These badass women might inspire you to get on your bike.

By By Mary Anderson
December 16, 2018
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Photo: Westend61/Getty Images​

There's something about a bike and a big sky that stirs your adrenaline. Three devoted cyclists share their thrill-and well-worn wisdom.

You feel super powerful.

"Cycling was not a cool sport when I was growing up doing it with my family, sweating over the California mountains. But I fell in love with it. Every road has a different flow and rhythm, and after you get up that hill, you feel like a superwoman flying down the other side. Sometimes, as a pro cyclist, all I can think about is my screaming legs. But when the day calls for just pedaling at an easy pace, I fully take in the scenery and let my mind wander. On the open road, the key is to act as if you're driving a car-stay in your bike lane or shoulder, and use turn signals." -Alexis Ryan, 24, professional cyclist with Canyon/SRAM Racing team (Related: 5 Lessons I Learned from Riding 500 Miles Across France)

You can take the road less traveled.

"There are many amazing places to ride in Colorado, where I live, but Crested Butte is my favorite. If you time it right in summer, you have breathtaking vistas with beautiful bursts of wildflowers. I also go to Moab, Utah, in the spring because riding the desert landscape is really energizing. Every terrain requires slightly different nuances. When I began mountain biking in my 20s, seat droppers [push-button seat posts that can be lowered or raised midride] didn't exist, but now I'd never ride without one. It makes it much easier." -Koel Thomae, 45, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt (Be inspired: This Badass Athlete Shares What It's Like to Race Up One of the Toughest Hills In America On Her Bike)

You don't have to worry about traffic.

"I ride all winter on a Specialized Fatboy bike, with 4.6-inch-wide tires that are perfect for packed snow. Who wants to scrape ice off a windshield anyway? Here in Montana, it snows for maybe eight months of the year-the tree tunnels get heavy with powder, and seeing bunny tracks on the path is magical. To keep my hands warm as I commute, I attach mitts to the handles and wear "lobster-claw" gloves inside them-you can shift since your fingers are together. Even if it's really cold out, you heat up pedaling. I promise!" -Amber Hoadley, 30, bike shop manager in Bozeman, Montana (P.S. Read what happened when one SHAPE editor tried biking to work every day for a week.)


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