Cycling is not only a great form of exercise, but a great way for women to connect with each other, even during lockdown. We chatted to Mariette Kemp of Team Bestmed for some insight into cycling and advice on how you can get started.
Mariette is a 21-year-old full-time B.Com Strategic Management student at Varsity College. She started cycling at the age of 12 and is one of the youngest Team Bestmed riders. Her first five years as a junior cyclist focused on mountain biking. Based in KwaZulu-Natal, Mariette started racing cross country (XC) and was able to compete at the highest level in South Africa as a junior rider, winning SA’s XC.
Mariette’s father, Francois Kemp, competes in races for Team Bestmed’s veterans and convinced her to switch to road cycling at the beginning of 2019. She found the transition from XC to road easy with the help of her coach, Johann Naude. Team Bestmed sees great potential in Mariette and sees her as an asset to the team with her positive attitude.
- Why did you choose cycling as a form of exercise?
I chose cycling as it is a good form of exercise to stay fit, healthy, be social and be closer to nature. It also allows me to challenge myself and challenge my mindset.
- What are the things you look out for when buying a bicycle?
I look at quality, price, comfort, and performance.
- What other equipment do you need to start cycling?
You need good shoes, a helmet and glasses.
- Should you follow a specific training routine and special diet?
I personally follow a training routine to train right and not overtrain as that is something I tend to do. I also follow a diet of eating more good carbs than protein as it works best for me. However, it will differ from person to person. Never feel bad about a cheat meal as you only live once and train hard anyway.
- How do you balance the demands of work/family with your cycling responsibilities?
I make sure that I make time for training, family, studies and myself during the day and the week, equally. I believe there is a time and place for everything, and I balance each factor to benefit myself. I usually make sure my training is done early in the morning so there is enough time for everything else. If I cannot get to training that day, I make sure to adjust my week to get everything done.
- Do you have any specific advice for women who want to start cycling?
The most important thing is that you are doing it for yourself and that you enjoy doing it.
- Are there any specific safety precautions women should take when training on the road?
Always make sure you are training with someone, or at least train in a group. There are many cycling groups you can join.
- How do online races during lockdown compare to road races?
Online racing definitely adds a different dynamic to cycling. It is fun and challenging at the same time. It allows you to see your competitors from a different perspective and it makes it easier to see where you are in terms of fitness compared to them.
- Why should cyclists consider joining Team Bestmed?
Cyclists must consider joining Team Bestmed as it creates friendships and better ways of racing.
- How can others join Team Bestmed?
Through mutual friendships and connections. Cyclists can also join through personal messages on the Team Bestmed social media pages.
Follow Team Bestmed
To join and/or stay up to date with news from Team Bestmed, like and follow the team on the following social media platforms:
- Facebook: @teambestmedsa
- Twitter: @Team_Bestmed
- Instagram: @team_bestmed