Spending time on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands for the last few months has given Sami Sauri the outlet she needs. Staying at a friend’s retreat centre, she’s been out surfing and cycling whenever she can. Life indoors doesn’t come easily to her.
“Normally I escape from thinking and being alone with myself and that’s why I do big trips because at least you’re sitting on a bike and not sitting in your apartment looking at the ceiling,” Sami says. “Stuck at home in Girona during the lockdown my head just exploded. So I took leave from work and escaped to the mountains in summer 2020. That didn’t make much difference so I went back to what I love most, the sea. So I’m travelling back and forward between Girona and Fuerteventura.”
The new Suunto ambassador is at her best on epic adventure rides, like the one she did with a crew of friends in 2018 across the US via Route 66, or, that same year, the 1500 km ride of the Trans Labrador Highway in Canada. The 29-year-old Spainard has adventure cycled all over the place, and has her sights set on riding in Kenya and France next – when life returns to normal.
“The trips I’ve been on have helped me a lot,” Sami says. “You’re sitting on a bike and seeing life go by and you have a lot of time to think about things. Sometimes it’s so monotonous that it’s harder mentally than physically. It taught me a lot about how to be and move forward in life.”
Sami is a self admitted “wild child” who skipped school whenever she could, and left home when she was 17 to lead her own life. She changed styles with the seasons, and landed her first job at a skate and surf shop. Things really changed for the better in 2010 when Sami laid her eyes upon a friend’s fixed gear bike. They were out in Barcelona, her hometown, meeting for a drink and her friend rolled up on the bike. Impressed that it didn’t have brakes, Sami had a try and instantly fell in love. She saved up and bought her own.
“It was the shittest bike ever, but I loved it,” she says. “Every single night after school I’d go out riding to learn how to skid, which is how to brake without brakes. I’d ride through the traffic like crazy. Thanks to that bike I discovered so many places in my city. I would have never seen them without a bike. It really opened my eyes.”
Now on Fuerteventura, waiting for the pandemic to pass, heading out surfing, trail running or cycling whenever she can, Sami tracks all her activities with her Suunto 9. “Suunto has every single sport mode you can imagine,” she says. “Now I take my bike and go to the beach, track my cycling, jump in the water, track my surfing, it’s perfect. For someone like me who combines sports, Suunto is the way to go. I have it with me all the time.”
All images: © Sergio Villalba