Melanie Gandyra illustration

"Girls wanna shred"

by Melanie Gandyra

One and a half year ago I found myself right in the middle of a crazy and unexpected love story. The girl from the north fell in love with the boy from the south. Being in a relationship with this man means being in a relationship with the mountains. He is extremely connected with nature and any kind of sports you can do outside and on the slopes. Being with him always pushes me in exciting, sometimes risky but always stunning situations. Sleeping close to the sky, skiing in the
middle of nowhere and riding a bike on trails you don’t even want to walk on. In all these new and unusual moments he gives me power and trust.

Inspired by the expectation of the first heady run on my downhill bike „Fridolin“ I made this illustration. I can´t say that I’m a fearless character and that I started this crazy sport surprises me and makes me proud at the same time. I got some instructions before, how I have to hold my wrist and push the pedals. It was a strange feeling getting instructions in riding a bike – after all, I had been riding bikes for many many years! I wanted to include that experience in my illustration.

Having a run down the hill sometimes means pedal it up before which always is a sweaty issue. Getting a feeling for how fast a bottle of water can be emptied was not one of the hard or painful experiences I made till now but an existential. It´s the most rewarding moment when you raise the hill and often this moment comes with an empty bottle of water.

In this sport falling down is often painful and you really have to stand up quickly no matter how much your body is hurting.

Mountain biking is a fast and bold sport and you have to be extremely focused during the whole ride. I love botany so it´s often difficult to stay focused on the track because of the stunning nature around me. There are so many beautiful plants in the Alps. I can say that my passion for plants trespass on my boyfriend. There are moments when he goes on a bike ride with his mates and stops right during a run to take a picture of a special plant to share with me.

All these facts, thoughts and experiences inspired me to make this illustration. I wanted to transfer the beauty of nature combined with the inevitable touch of mechanics and of course the aspect of fear.
Sharing passions like that we do makes me very grateful. It lets me lose a bit of my fear and pushes me right in the middle of new adventures.

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