Cy­cling Celebrity

A ride in the rain on bor­rowed bike turned the news an­chor into a cy­clist

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Ch­eryl Ma­clach­lan

A ride in the rain on bor­rowed bike turned news an­chor

So­phie Lui into a cy­clist

Be­ing on TV ev­ery day puts So­phie Lui, an­chor of Global News Hour at 6 BC, in the spot­light. Rid­ing her bike lets Lui get away. “I live and work down­town, so get­ting out on my bike and out of down­town to be some­where where there’s not as much traf­fic is one of the things I re­ally like about cy­cling,” Lui said. “I like the peace and quiet, the scenery and the chance to just be in my head ei­ther to think the things I need to think or just to zone out.” Lui’s in­tro­duc­tion to cy­cling be­gan about seven years ago, af­ter she men­tioned it both in­trigued and in­tim­i­dated her to a friend at work. That friend con­nected her with Philip Meyer, an avid cy­clist, for­mer racer and di­rec­tor of the Ge­or­gia Cy­cling Team. “Philip took me on my first ride in the pour­ing rain, but sur­pris­ingly I still liked it,” she said, adding he had to bor­row a bike for her be­cause she didn’t have her own – or any other gear, for that mat­ter. “I had ab­so­lutely none of the things I needed,” Lui said.

“I wore leg­gings and run­ning shoes, and I think I ended up hav­ing to buy a hel­met that day.”

Soon, she bought her­self a bike. It wasn’t long be­fore she did her first big ride – the Ride to Con­quer Can­cer in 2013, which at the time was from Van­cou­ver to Seat­tle. Since then, she’s just kept go­ing – sign­ing up for gran fon­dos, trav­el­ling with her bike, rid­ing with groups and solo, and build­ing up her arsenal of cy­cling gear, in­clud­ing an­other bike. “I re­al­ized early on this is an ex­pen­sive sport, but then it just be­came the thing I do,” she said.

See­ing her­self as a cy­clist – or an ath­lete at all – still feels new for Lui. “I’ve never re­ally been an ath­lete. It was only in the past decade that I started to take an in­ter­est in my phys­i­cal fit­ness,” she said, adding that cy­cling has changed how she sees her­self. “It’s not just an ac­com­plish­ment for me to fin­ish hard climbs and rides, but it’s an ac­com­plish­ment for me to see that I can do any­thing that’s phys­i­cal at all. Now that I’ve been able to push my­self in this di­rec­tion, I feel like I can do any­thing.”

So, what’s next on her list? Lui looks for­ward to im­prov­ing her times on some of her favourite Strava seg­ments. She also wants to com­bine her life­long pas­sion for travel with her new­found pas­sion for cy­cling, some­thing she’s only done a lit­tle of in spots such as Cal­i­for­nia, (where Meyer – now Lui’s part­ner – lives cur­rently), Colom­bia, where she trav­elled for a story, and around Bri­tish Columbia. “I re­ally love be­ing able to see the world, whether it’s my city or an­other part of the world, from my bike,” said Lui. “I love that cy­cling is quiet and beau­ti­ful and phys­i­cal all at once, so you get to take in gor­geous places and chal­lenge your­self phys­i­cally and men­tally at the same time.”

“It’s not just an ac­com­plish­ment for me to fin­ish hard climbs and rides, but it’s an ac­com­plish­ment for me to see that I can do any­thing that’s phys­i­cal at all.”

above So­phie Lui rides the Axel Mer­ckx Gran Fondo

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