Breathe magazine

Freedom to explore by Jim Butler (2017)

With the success of Team GB, the popularity of the Tour de Yorkshire and bike sales at record levels, the UK is in the grip of a cycling boom, but it doesn’t have to be all high-speed and Lycra. For a relatively small outlay, cycling can get you closer to nature while also improving health and attention span. Time to get back in the saddle and revel in the joys of two-wheeled pleasures

The first time Lulu Le Vay cycled as an adult she really shouldn’t have. She was, by her own admission, a bit, how should we put it politely, refreshed. She borrowed a friend’s bike and cycled to the shop to buy some cigarettes – again, today, another no-no – and while the journey was one borne of misguided necessity the feeling she got from her ride was revelatory.

‘I had this amazing feeling of being completely free,’ she recalls 15 years on. ‘I felt independent, free… it was exhilarating. I had
a real moment. So I went out the next week and bought a bike.’

Since being converted to the manifold joys of all things two- wheeled, Lulu, a London academic and writer, hasn’t looked back. She’s cycled across Europe, done cycling tours in New York and Ibiza and even pedalled from her home in London to her mum’s in East Sussex.

‘It was amazing,’ she proclaims, ‘through really tough terrain. It’s such a buzz when you get to other end. And you see all the beautiful countryside. It’s not like when you’re in a car and it just passes you by. You’re feeling it and breathing it in. It’s all about the smells… the whole experience.’

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