The runner’s high may be a better-known concept in the athletic world, but riding a bike is just as chemically rewarding. If you could bottle that buoyant, fleeting feeling, you’d be a billionaire. Consciously or subconsciously, it drives us to keep heading out in the saddle.

Throw the social aspect into the mix for another intoxicating element in this heady cocktail of mind, body and soul. Chatting while the miles tick down releases dopamine and oxytocin, a duo of hormones and neurotransmitters that are as unbeatable as Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard on a Tour de France mountain climb. 

They are like the body’s roadside super-fans, providing a reward for moderate effort. After all, it’s about enjoying the ride and throwing in a few stops to enjoy the White Isle’s produce, not setting a new FTP record. This is the power of Joyriding; nobody gets left behind.

Because when it comes to getting the ultimate natural lift, there’s an optimal effort level. Happily, it’s pretty moderate too: Professor Elsa Heyman carried out a study with 11 healthy trained male cyclists which showed that after 30 minutes of cycling at Zone 3 – 75% of one’s maximal power (around the sweet spot pace for most group ride) – endocannabinoid levels increased. Activating that system can provides a boost of euphoria and enhance creative thinking too. 

The feel-good sensations carry on off the bike with the unforgettable social experience for which LeBlanq is renowned. The evening is about enjoying Michelin-starred feasts while hearing Tour de France-winning tales from legend Geraint Thomas, a reward for the effort and distance covered under the wheels. As the sun sets over the Mediterranean, Pete Tong spins the discs and the party hits fever pitch. Ibiza, you can’t beat it.

Riding and relaxing is a virtuous cycle. Turning the pedals will not only send more endorphins (which also take the edge off any well-earned indulgences the night before, bonus) around the body, but regular cycling helps to build a more connected brain, as it increases blood flow around the entire body and our grey matter. You can ride yourself smarter: the resulting oxygen and nutrients feed neurons, creating rich capillary beds and increasing the brain’s ability to function and repair itself. 

Even better, the more riding that we do, the better that high can be. Habitual exercise reshapes our reward system and creates new dopamine receptors. 

Essentially, more cycling means more joy. That’s what a LeBlanq experience is all about: we can all do with even more of that in our lives.

Written by Andy McGrath