Maya Ebrahim - OCG Ambassador
When the lockdown hit, Maya Ebrahim didn’t find indoor workouts motivating enough. That’s when she took up cycling. Throughout the cold winter months, cycling became the best motivation for her to leave the endless zoom meetings and connect with nature.
Now, the Filipino/Egyptian beginner MTBer, based in London, loves all things two wheels and wants to share her love for bikes with her community and friends. For Maya, cycling is more than an exercise, it’s a lifestyle!
“I love the opportunities cycling provides between the people I meet and the places I visit it connects me to nature and the community.”
“When I go out on my rides and spot another cyclist coming in the opposite direction, they usually smile, wave, and say hello – even if they’re a roadie and I’m on my MTB. The rare sighting of another female MTBer is enough to make us both stop and have a chat. I’ve made many lasting friends through this community.”
What started as a fitness activity to get fitter became a passion and an adventure. Maya now rides to get out in nature and explore the British countryside. She can never get bored of the seasons, the changing colors of the rolling hills, the magnificent views after a tough climb, and the rewarding descents. She passes through cute English villages where there is always a local tea shop or honesty box to refuel with cake and caffeine. There are so many incredible sights along towpaths, canals, and bridleways to people-watch as the locals go about their day. On the perfect Spring day, it’s magical!
“I’m a sucker for the endorphins and adrenaline rush you get from cycling. Knowing there is a beer and a roast dinner at the end of a long ride is hugely motivating during the climbs. Yorkshire puddings and gravy…”
One of her biggest goals is to ride more outside of the UK. And Maya already found the perfect solution for that! Since traveling is part of her work, she plans to rent a bike and explore the local trails in every country she visits. To plan her routes and make the most of the journey, she uses Komoot.
On her cycling journey, Maya has the support of her friends and family, as her mum likes every post she makes, and her boyfriend gives the seal of approval on all her reels. However, there are a few bumps on the road. Due to her height, it’s not always easy to rent a bike.
“It is really disappointing to find that I can’t rent a bike because the store does not stock the smaller 47 cm frame or 2XS frame sizes. For motorcycling, I have gotten used to riding bikes with taller top tubes, but there is a real problem when I can’t even reach the brake levers.”
Maya doesn’t let these challenges stop her. She finds inspiration in other women on two wheels, like Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the first person in the history of cycling to simultaneously hold the World road title, World cyclo-cross title, and World cross-country mountain bike title – at 23 years old, and her fellow London born MTBer Tahnée Seagrave. “I love that she dyes her race gear pink and purple. MTB fashion icon!”
She also uses her voice to demystify some misconceptions about cycling in her community, such as:
- Cycling is perceived as a sport for middle-class/rich white people.
- Cycling is an expensive sport.
- Women cycling is frowned upon in religious communities and the idea that young girls could lose their virginity if they cycle.
- Car drivers think the Lycra gangs are taking too much space on narrow roads and causing traffic jams.
- Disappearing cycle lanes.
These are just a few of the misconceptions Maya tries to elucidate in her community by explaining and demonstrating that cycling is for everyone. It doesn't need to be expensive, as cyclists can buy used bikes and helmets, and find affordable gear. Cycling is also agnostic, and it doesn't care about your race, religion, or ethnicity.
In car-centric cities, there is still the misconception that cyclists should not use the roads, but Maya advocates in favor of a more sustainable future showing that by sharing the road cyclists opt for a more sustainable transport vehicle, helping the environment, the traffic, and increasing the quality of their own health.
So, Maya focuses her passion for cycling to empower other cyclists and promote the belief that cycling is for EVERYONE. According to her, one of the biggest lessons she learned from cycling is that every small milestone counts, and she keeps going!
As a MTBer traveling the world and the British countryside, Maya needs versatile and high-quality apparel, to make sure she has protection and long-lasting comfort to enjoy the ride. We’ll help her get kitted out and ready for her next adventures!