Svetlana Etmanova (1982) Moscow (Russia)
Ohai. My name is Sveta, a diminutive of Svetlana. Born in a small industrial town west of Russia.
Cycling has never been a way of life in a family I come from. When I was born my parents did have simple commute bikes for the purpose of transportation from point A to point B and, as a child,I got to see a bit of the world from a child’s seat of my dad’s bike. That, however, did not last long because my parents’ bikes were soon replaced by IZh motorcycle with a sidecar which continued taking our family from point A to point B.
I’ve never had my own bike as a child. But I did spend a lot of time outdoors. As a school girl I’ve been attending the athletics and choreography classes. Then, at some point I tried riding my brother’s bike. Crashed badly on the very first corner. Tried again later. Crashed badly again. I guess that was when I decided I wasn’t made to ride a bike.
Half a life later I got to know road cycling. First,through the photos on Instagram, somewhere in 2016. Then, a year later I tried my friend’s road bike while visiting her place for a holiday in the Netherlands.
In 2018 I’ve bought my own bike and started cycling regularly in mid-2018.
When winter came, I got myself winter tires and spent my first winter on a bike.
I live and work in hectic Moscow. I ride here and I ride all weather. Most of the time alone.
This year I have faced the necessity of having the therapy for anxiety and depression which I’ve been going through for a while. There were a lot of days when handlebars felt like the only thing to hold on to. Literally and figuratively. Something that kept me going. This, particularly, is one of the main points where cycling has become a huge and meaningful part of my life.
I ride for sunrises and the taste of wind on my lips, for the strength of my body and mind, for coffee and joy of living, for all the little and big things I see on my rides, for smiles, for cookies… for the moment, here and now.
I ride to feel alive.
Thankful to be a part of the community and happy to share the road with the people from all over the globe!