By Casey Bury
Born in Columbia where cycling is a national sport, Alejandra Mora decided to make the big move to Sydney where her passion for cycling continues to grow as she experiences new landscapes and all that Australia has to offer.
We had a chat with the avid cyclist and learnt a bit more about her.
Bowral Classic: So, how long have you been cycling and how did you get into the sport?
Alejandra Mora: I started cycling about five years ago. In Columbia cycling has always been a national sport and I was introduced to the sport by my dad. In fact, amateur cycling in Columbia is taken pretty seriously.
BC: You recently moved here, how are you liking Australia so far?
AM: I like it very much! I bought a new bike about two months ago so I’m starting to learn all of the roads and about your people and cycling clubs. Everything is new for me but I’m feeling safer and the roads are beautiful and close to the beach. Sydney also has nice topography with the mountains as well.
BC: I guess it’s a bit of a weird time in the world, so to have moved here during all of the isolation must have been strange.
AM: It was kind of perfect for me actually to ride solo as I didn’t know much initially so it gave me time to get used to riding here.
BC: Is the cycling terrain and vibe much different here than in Columbia?
AM: I think cycling has the same passion everywhere, it’s like the same language. I feel that in Columbia there are so many people already riding, but here my perception is that every day more people are starting cycling. I think the isolation and COVID-19 was good for that as you are able to focus on sport so a lot of families have introduced cycling.
BC: It seems to have a pretty big following here, but maybe in comparison to other places it is still a relatively small community which is constantly growing and getting bigger.
AM: Yeah, it’s growing a lot and fast.
BC: As you said, people are finding more time to learn new skills and find new interests so we might see even more cyclists out and about once isolation is over.
With that in mind, what do you enjoy most about cycling?
AM: There are three main answers for me. The first is because it makes me feel alive, I can go anywhere which is a great feeling. The second is that I have made so many good friends that I will have my whole life. The third is the competitive nature of the sport, you put your whole heart into it and feel the passion of a pro rider, even if you aren’t! Every time you ride your ability improves. When you once could only ride 20km, you then build to 50km or even 100km, that feeling is so nice. But if you stop, getting going again is tough.
BC: Have you still been trying to keep fit during isolation? How have you been doing so far?
AM: It’s actually much better because there are a lot less cars on the road so it’s a lot safer and you have a bit more freedom than normal. The only thing that I miss is the company of other riders, but it is much better and the air is cleaner.
BC: Do you have any tips for anyone trying to stay fit during isolation?
AM: Well the smart [indoor trainer] rides have been very popular, but if you do not have access to this, just be free to go outside and just enjoy the ride. Just don’t ever stop and keep moving forward.
BC: Awesome! What are you hoping to get out of the Bowral Classic this year and what are you looking forward to most?
AM: I’m looking forward to the competition and everything involved with that. To be around a lot of cyclists, to feel like a pro and also enjoy the day with family and friends. It’s much more than cycling, it’s a great day to see your hard work in action and to enjoy and share your passion with everyone.
BC: I guess it is much more than just a ride, have you been to Bowral before?
AM: No, I haven’t, I would love to go down there before the ride. I have some friends who train there and say that it is just beautiful.
BC: Yeah, you’ll have to go down there before and get a feel of the area and do a practice ride! Our final question is what would be your favourite snack or go to meal after a big ride?
AM: I think after a ride I like to have some carbs because I need to recover so something like pasta or rice I love.
BC: Thanks so much for chatting with us Alejandra. See you in October!