LACBC has had a number of interns contribute to the world of cycling, but none has done it faster than Bryony van Velzen.
Coming to us from the Netherlands, last summer Bryony was signed by the Lares-Waowdeals UCI World Tour Team, which competes at the highest level of competitive cycling, after winning two races. While she is just starting her pro cycling career, she is also studying International Business at Zuyd University.
During her time here at LACBC, Bryony has helped us on a variety of fronts, including marketing plans, social media, and managing data among other things. Unfortunately for us, she’ll be departing the US in February for training camp in Spain, but this may not be the last we see of her. Bryony is hoping not only to return to Los Angeles next fall, but she’s wishing to be back sooner as a participant in this year’s Amgen Tour of California.
We asked Bryony a few questions about her experiences as she completes her internship here at LACBC:
What were your thoughts about Los Angeles before you came here?
Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect before I came to L.A. I think I expected this beautiful, big city and a lot of famous and rich people. Really cliche story.
Right off the bat, Bryony knew which team to support!
What surprised you the most about cycling in Los Angeles?
I didn’t expect that this many people would ride their bikes here in L.A. And I totally love how many group rides there are out here. Training is so much easier and more fun when riding with other people.
What are some of your favorite places to ride here in Los Angeles?
My favorite place to ride is out in the Angeles National Forest. The climbs are long, but the views are breathtaking. We don’t have mountains like that in the Netherlands, so I really enjoy riding out there. I also ride a lot in Griffith Park, for example up to the Hollywood sign or the helipad. I also enjoy riding along the coast.
It’s really cool that the riding here in L.A. is so diverse. You can go into the mountains or do an easy ride on the beach.
Bryony helped market and even modeled our LACBC Kit.
How would you describe bike culture here?
That’s a tough question. . . I feel like a lot of people out here have never ridden a bike and don’t even know what it feels like to be on a bike and enjoy your surroundings. I wish more people here could experience what it is like to ride a bike and see the world in a unique way, like you would never see while driving a car. And that’s why the work that LACBC does is so important.
But many of the people that do ride seem to know each other. I think the bike community out here is really close, like a big family, which is really special.
What do you love about Los Angeles?
I love the diversity in L.A. The people, the food, everything! I’ve had so many new experiences since I got here. It’s been an amazing journey for me.
And of course, as a Dutchy I can’t forget to mention how awesome the weather here in SoCal is! 🙂
Bryony taking in the view above Highway 39 near Crystal Lake
What do you expect on your first full year on the pro tour as a cyclist?
I feel stronger than ever, probably because I was able to get a lot of good riding in this winter, so I’m super excited for the upcoming season.
I don’t really know what to expect, because, like I said, I feel stronger than ever but I don’t know where I stand compared to the rest of the women’s peloton.
I did set some goals. I want to focus on improving my sprint and my timetrial. And I wanna achieve some nice results, such as a top 10 spot in a big UCI race.
What did you miss most from back home?
Of course, I missed my friends and family, but I also met a lot of new people that are really important to me for making this trip an experience to never forget.
I also miss some of the typical Dutch food and snacks, plus the food is way healthier back home.