On Saturday 12 March I led my first Breeze bike ride, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Breeze is a women’s cycling initiative by British Cycling, aimed at encouraging more women to take up cycling for fun! It’s a volunteer led programme, where everyday women (like me) train as Breeze champions and organise free guided bike rides.
This is where I could go off on a corporate tangent… spouting stats and facts about the programme, because I work for British Cycling – but I’ll try my best to give this an outside in view. The reason I decided to become a champion was because I was/am genuinely inspired by all of the women involved in the programme, champions and participants, and the support that they give one another, it’s a sisterhood in every sense of the word. Going out on a bike ride, meeting new people and having a laugh – what’s not to love about that. After sitting behind my desk for 2 years watching them have all the fun, I wanted in on the action!
Back to the bike ride… 5 champions, 9 participants, 10 miles! We did a loop around Bury (my hometown), that was predominantly off-road and pretty easy going. We had 3 pick-up points with champions based at each start point, so women could join in along the way. The ride started at Clarence Park in Walmersley, headed to Burrs Country Park (where we had an impromptu snap stop with some men in uniform), and then down Totty lines to Greenmount for the final pick-up, and back again – a great little route, suitable for all abilities.
Back at Clarence Park we had coffee, cake and a good old chinwag, dished out Breeze goody bags for our participants, and us champions were given a goody bag each for organising the ride in partnership with Bury’s I Will If You Will project.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first taste of Breeze as a champion and Ride Leader, and am looking forward to spending more time on the other side of the desk! #getwomencycling
Sticking my work hat on for just a second, there’s a number of recreational cycling programmes offered by British Cycling for men and women to get involved with, if you’re reading this and wanting to find people and groups to cycle with – find out more here!