WHY I RIDE featuring Lex Albrecht of Optum Pro Cycling

Photo Credit: S. Wiebe
Photo Credit: S. Wiebe

Lex began racing in 2009. She was introduced to the international cycling scene at the World Cup race in Montréal, the Tour de PEI, and the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche. She represented Québec at the 2009 Canada Games. Lex is a big fan of exploring new roads, competing in new races, but never passes up the chance to be reacquainted with the people she pedaled beside and the routes she explored on her path to becoming a professional cyclist. (Excerpt taken from www.lexalbrecht.com)

GIRO: Why do you ride? What it is about cycling that you love most?

LA: I love cycling. When I first started riding as a youth I loved the feeling of independence and freedom that cycling gave me, and found it so satisfying to know that I could go wherever I wanted, with my own two legs. Since then, it’s brought me so much more in terms of experiences and life lessons. I’m still learning from my bike like I never thought I would!

GIRO: At what age did you start riding competitively? How did you get into it?

LA: I did my first race when I was about 18, and my second one around the age of 20. It took me a while to get into it because as a young adults I didn’t necessarily have the financial resources to equip myself for competition. At that time I wanted to push my limits a little bit. I loved riding, but was intimidated by racing. I thought overcoming the fear would help me in other areas of my life…it did! When I was 23, I got my first Professional contract.

GIRO: Have you raced in the Giro di Burnaby before? If yes, how many times? What about the Giro di Burnaby do you look forward to most?

LA: I’ve had the opportunity to race the Giro di Burnaby on one occasion and I’m looking forward to racing it again. I love the fans that come out to watch, they’re so energetic. It’s awesome to see so many people excited about this exceptional event.

Canadian professional cyclist Lex Albrecht (Photo credit : B. Hodes)
Canadian professional cyclist Lex Albrecht
(Photo credit : B. Hodes)

GIRO: Do you have any advice for young/aspiring cyclists?

LA: Ride for yourself, not to impress or live up to others – and have fun. It can take you far, regardless of what you decide to do with it. There are many many ways to reap benefits from cycling, and many lessons to learn, whether you do it for fun, exercise, competition, or as a mode of transportation.

GIRO: Who are your sponsors? Who do you ride for?

LA: I race for Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, a professional team based out of Minneapolis, MN. (I live in Montréal though, and in fact, none of my teammates are from MN!). There are also some great people and organizations who are a part of my biggest athletic ambitions including You Culture Significance, QDZ Enterprises, and Global Relay. The impact they have on my journey as an athlete is a pretty big deal to me. My goal is to someday be in their shoes to help athletes in my position, after my career.

Optum Pro Cycling women's team 2015 (Photo credit: S. Wiebe)
Optum Pro Cycling women’s team 2015
(Photo credit: S. Wiebe)

GIRO: Anything else you’d like to add?

LA: Three words that I like to keep in mind : Cœur, jambes, esprit. In French that translates to “heart, legs, soul”. When all three of them work in unison, it’s quite amazing the things that we an accomplish as an athlete, and each one is as important as the other. I even have those words written on a watch made by Modify Watches (www.modifywatches.com/collections/lex-albrecht) to remind me, when I’m training and racing.

You can follow Lex Albrecht on Instagram and Twitter (@Lex_Albrecht), on Facebook, and online at www.lexalbrecht.com