The Olympic champion on leaving her comfort zone, taking the hard route, and becoming a Twitter meme.
When I call Mieke Kröger she tells me she has spent the whole day sleeping. “I’m pretty tired,” she says, recalling how she woke up late and visited the beach on the Croatian coast where she is staying.
It may sound like she is bunking off from training for a holiday, but the Olympic team pursuit champion has spent the week cycling from Cologne, Germany all the way to Croatia; over 1,347km and 16,040m. When we speak, she is debating whether to take the last leg of her journey, to Zagreb — where she will catch the train home — by bike or bus.
“It will also be nice to just sleep in, go to the beach again, and take it easy, and then take the bus,” she considers, (and who would blame her?) but she is undecided: “It would just be for me, I guess, to prove it to myself, whatever there is to prove.”
It is the mentality of an Olympic and World champion. Of a professional athlete who is used to striving to get the most out of herself. Mieke Kröger, though, is not your average professional cyclist. Point-to-point
“I don’t like to call it bike packing, because bike packing is too cool for me now. I’m not that cool,” Kröger insists. She has done trips like this before, one through her home country, one from Germany to Prague, and one ill-fated attempt […]