A recent interview with Gabrielle Giffords offered some insight into how important bicycles are in the former Congresswoman’s life.

Woman’s Day magazine published a story about Giffords earlier this week. In it she talked about her goal of riding in the 40 mile version of El Tour de Tucson and how bicycling makes her feel.

Gabby has traded stumping for very different activities: “Yoga twice a week, French horn, Spanish lessons, riding my bike.” She also spends more time with her husband. Before the shooting, she was commuting between Washington, DC, and Tucson, and Mark was based in Houston. Now, they go on drives in the desert, see movies and eat out often. They are both avid cyclers, and are planning to do the 40-mile El Tour de Tucson in November. That morning, Gabby had logged 11 miles on her recumbent bicycle. When I ask her why she loves to bike, she responds simply, “Freedom.”

Giffords rode in the 11 mile version last November.

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