VV Profile: Lygia de Luca

Name: Lygia de Luca


Occupation: Movimento Conviva Blogger and social media content and strategy freelancer

Hometown: São Paulo, Brasil

Current city/Neighborhood: I live in a neighborhood called Saúde in the south of São Paulo.

Raison d'être: I try to make utopias become a reality. If I ever consider something is far from reality - mine, per se - I do everything I can to make what seems utopic come true. It can work for anything in my life... anything.


Favorite city to ride a bike in in the world: So far, the best memories I have sit in Brugge, Belgium; though I had a really good time in San Francisco!

Helmet or no helmet: No helmet for commuting in the city, but surely when I start doing bike trips I will wear one. :)


Type of bike: I have a urban step-through bike. Since I am quite new to commuting by bike, this is my only one - and he's called Bob! And... I confess I do fancy getting a fixie in a near future. :)

Describe what you like best about your bike: It fits all my riding necessities right now, besides looking like the dutch bikes I fell in love with while I was abroad - though my bike is made in Brazil. Besides the design, I love how practical it is to ride it, whether I am wearing pants or a dress, and also the space to carry all the stuff I need - either on the back, inside my retro box, or using my basket up front.


But actually what I love the most about it is the freedom I feel since I started to ride it. :)

Describe your personal style: Most of the time, I want to dress comfortable. Basically I love dresses and skirts - I love high waist style the most. I don't wear super high heels but I do like the mid-term "girly but still possible to run" heels. Besides that, it all depends on my mood - I can go very classic and look nearly as an old lady or just as fun as a colorful teenager. Who knows how I'll feel when I wake up?

Favorite accessory when riding: Bob always wears a scarf around his handlebar and, for the night, a bunch of colorful lights. As for me, nothing but a happiness feeling inside.


Favorite time and/or place to ride: Of course it's much more fun to ride around parks and during weekends, but I love commuting - it's when I ride the most, actually early in the morning and just when the day turns night.

Tell me about how you started to ride in São Paulo: It all started when I came back from a backpacking trip around the world. I spent 9 months on the road and I saw much more cyclists around the city. I asked some friends if it was just me or if there were really more bikes on the streets - they told me it wasn't only me. So once I was delighted to ride a bike as a transport, even in a tourist way, while abroad, and got SO impressed on how the bikers could own their space and the others could respect it, I started thinking about riding a bike here. Also I got a job working for the CicloFaixa, which made me get involved with the movement of cyclist in my city - it was so exciting!


But then I unfortunately fell down - while walking, not biking - and hurt my foot. It took me nearly 1 year to recover. Right after that I started riding short distances during weekends only to find out I was too scared to do it by myself. That's when I called a volunteer from Bike Anjo and tried commuting by bike. We became friends and he showed me, day by day, how fun it is to ride the bike, giving me safety tips and making me feel free.


Tell me about your Bike Anjo (Lygia's volunteer bike companion, pictured above): I asked for a volunteer, as I said above, and got the perfect match: Tiago lives nearby my place and also works quite close to where I work. So our first ride practice happened on a lovely sunny Sunday, using the CicloFaixa, and it was cool and peaceful. He also came for my first official commute day, on Monday, and was very supportive all the time. Every day he would teach me something new and calm me down when I got scared - because it does happen. Even though I love riding in my city, the traffic is bad, without infrastructure for cyclists. We quickly became friends and it's much because of him that I felt so motivated to start cycling - having someone you trust around, to chat on the way and help you when you need make everything feel lighter. As the song said, "with a little help from my friends" - and that's what Bike Anjo means for me. :)


Tell me about your involvement with Movimento Conviva, the blog and your message: "Conviva" means "coexist", and it's about stimulating a peaceful existence between pedestrians, drivers and cyclists. It surged after CicloFaixa - and both go together. Since I worked for CicloFaixa after coming back from my trip, I had already been bitten by the little "biker mosquito". It had total influence over my decision of riding a bike to go to work. I do believe we should ride more, being a mass of people on their bikes to change the city scenario, to soften the traffic, to change the way people see and look at the landscape - and, surely, make a safer commute.

Writing for Conviva only inspires me to open my eyes more wildly, to realize little details in between the lines - and write about them; being curious is a part of me, but while I commute, I have much more to be curious about. Conviva expanded not only my curiosity, but my consciousness about the ways we should work for São Paulo to become a more human city. As little as it may seem, being inspired to ride a bike and doing it everyday to go to work can inspire other people - especially women, who often feel much more insecure to try it. I can't remember how many talks I've had in the past months about people who want to ride a bike but have so many "buts". It's great to let them know there are Bike Anjos around, there are people who were scared like me, and that there is a group of cyclists and active people who are willing to help others to get their asses on their bikes and ride on!

Vélo Vogue tip of the day: If you ride in a big city like me, don't put your guard down - but smile as much as you can while riding your bike (I try to do so!). People need to know it's so much fun to cycle so they'll be jealous and, who knows, one day ride by your side. \o/


Please check out Movimento Conviva today for Lygia's interview with Vélo Vogue's editor, Kristin Tieche.

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