Anton Ivanov is a co-founder of a cycling clothing brand VeterCycling, Russia's first manufacturer of quality equipment for cycling and triathlon.
Vika Ivanova is a marketing manager and social media marketing manager of the company.
What is a bicycle to you? How did you come to it?
Anton: A piece of sporting equipment. It came up in the stead of running, which was rather quickly pushed to the background and finally completely replaced by cycling. Later this hobby grew into a business. Three years ago, me and my friend launched a cycling equipment brand VeterCycling. Currently, we run a production of sporting suits for cycling and triathlon in Moscow using the best Italian materials.
Vika: To me, cycling is a sport and meditation in motion. It is such a joy to ease your mind riding a bicycle after working the whole day through. It all started when I got keen on exercycling. I took classes in different studios, tried different strategies. I liked the energy, atmosphere and music. Then Anton tempted me out into the fresh air. After that, Veter was born.
How often do you ride a bicycle?
Vika and Anton: We ride both together and separately almost every day. About 10–12 hours a week.
Which is better: to ride alone or in a company?
Anton: It is better to ride alone if you go on a promenade. If you go training, it depends on tasks but in general, in a company, it is much more fun, of course.
Vika: I agree, it is much more fun riding in a company. Basically, cycling is a team sport with its own choreography. It is much more interesting to ride in groups. It is like a living organism.
Asphalt embankments or paths in a park
Anton: Of these two variants, I would prefer embankments. Actually, I rarely go to either of them.
Vika: Asphalt embankments and streets in Moscow. But one venue is really special to me. An Olympic cycling track in Krylatskoye which was built for the 1980 Summer Olympics. This is probably the only place in the city where you can ride and train with no cars, noise and crowds of people around.
Anton: Olympic cycling track in Krylatskoye and suburban tracks near Zvenigorod.
Vika: I would also like to note Zhivopisny Bridge, Nizhniye Mnyovniki Street and Filyovskaya Embankment.
Cycling culture in Moscow
Anton and Vika: Nowadays, the cycling culture in Moscow is being reborn. Echoes of the bygone greatness of cycling from the times of 1980 Summer Olympics can hardly be heard. Nevertheless, a new generation is coming. Young, ambitious, inspired by the success of other countries and willing to make Moscow bike-friendly. Lots of dedicated projects are being launched: velocafés, workshops, showrooms, museums, exhibitions and studios.
The cycling community is growing fast: new teams, clubs and events emerge every season. Still, there is a lot to gain: we need a single integrated and efficient regulator, information portals and other things. Besides, cycle sport is going through very hard times now. We really hope it will be given support and continue growing.
Morning or evening
Anton: Morning. You will yourself to go training in the morning and then you stay full of energy for the rest of the day. When you go training in the evening after a long day, you are on your last legs. It is really hard.
Vika: Evening. I like to go riding when everything around you turns gold, lit by the setting sun. However, group training in the morning makes you stay fit for the whole day. From time to time, I will myself to get up early and spend the morning with my group.
On suits and equipment
Anton and Vika: Equipment brings comfort which is important if you want to go in for cycling. If you are well equipped, you can go riding in any weather. We wear cycling suits of our own production and we are sure that you can hardly find cycling equipment which is equivalent to ours in terms of quality, technology and style at the same price.
Life hacks and recommendations
Vika: Don't neglect your comfort. Our brain adapts to any conditions rather than tries to change them. Thus, when we ride a bicycle that does not fit us in size or get seated in a saddle uncomfortably, our brain sets us off to neglect our comfort. So, in order to make your ride comfy and joyful, adjust your saddle and pick a fitting suit. And don't forget about safety. A helmet is a must-have!
5 recommendations to a beginner
If you are a beginner, you cannot ride a bicycle that costs a million rubles faster than a bicycle that costs a hundred thousand rubles. Don't believe salesmen who draw comparisons with sports cars. Bicycle is a piece of sporting equipment. Your riding speed depends upon your skills.
To develop quickly, in the first stage you will need an instructor. And a coach in the second. It is very important to realise the difference between these two specialists. Instructor's job is to help you master some skills: how to operate the handlebar and pedals properly, negotiate turns and, most importantly, ride in a group safely. While a coach develops your individual training plan and shows you how you get stronger quickly and effectively. So try to find good experts to learn cycling effectively.
You cannot overstress the importance of safety, especially when you're out on the highway. Try to avoid speedways. Look in every direction before making any manoeuvre. In the dark, it is necessary to use lights and reflectors on your suit. Don't forget that your health and safety fully depend upon your concentration, attention and forethought.
Cycle sport is quite curious in terms of statistics and keeping track of your development. It features a great number of indicators: speed, power, cadence etc. Still, of course, cycling must bring joy. It's not about winning, it's about taking part. And it totally depends on you.
Whatever you get down to, the main thing is to get started. Don't be scared to try new routes and bikes and get acquainted with new people. The cycling community is full of exciting, creative, versatile people inspired by the cycle sport.
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