Sunrises, bib short tans, and women’s equality in cycling: Q&A with Anna Barrero

Spanish cycling ambassador, Anna Barrero, is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does she have four degrees to her name (including a PhD in sports physiology), she is also active in the fight for women’s equality in cycling. She proved her mettle by completing the Tour de France route in the same stages as the men’s race, demonstrating that women are more than capable of riding with men in the process.  When she’s not shaking up the cycling world, you’ll find Anna hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, or sleeping under the stars on a mountain peak.

While she’s known for cycling, Anna is a true adventurer at heart, happiest when she’s exploring outside.  

We asked her some questions about her cycling life, and what it is about adventure that gets her excited…

Describe yourself in three words

Passionate, with initiative and commitment.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten on a ride?

Almost anything you’d eat at a table, I’ve eaten on the bike. I remember carrying chunks of pizza in my jersey pockets, leaving them stained and sticky with cheese. Once I even put a jersey in the washing machine with half a leftover chocolate croissant. I’ve also eaten canned snails while on a ride.

What’s the weirdest wardrobe malfunction you’ve seen or experienced?

Burning my whole back. The sun was so strong I was left with tan marks from my bib straps despite wearing a jersey.

Disc or rim brakes?

In the past, I would have said rim brakes on the road and disc on the mountain, but I have to concede that even on the road disc brakes are more accurate, requiring less travel for effective braking.

Tell us about your most epic ride yet.

The most epic thing I’ve done on the bike has to be riding the Tour de France, twice (unofficially, one day before the men, but following the same route and stages). I did it for the love of cycling, but also to promote women’s cycling and equality in the sport, specifically a Tour de France that gives women the same opportunities as men. I wanted to show that women are just as capable of doing the Tour de France (and everything it entails) as men are.

Looking forward, what future plans are you excited about?

2020 is a very strange year and it has taught me not to make any plans for the future. It’s shown me that the best I can do is to live in the now. Enjoying the present means weekend activities, whether they are on the bike, on a kayak, on skis, or on top of a mountain. If all goes well, the sun will continue to rise every morning and set every evening – and yes, I plan to see as many sunrises and sunsets as possible.

What is the most unusual item in your toolkit?

I always carry a small dice. Don’t ask me why. I’ve never used it, but there it is.

What motivates you to get outside and explore?

The question should be the opposite: what motivates me to stay indoors? Exploring and enjoying the outdoors has excited me from a very young age. Every sunrise and sunset is so peaceful. It feeds my spirit and gives me life.

Why do you recommend komoot?

People often ask me about my routes and where I’ve been and komoot allows me to share them all easily. It’s also great for seeing other people’s routes, making contact with other outdoor enthusiasts, and planning routes to unfamiliar places.