What type of cycling do you do?
I “only” do road biking and I commute with my commuter every day. Since I live in the city center, in a small flat, I can’t have a huge collection of bikes and MTBs… Getting my hands on a lovely MTB will be my next goal, after moving to a new flat ☺️
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m 30 years old and the lucky owner of a coffee shop called Puzzle Café. I was born in Haute Savoie, near Annecy, and we moved to Lyon when I was 5. I’ve always been into sport culture thanks to my Mum, who was a professional gymnast. I practiced gymnastics at a high level until I was 17, and won a national title in my category. After that I took a long break to get back to my studies and enjoy life outside the gym. I started cycling in my twenties to spend some time with my friends, and to feel the speed! I went to Paris to finish my degree and started commuting every day with a single speed bike. At this time, doing long rides really wasn’t a thing for me, I was more looking for fun and speed, rather than pain and commitment ☺️
Meanwhile, I was working part time as a barista in some coffee shops, and I discovered another passion: coffee! Even though I was working full time for a big company, my dream to open my own café was brewing inside me. So, after two years as a project manager, I decided to go back to Lyon, my hometown, and to open a coffee shop.
What inspired you to start cycling?
Living near the Alpes helps you a lot when you start cycling. Every year we would go to see professional riders in the Tour de France. And straight after seeing those amazing riders, my brothers and I were doing the “same” race in our district. Wanting to be like a pro was a big thing for us.
Tell us a little bit about the cycling culture in your city:
There isn’t a huge cycling culture in French cities… Commuting with your bikes is quite new. The French see riding as a sport, and so as a way of life. Besides, Lyon is a great town for cyclists because we can be out in the countryside in just 15 minutes. And if you have a car, you can get to the Alpes d’Huez in a one-and-a-half-hour drive!
What do you recommend to a cyclist going to Lyon?
Start with a coffee at Puzzle Café! There’s always someone who’s into cycling who’ll give you some tips about where to ride in and around town. The classic ride for us is to go to the Mont d’Or. In a 50km round trip you can easily reach more than 900d+, it’s the best place to train and to enjoy a quick ride.
Tell us about Puzzle Café, how it started?
It started five years ago. After a couple of years in Paris, I decided to come back to Lyon and open my own coffee shop. The goal was to open a local café that does the best cup of coffee every time. To ensure this spirit, I decided to do a rotation with coffee roasters all over Europe. Roasting is different in every city, at every roastery, so it was important that I offer a large range to my customers.
What about Puzzle Cycling Crew?
Some friends and I were doing casual rides starting and finishing at the café. More and more people were joining us, so we decided to create something more official. PCC was born ☺️
We decided to be a band of friends/riders riding together, just as if we were heading to the pub or to a restaurant. A social team open to every level. So, we started organizing different kinds of rides every week. Each ride is created by a member of our community in order to share their best training routes.
Best cycling moment so far?
My first big sports race, The Ardechoise in 2017. An epic ride in Ardèche of 175km and 4000d+… It was 7 hours in hell, but it helped me train better every day after that.
What is your life motto?
“Think before doing”
What do you love the most about the cycling culture?
The easy-going life cycling can offer; You can travel, commute, and compete with your bike.
Is there anything you would like to see improved in the cycling community?
City bike lanes! This would help the community grow.
Goals for 2020?
I’ll have my new bike soon (new Cannondale Supersix Evo) so 2020 will be the year to beat all my PRs!
I will do a couple of races this year:
- Scott Cimes des Alpes
- GF Santini Mont Ventoux
- Etape du Tour (Nice to Nice)
- And some local races
Keep an eye on PUZZLE's feeds:
All photos by Beto García.
Cycling Connects is presented by La Marzocco