The Ultimate Rebel: Cyclopaat

As you may have figured out if you’ve read some of my posts here, we are a deeply troubled person 🙂

We play Jeckell and Hyde with our various alter ego’s, Cyclopaat having the upper hand.

There used to be another, more dominant, personality, the Mahjong-playing HUmaniac. However, Cyclopaat dumped him in a bottomless pit years ago.

In the dungeon, the freelancer is kept in isolation – since he’s paying for most of the activities, he is (barely) tolerated, but he has no say in any of this…

All of us were born July 17, 1960 in the town of Fontainebleau (France), but as Cyclopaat is king, he will continue this post now…

So, I’m married to a beautiful and kind (bicycle) fairy, Paula Pereira Gomes (1963).

From a previous marriage, I have a son named Bert (1991).

If you’ve read about Cyclopaat’s activities, you may start to wonder if there’s anything else that I do, for instance to be able to pay for his excursions.

The answer to that is: very little. It’s the freelancer that can be hired for any IT related job, provided it doesn’t require great skills, mental or physical.

There was a time that the mental strain of my work – making a career – was so strong that it did actually get physical, but a nasty car crash in 2002 forced me towards new insights into my version of  ‘the meaning of life’.

Not without a fight, because I didn’t want to give in at first, but once you’ve hit the bottom, it all becomes more clear.

So, since I – more or less – recovered from that, finding the love of my life in the process, I do what I like most, with her always at my side – pretty much all a man could hope for.

” All men die, but not all men live. You make me feel alive, every day.

Cycling does that to you (2008 – 2011)

I picked up cycling (again) in 2003/2004 as part of my rehabilitation after that car crash.

Once I got off the spin bike and on the ATB, I made my first altimeters when we cycled in the south of my country.

While the hills are not very impressive in height, you can find many steep(ish) climbs there as well as in the nearby Ardennes and Eifel.

But in 2008 I went to more serious terrain for the first time: in Austria and Italy I conquered the Gerlitzen, the Nockalmstrasse and the Stelvio from Prato (report).

In 2009 I got up the Grossglockner in Austria and it was then that I found out that carrying a lot of excess weight was not helpful. Before actually working on that, it got worse first, but halfway through 2010, I flipped a switch and pushed my activities up a few notches.

I got rid of 20+ kilograms, which made climbing considerably easier, albeit I’m still just an average climber. I raided the Italian Alps in 2011, got involved in the Alpe d’HuZes challenge 2012 and went back to France in 2014, 2017, 2021 and 2022, and to Italy in 2015 and 2020 for some more.

I also (re)visited Switzerland, after I had a taste of that in my Giro 2015’s Epilogue.

Anyway, I guess you could say I’m addicted to the high mountains, not so much as a collector of Strava segment KOM’s, but mainly for the breathtaking views 🙂

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