Issue 119 - The Soul Issue


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The Soul Issue

For me, more than any other sport and activity, cycling is all about soul. Cycling gets me from A to B and it keeps me fit, healthy and happy, but even more importantly it makes me feel. Our latest magazine, Rouleur 119: the Soul issue explores all the ways that cycling elevates our spirits, lifts our mood and enhances our interaction with the world. 

When we brainstormed ideas for issue themes through 2023, we had already committed to making Rouleur 116 at the end of 2022 our ‘Mind’ issue. We quickly decided that ‘Body’ (Rouleur 117) would be our first magazine of 2023. And we couldn’t have ‘Mind’ and ‘Body’ editions without a ‘Soul’ magazine to complete the trinity. 

The funny thing is, nobody really knows what a soul is. Philosophers and scientists have for over four thousand years pondered the existence of the soul. Where is it? What is it? Classical philosophers theorised that it resided in the liver; Aristotle proclaimed that it was in the heart (getting closer now); Plato and Pythagoras suggested the brain was the seat of the soul. Herophilus, a more detail-focused and specific kind of philosopher, posited that the soul was exactly in the fourth ventricle of the brain. Even so, René Descartes concluded centuries later that the soul and the body were separate things. Basically, we haven’t got a clue. But at the same time, we know exactly what a soul is. That feeling you have when riding a bike or immersing yourself in a bike race? That’s the wave we’re riding in this edition of the magazine.

What’s in the magazine?

Remco Evenepoel: The age of Remco

As journalists we love Evenepoel. Obviously, he’s a generational talent and a highly gifted rider who has won Liège-Bastogne-Liège twice, plus a Vuelta and World title in the last year alone, but he also has huge charisma and rough edges, which manifest themselves in occasional directness in interviews and which make him all the more compelling as a human being.

Crossing the Divide

Photojournalist Ryan Le Garrec takes us on a solo bikepacking trip from his home in Lisbon to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. We follow the journey from the start, through the middle and to the end. However, in his piece, Ryan decided to arrange his memories according to how they had made an impression on him, in much the same way that we’ll remember the high points and memorable moments of a particular holiday years later, not the day-to-day order of the trip.

Burn Brightly

Rachel Jary’s insightful and revealing interview with Victoria Pendleton, one of the most successful female sprinters in British cycling history. She retired from the sport after the 2012 Olympics after struggling with her mental health. Now, Pendleton is ready to come back to the cycling community with a calm acceptance.

Cycling, Spirituality and Escape

The idea here was to present a series of interviews and portraits of prominent public figures who had each experienced challenges in one form or another, and found in cycling a way of finding solace and space to reflect. Jeremy spoke to Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former Director of Communications, Radio 2 DJ OJ Borg, bestselling novelist Freya North, Lance Armstrong’s former soigneur Emma O’Reilly and EVO Fitness founder Nick Evans.

Rouleur conveys the essence, passion and beauty of cycling culture via the very best writers photographers and designers in the business.

Rouleur gets inside cycling with previously untold stories from great racers, both past and present, intriguing tales from the pro peloton, and unique insights into the wonderful world of bicycles. Cycling culture for cultured cyclists.

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