We love cycling and get on our bikes with passion. But there are also other things in life that we like to do.
When we sent our first text message to Christian Grasmann in June 2016, probably no one believed that something like the FEM Team would come out of it. Even we – that was Sofie and Lena at the time – didn’t have a fully developed plan. But we had a vision. And we were determined to pursue it.
“Hi Grasi, we have an attack on you, or actually just a few questions – but don’t be alarmed, it’s not wild. Could you please call us back when you get a chance? Thank you very much! Sofie AND Lena “
That day, we were driving back home from a national league race and had the (flash) idea of starting our own team. Just like Christian had done with the Pushbikers.
A women’s team that is not only about the results of a race, but much more about the story behind it: About the unforgettable experiences and friendships that develop along the way.
Of course, it wasn’t easy to convince Christian of this. You have to imagine it like this: Two young girls who are not even twenty years old and have a youthful recklessness are suddenly standing in front of a cycling professional and businessman who developed the Maloja Pushbikers with heart and soul. But we were able to convince him with our vision and passion and founded the Maloja Pushbikers FEM`s.
It all sounds relatively simple, but it wasn’t.
We put a lot of time into our project, but often had to hear from those around us that we should wait until we were older, had completed our education and had a “plan” for life. But we didn’t care. Because in our minds we had a plan.
For example, one programmatic statement, seen in retrospect, was: “Girls, that’s a milkmaid’s calculation if you’re planning to sleep in a tent on a race weekend…”
We did it anyway and our weekends in Holland, Belgium or Italy sleeping in tents were madness and still point us in a certain direction today.
A lot has happened in 2017, 2018 and 2019. We have experienced a lot, made friends and explored cities and competed in races in over 10 countries.
Unforgettable are, for example, the nomination for participation in the Fixed Nations Cup, the top ten placement at Red Hook, many podium placements at Fixed Gear races (Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Antwerp), podium placement Trontheim-Oslo, the victory at the Mondsee Marathon. Or the Bavarian criterium championship title or bikepacking tours through Germany, Austria, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, Ethiopia and Taiwan.
A good, intense time. But our lives also continued to revolve with education, work and family. We also had to realise that our vision of cycling is not always easy to live. There were changes in the team structure, some female riders decided to take a break or leave the profession altogether. In 2020, it was time to hand over the concept to younger U19 riders; as far as 2020 allowed, they successfully participated in Bundesliga races and also achieved a German championship title.
And yet the feeling became strong again: the fem weekends were missing and also the adventures together. That made us want to revive old times.
Our visions. And what we have planned for the future of the Fems
This year we are five team riders. Betti and Marina, who have often been part of a FEM weekend in the past. Sabina, who we named our first official team member in 2016, and Sofie and Lena. Furthermore, Sarah, who herself comes from the ranks of the Maloja Pushbikers Future Stars, will accompany us at selected races.
The motto is consistency: four of us raced together in the Bavarian squad in our school days and later in the national league team.
We have a lot on our minds as far as our cycling missions are concerned: Trontheim – Oslo, for example, the Vättern Tour, the Rosenheim Marathon, Vienna – Barcelona, 96 Hours (Dijon – Koblenz), Bikepacking Adventures or the Tallinn Marathon. Our motivation is high, the realisation will show.
Our view of 2021
“Experiencing things together, having fun with it and competing with others – that’s what I’m looking forward to. For this reason, I have also signed up for one or two challenges this year. Furthermore, I want to get more women to enjoy riding together with other women.”
“I am really looking forward to this season! My vision this time is to support the cycling department in my village and to inspire people for cycling. If it works out that I can also start at one or the other event in the FEM outfit – all the better! I’m already registered for the Rosenheim Cycling Marathon.
“I look forward to small and big adventures, which are even more valuable in the busy working day. To overcoming geographical and physical boundaries. To turn seemingly insane ideas into unforgettable moments. To laughing until your stomach hurts with people who love the same things as you: Cycling, being outside, building each other up, motivating and pushing each other to do well. I can’t wait to have an all-round active year with the FEMs.”
“To rekindle the fire that has been diminished since I left the FEMs. Making the almost impossible possible. Be it a 90km cross-country race at night, a marathon in a foreign country or a bike packing tour in the Middle East. So let’s keep our fingers crossed that our ideas are feasible. Otherwise, there’s always Plan B.”
“I’ve been racing for a few years now, both in the German national league and internationally, and I want to keep it up next year. At the same time, being part of a group of cool girls where the pressure to perform is not an issue brings me back to the passion of cycling itself, the lifestyle that often gets shortchanged between training and racing. When I wear the Maloja Pushbikers FEM jersey, I can take time to live the aspects that brought me to cycling in the first place: enjoying the fresh air and surroundings with the sun on my face and good company around me, and taking time out for extensive coffee stops, of course!”
“Milkmaid bills are the best bills. Because they are the most fun. I miss the FEM weekends and travelling! Especially when the schedule is actually already full with work and studies, it’s the best feeling to know that others feel the same way and we still get on our bikes. Despite all the circumstances – we find a (safe) way to have adventures. “
What else you should know about us
We are just normal young women who like cycling. We are not professionals and we don’t want to be. We study or go to work, do the housework, meet friends for a glass of wine or two and enjoy doing sport (any sport) in nature.
We ride to live.
And last but not least, many thanks to our partners and companions who believed in us “young girls” back then and made it possible for us to create a Maloja Pushbikers women’s team. Thank you!
See you soon,