Riding to check in with your emotions, with Sanne

Germany may not be your typical cycling destination but for Dutch cyclist Sanne, it has a special place in her heart. It’s the place where she came into her own as a rider and realized the real benefits of getting on her bike.

The pivotal ride Sanne remembers clearly and rates as one of her favorite komoot rides to date is a 508-mile (800-kilometer) route between Amsterdam and Berlin:

I discovered that the freedom of moving from one place to another, alone on the bike, totally independent with no-one to rely on but myself – gave me a real sense of living in the moment. Finishing under the Brandenburger Tor after 3,5 days of riding and realizing I really pulled that off… I guess it was something to be proud of.”

That ride took her along scenic winding roads and past beautiful historic monuments. It was so enjoyable that Sanne says she regularly contemplates doing it all over again. 

While many of her rides take her through beautiful scenery, what she really values about cycling is the chance to check in with herself. After her father’s death shortly after her graduation, she coped by throwing herself into her new career as a lawyer, and ignoring her emotions and sense of loss. Realizing that she was rushing through life, never pausing to appreciate anything, she turned to cycling to give herself some emotional space:

Looking back on the memories of all of my trips, there’s a realization that being in an environment where I can be with my own thoughts – exploring new places, taking on challenges and riding new routes –  helps me put my feet back on the ground... find peace on an emotional level. All of this, I guess, is the reason why I ride.

One of the places that gives Sanne plenty of space to think, thanks to its peaceful surroundings, is the Zuid Kennemerland National Park outside her home city, Amsterdam. With its great variety of road and gravel routes, and the rich tapestry of Dutch landscapes – from wide beaches, beautiful forests to lakes and rolling hills – this is one of Sanne’s favorite komoot Highlights. And Highlights like these are the reason Sanne loves komoot:

“It provides me with the most beautiful and scenic tracks and the best gravel routes. I’m almost neurotically looking for all the good spots – I can spend hours planning the ‘perfect’ route.”

One trip she is enthusiastically planning with komoot is an adventurous ride along Scotland’s north coast… 

…we’ll be sleeping in these Scottish traveler huts called ‘bothies’. No water, no electricity, no heat. Basically no nothing, but a roof over your head. Super excited about this, as it’s been on my bucket list for years.” 
She doesn’t like to plan too far in advance, so for now her other adventures are up in the air.

Follow Sanne on komoot if you’re interested in seeing what other rides she plans this year.

Images by @ elevenspeedloservincent