'My laptop saved my life': Student sets up cycling tour company after being hit by lorry and told she would never walk again
Londoner Lucy Lynn Evans, 26, organises group rides to festivals with Bike2BasicsShe hopes the Olympics will spark a resurgence in cycling and cycle safety
09:25 GMT, 13 August 2012
It is only because of a sturdy laptop that Lucy Lynn Evans is here to tell her tale.
Only five years ago, having just completed her first year at Sussex University, the media studies undergraduate went under the wheels of a lorry whose driver didn't spot her or her moped on a roundabout.
Lucy, who lives in west London, remembers very little after turning around to see the lorry, hearing a loud crack, then feeling the sensation of 'being squeezed very, very hard around the middle – like two huge people hugging me'.
Lucy Lynn Evans, founder of Bike2Basics cycling tour company, heads off on her bicycle
Upon waking in hospital, Lucy realised that the crack had been the laptop in her backpack being crushed – and that the bear-hug was the lorry's wheel rolling over her body.
'I was pretty lucky, really,' she tells FEMAIL. 'If my laptop hadn't been there that crack would have been my spine.'
Told she might never walk again, Lucy spent three months in hospital, underwent 15 operations on her pelvis and legs, and endured a year of intense rehab.
She eventually fought her way back onto her feet, but while walking was still immensely painful, the media studies student discovered that cycling was not.
'I could just cycle forever,' she says. 'And all of a sudden I was pleased to be in my body rather than frustrated.'
Lucy Lynn Evans set up Bike2Basics after being hit by a lorry while on a moped and told she would never walk again
Returning to Sussex University to complete her degree, Lucy quickly became a cycling fanatic, even encouraging her two brothers Harry and Sam (plus their dad) back into the saddle.
'Suddenly the three of us were always on our bikes, spending our summers cycling around the country and even Europe for as long as our money would allow.
'We're all big on music so began cycling to music festivals, and when we got there everyone we met and told was really keen to join in – and suddenly we saw a business opportunity.'
And so Bike2Basics was born.
Using DIY free website builder Wix, Lucy had a fully-functioning website just two days later and 100 lighter.
Charging around 25 per cyclist per trip, Lucy and her brothers lead
groups of people to music festivals such as Secret Garden Party all over the country – all on two wheels.
Lucy and her brothers Sam and Harry set up their Bike2Basics website with the help of free website builders Wix
'The trips are such fun and a terrific bonding experience. They've become a great way of meeting like-minded people and making friends.
'If it's a small trip, say to Brighton for a weekend, we tell people to pack light panniers. Otherwise – like on the weekend when we took 30 people to Wilderness festival in the Cotswolds – we have a support van carrying all our backpacks.
'And we always cycle alongside a train line, just in case anything goes wrong and we need to get on. Not that anything ever has gone wrong!
'On the way home after the festival we tend to put the bikes in the van and get the train home because we're all exhausted.
'Some keen people start out saying they want to cycle home too, but they always end up changing their minds after the festival!'
An excited Bike2Basics tour group set off on their journey towards a music festival
Being a seasonal operation, Lucy currently tutors during the winter months, but hopes to turn Bike2Basics into a full-time operation by next year – and possibly expand to festivals in southern hemisphere countries with opposing seasons, to enable trips all year round.
'We'll make just under a 10,000 turnover this year, almost 7,000 profit, but that also includes a bit of merchandising – having jumpers made up and selling them to people on the tour.
'I've been really frugal though and not spent any money on advertising, but what's also been good about my website builder Wix is that as well as being really easy to use they also give you 100 of free advertising on Facebook and Google which teaches you about online marketing.'
Three members of a Bike2Basics tour group finally reach their festival destination
Lucy is now hoping that the successes of Team GB's cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics will encourage more Brits onto bicycles.
'It's really important that we address cycle safety, too. I mean, having soft, fleshy cyclists on roads alongside massive heavy lorries is never going to be a good idea.
'We need to split up cyclists and cars, like they do in Holland and Denmark, so it would be great if the Olympics put some pressure on changing the infrastructure of the road system.
'Luckily, even after the accident, I don't ever feel scared on my bike in London.
'The only time i
get a little antsy is when I'm on my bike on a busy road and a truck
overtakes. When its wheels are eye level and it wobbles and makes loud noises by stomach turns a bit.
'I still think about the accident every now and then – I had my last operation only in September so it's still very much a part of my life – but weirdly I think the driver of the lorry was more cut up about it than I was!
'I met him soon afterwards and he was a really sweet guy. He was having terribly insomnia. I lost his number but I'd really like to see him, tell him about Bike2Basics, let him know how well I'm doing and show him that it all turned out alright in the end.'
For more information about Lucy's festival bike rides, visit www.bike2basics.com
After four days of exhausting festival fun, most cyclists on Lucy's Bike2Basics tours choose to put their bicycles in the support van and get the train home