In a conservative and male dominant-cycling society, Laxmi Magar, a female national player in cycling, is a ray of sunshine and a role model to many. Let’s have a small peek into her life.
photo: Himalayan Action treks & tours
What was your first cycle, and what was your first cycling experience like?
The first cycle that I owned was an LTD Cube, and my first cycling competition experience was theThuraya TAAN Race that was held in 2008. During that period I did not own a bicycle, so I rented it from Thamel.
How did you end up choosing cycling and moving forward in this sector?
I started cycling to college. It saved me a lot of money and time, as I felt riding a bicycle is faster than anyother means of transportation. It is also a form of exercise as it kept me physically fit, and mentally, it helped me as I felt relaxed while cycling. Cycling facilitated me in different ways. While cycling, I planned various things. I found it to be challenging, as I had to face some obstacles during my daily ride,but which I somehow enjoyed. That is how I chose to move forward with cycling and take it to the next level.
What else do you do besides cycling?
Besides cycling, I am studying Art at Tribhuwan University.
How do you keep a balance between your cycling career and academics?
In my first days of joining this cycling career, it was very hard to keep a balance between studying and cycling, I had to drop classes to participate in multiple competitions. Now, it is a little easier as I inform the university beforehand, and I don’t have to compromise much.
Any incident or accident that occurred, and how did you recover?
My mother’s death traumatized me a lot. I was very disturbed for several months, and my passion in participating and achieving awards in cycling championships made me slowly recover and move on from it. Other than that, I had an accident where my leg had to be in plaster for two months, and in that, cycling acted as a form of physiotherapy.
How many national and international championship races have you participated in, and what are your achievements?
I have participated in six national games,and I won four times. From 2012, I have continuously been the winner of national MTB XC championship. This year’s Yak Attackwas the 4th time that I participated, and I was the only Nepali female to take part in it. Yak Attack is known as one of the toughest races, and it is the only race that takes place at high altitude. Last year, I was ranked first in the women’s category, and this time I came second. I have participated in Asian XCO 2014 and South Asian Road Race ITT. I also took part in a cycle race in Sri Lanka, the Open Women 2016, and I was the first runner up. Other than that, I usually take part in most of the cycling programs held in Kathmandu.
Any problems or obstacles faced during your cycling career?
The main obstacle I had was in choosing between cycling and academics. I faced a dilemma in choosing between cycling, earning, and education. I always ended up choosing cycling, but I always regretted skipping my studies.
Any other achievements related to sports besides cycling?
I did a technical course for coaches in MTB, and recently, I completed Level 1 and Level 2 courses for cycling coach in road cycling. It was supported by UCI (International Cyclist Union).
Personal future plans on cycling?
I am planning to start a soul-sister cycling group in Nepal, which will organize group ridings especially for girls, and teach them riding skills besidesproviding knowledge about cycling. This organization will especially encourage women to cycle.