Upgrading skills, endurance, and bike in 30 days. c. 2021
I'm a newbie to the area and wanted to find a group that would teach me the necessary skills to learn and become a better road cyclist. So glad I was able to find Carolin and joined the group. I had the pleasure to ride alongside her and upgrade my skills on the bike.
I joined the 'Road Cycling 101' course which helped me build on the basics of cycling safely, knowing how to maintain and fix my bike, cycle safely along flatter routes to building up my endurance to tackle the hills of the Bay Area. Over the 6 weeks, I gained the knowledge and confidence to really become much more interested in this sport.
Carolin was an amazing teacher. She had so much patience, was so knowledgeable and just loves her sport of cycling. She is so friendly and encouraging while also making you challenge yourself to persist and advance as a cyclist, while always checking in to make sure you're ok. She showed me many amazing and scenic rides around the area and the scenery on top of those hills was just breathtaking.
If anyone is thinking of joining the rides; do it! I've now bought a new road bike and have more confidence to tackle longer rides, and of course those hills! This would never have happened had I not participated with Carolin and Circa Cycling! Thank you Carolin :)
Unlocking her potential, c. 2019
I connected with Carolin a few months after I started cycling. For our first ride together, we went across the Bay bridge to Treasure Island. On our way back, my fear of falling on a busy street came to fruition. Carolin was so great, she made sure that I was OK and then checked to make sure nothing on my drivetrain was bent or harmed during the fall and explained what to look for and why it was important to check. Since our first ride, I have continued to join in group rides and she has been nothing but encouraging. Carolin takes the time to explore routes so that when it's time to be the fearless group ride leader she knows the ins and outs of the route, where to stop for water and the best stops for pastries.
When I first started out, climbing hills was so intimidating... but ride by ride Carolin helped me get into the right mindset through introducing me to new hills, challenging me to repeat familiar ones with bigger efforts and even sneaking in extremely challenging ones as surprises. She will hang back on climbs when she sees that I fall behind to make sure I'm doing ok and lift my spirits if I need it.
Carolin has supported me through my cycling journey through always being available to answer questions about maintenance, gear and ride recommendations. She motivated and supported my latest endeavor of dismantling and reassembling my bike for traveling and could not have done it without her!
Entering a higher barrier, male dominated sport is challenging as is. I am so grateful for Carolin not only welcoming me into this amazing community that she is building in the Bay Area but also to be able to relate to as a woman cyclist. It's very special being able to have that and her dedication to create a welcoming environment for women.
15/10 would recommend riding with Carolin for a welcoming community and for support towards your goals (and goals you didn't even know you had)!
For the love of hills! c. 2018
Circa cycling is awesome! I usually join rides with Carolin. I had cycled in London (UK) for 8 years (it's pretty flat) and now the East Bay - it was daunting, it meant a new area, new terrain and hills! I had just bought a new bicycle and hadn't done hills like this before. I didn't think I would like them. Carolin started off with teaching me the basics about road safety (I thought I knew it all but turns out I didn't!).
She's very good at leading, extremely knowledgable about best practices, stretching and all the things that come with cycling, clear in her directions and very attentive to ensure every rider rides at their own comfort level. Even in groups with different skill levels (I've ridden with her solo and also in groups) she does an amazing job at keeping everyone together and if someone is slower (me) than the others she just comes back and rides with them (for example). She does it in a way I can't quite put my finger on - she just makes you feel comfortable with whatever is right for you.
I don't know how she did it but now I LOVE riding the hills. It's one of my favorite things. It clears my head, there's an ultimate reward (endorphins, fitness, feeling healthy) and a view to go with it. Then the descent is always a treat whether you want to enjoy it slow or fast. The beauty of Circa is that it doesn't matter which level cyclist you are. Whether it's your first time, just trying to find your way around a bike or whether you're experienced but want to find new paths or just a group to ride with - Since I've advanced my skills I still go back to group rides, to find new routes, push myself or just to hang out or find a new little cafe.
From weekday commuter to weekend warrior, c. 2020.
If your goal is just getting started and being comfortable riding about the Bay Area or really pushing yourself hard to get better, faster and stronger Carolin has the knowledge set and demeanor to help any goal. After working with her for one year I have to say that I am impressed with the overall results if you are also willing to put in a bit of your own effort as well outside of the lead sessions. You will be fully supported along the entire journey no matter the question or concern. At first, I wasn't sure how far I wanted to take the cycling thing since so much of the culture (clothes, bike tech, ride planning, metrics, etc) seemed so daunting to learn. Her level of preparation for rides and ensuring that the experience is a smooth one for the members is one of the things that she prides herself on and expects for your experience.
Carolin is a natural teacher and leader. She wants the best for those that work around her, but also holds you accountable for you to put in your best effort and being punctual! She has a good base of experience from both being involved in the cycling community and from riding for a good number of years. Cycling is truly her passion and she will answer or seek out the answer for anything that you need to know to feel comfortable being out on the road. If you want to build confidence not only on the road, but challenging yourself while exploring this is worth trying even for the experience and confidence that you can ride and enjoy the Bay Area in a totally new way that will make you appreciate where we live even more.
From zero to 20 miles, c. 2019
Experienced, caring, and thoughtful don't even begin to describe the experience I had cycling with Circa and especially Carolin. The ride was challenging but well thought out. Carolin (the ride leader) was constantly making sure we felt good during my ride. Stopping for breaks when needed, adjusting my bike (first-time rider), helping me assess my strengths and weaknesses during and after my ride. Plus her "no drop" policy really made me feel like she cared and wasn't going to judge my ability. The group I was with was intimate, 3 to 4 people, but I've seen larger groups with her leading. I highly recommend attending a ride if you want to be part of a large cycling community, want to learn how to maintain your bike, become a better cyclist, and want to learn from someone who actually cares about your personal growth.