Boukje van de Ven (1975) Puttershoek (Netherlands)
Falling in love with cycling, is that possible? In my case. As a little girl, as a teenager and as a young woman, cycling was a necessity for me. I did cycling to go to school and friends. It was more necessary than having fun on the bike.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was 31 years old. My life changed in 5 minutes. in that year I have remained positive, that is my life’s driving atmosphere. I have lost my breast, I am happy every day with my plaque prothesis. I have had chemo’s and radiation. My health is good and cycling has his part of it!!
It was not over 5 years that I’ve been medically in the menopause with all side effects, 20 kilos bigger and osteoporosis. In January 2010 I had a check-up with my oncologist and he found that I had a bone density of a woman aged 55. At the age of 35 his advice was try to exercise outside. I went on the road bike for the first time, and in May of that year I cycled Mont Ventoux, just not getting to the top. I loved being on the bike and I love to desent
Back in 2011, the oncologist at check for my osteoporosis my bone density had dropped to the age of a woman of 45. The oncologist asked me what did you do, I answered to you listen d I have cycled Mont Ventoux. Then I got a very nice compliment, in that time when I was in his agenda there was a whirlwind of energy and positivity came in, so I did. With this energy he could handle his heavy talks of that week.
Now back to cycling from the moment I knew what effect it had on me and the pleasure I experienced in it, I started to cycle more and more. In the years that followed, I started cycling more in the neighborhood of Rotterdam where I live. I do not just want to cycle flat. I love cycling in the mountains. I like to dispense and feel when you reach that top.
Love it !! And the desent is really a gift for me. In 2016 it was 10 years ago that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in that year I decided to participate in the Alpe d’huZes a charity ride for cancer. That day I have climbed 3 times Alpe d’huez for the charity. In 2017 I participated in 3 days Tour for Life cycling back from North France to Rotterdam.
And this year I am going to participate in Grootverzet tegen kanker, to climb the Mont Ventoux several times at the end of August together with team Mont Ventiel!
Then I am there where for me the love for cycling started. I love to put my health in and for a disease that brought me so many beautiful things. I hope that the people who need it can experience as many beautiful adventures as I did and do.
Because of my illness 12 years ago, I started cycling and I encountered so many beautiful people and stories. Special people who all add something to my life. This year there are beautiful adventures on the agenda together with my Bianchi and without.
To remind me of the time that I have renounced the breast cancer and abandon on the bike to the woman I am now. For that, in 2015 I had a bicycle tattooed on my wrist. And at the end of last year a tattooed a cyclechain in the shape of a heart on my back. The love for the bike, the love for the adventures, the love for the people I
meet and the love that I have to share. The love and happyness of cycling.