certainly gives other people a lot of courage (including me): she is “still her – only different” (as it says in her biography).
3. What attracts you to participate in ultracycling races/events?
I love to get the best out of myself and ride as fast as possible from A to B. In the race I am completely focused on this one goal and forget everything around me. During the race I’m in a different world. I ride by myself, in my rhythm, with my music and I am completely with myself. It’s not at all about being better than others, but just about being “better” than last time or reaching a goal I set myself.
4. What was your most extreme experience during cycling?
My most extreme experiences in the sense of “not so great”:
- During a 600 brevet from Paris to Freiburg, I rode at night along a canal, had a collision with a bunch of muskrats, went headfirst down the embankment and landed in the canal with my bike. Thank God nothing happened, a few brevet colleagues fished me out and I still managed to finish the brevet soaking wet.
- At the Northcape4000 in Poland I was chased by a pack of wild dogs with bared teeth, who didn’t want to be shaken off even after several sprints. Only when I yelled at them, they stopped and let me go.
- 2 degrees and freezing rain on the Teide, the highest mountain in Spain – I’ve never been so cold as on the Granguanche Audax Road in Tenerife.
Extreme in the sense of “inconceivable”:
- At the Northcape4000, a participant left his tire levers for me, mine were broken off. A motorcyclist has gone to get me 500 km before the North Cape a road bike coat (There are no more bike stores up there) and has also managed.
5. On your trip to the North Cape in 2021, you had seating discomfort. What tips do you have for dealing with it? What would be better to avoid?
In any case, take enough chamois cream with you and lubricate properly from day 1. Do not only carry seat cream, but also wound healing ointment. Also pay attention to body hygiene and disinfect wounds and always wash out or change your pants. Ultimately, seat discomfort can not be prevented, so it is best to already mentally adjust to the fact that it will hurt at ultra distances.
6. THE YOU FROM THEN TAKE OFF ON YOUR FIRST BICYCLE TOUR - WHAT DO YOU TELL YOURSELF TO TAKE WITH YOU FOR THE TRIP?
Nothing at all, just ride and try it out. You then realize what you like, whether you prefer gravel or tarmac, what equipment suits you best, what is still missing, how often you have to take a break. The more you ride, the more you feel confident and even distances that you didn’t think you could do at first, you can do after all. In today’s world, a thousand experts want to tell you how to ride a bike and make a science out of it – but anyone and everyone can ride a bike, and you don’t need an expensive bike or expensive equipment. You have nothing to lose, just ride!
7. WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FAIL AND/OR YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING?
My biggest learnings:
- It’s always much more possible than I gave myself credit for.
- Even if you go on your own, you are never alone – because there are so many lovely people in the world who are very happy if they can help you. So you don’t need to be afraid that you are standing there and there is no plan B.
- Sometimes, especially at ultra distances, it just goes pretty bad – but before you give up, take a break, eat something and sleep over it – after that, the world looks completely different and you can go on. It’s also about training endurance and perseverance, so don’t give up (at least not right away ;-)).
- On the mountain, never think about the summit, but always think about the next possible smallest effort and that is a single pedal stroke, and then the next and the next…..
So I actually had no real fail so far – except that I had no spare tire with me at the Northcape4000, but 500 km before the finish would have needed one. But even that problem could be solved, see most important experience on the bike.
8. what was your most important experience on the bike?
- My first 300 km ride – I gained a lot of self-confidence and realized that I could do even more.
- 500 km before the North Cape I had a broken tire. At the gas station I met a motorcyclist who could not believe that I was riding 270 km on average a day. That motivated him to go and get me a tire (there are no bicycle stores up there anymore). He met two other cyclists, one sold him a spare tire. Then he asked two other bikers if they could pass me the tire. They did that too. I was so incredibly grateful and so happy – the story is therefore important, because it confirms me that it just always ends up well : -)
9. What is your next big goal?
That remains a surprise, I don’t like to hint at big adventures in a big way.
10. At which event will we meet you next?
11. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE BICYCLE INDUSTRY/SCENE?
A balanced coverage that shows all genders in a well-balanced proportion and does not force women into a weaker role by means of figurative language. A sport for everybody. Too often, in the feeds of manufacturers and retailers, you find an overhang of images showing men and men in a role explaining to women how to do it and where to go. This needs to change and be turned around or balanced out. Companies need to pay attention to this in their shoots and in the selection of their marketing campaigns and content. It is EVERYONE’s responsibility with their corporate website/channels to proactively shape this issue.
12. YOUR MESSAGE TO THE Cycling INDUSTRY:
Wake up, get involved and take responsibility! Proactively shape diversity and develop action plan, not just talking about it without delivering!
Cycling is for me?
That what yoga is for others. In the always same pedal stroke I find my peace, am completely with me and can switch off best.
I WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO RIDE WITH THIS PERSON....
I would very much like to know. Kristina Vogel
Your biggest dream?
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
YOUR BEST LIFEHACK FOR CYCLING?
Pre-snip energy bars and set Wahoo timers to remind you to eat and drink regularly.
Your favourite snack?
Seitenbacher Energy Bombs
WHAT SHOULD NOT BE MISSING ON ANY TOUR?
My down jacket. I’ve been half frozen so many times. And without my Soundcloud Playlist also nothing works for me.
Saras favourite routes
Many thanks to Sara for the interview and the answers!
And if you want to learn more from Sara Hallbauer, have a look at her blog Bikepackers.de
Editor: Sandra Schuberth
Proof reading: Sandra Schuberth
Layout/ Edit: Sandra Schuberth
Header Photo: Axel Hallbauer