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Juliana Buhring was raised in a cult. Her story only gets more interesting from there. Born in Greece — though she considers herself British-German — she has lived in 30 different countries in her lifetime, most of those during her time growing up in the Children of God cult. “It was a frightening and oftentimes difficult childhood,” she recalled.
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From that upbringing would come some good. After leaving the cult, she wrote a best-selling book that helped lead to the end of the Children of God. Now she works to help children who have grown up in cults or extremist religious sects to adapt to society, from which they often have been raised completely cut off.
To cyclists, Juliana is likely best known for her exploits as an ultra-endurance cyclist. But she didn’t start down that path until later in life, at 30 years old, after a man she was in love with died. “That set me on the path towards cycling the world,” she says.
She didn’t ease her way into ultra-endurance riding, though. She jumped right into an attempt to cycle around the world, setting the Guinness World Record in the process for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe on a bike by a woman. She discusses the highs and lows of that trip, and what she learned along the way, as well as from other ultra-endurance events she has done since. Her stories make most people’s most grueling ride ever seem like a quick coffee spin.
For her latest chapter in life, she has turned to race promoting, setting up the 1,100-kilometer-long Two Volcano Sprint in south Italy.
Juliana’s life story is one you don’t want to miss. Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation.
“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.