British Cycling’s Breeze is the biggest programme ever designed to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Their aim is to help thousands of women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride.
While cycling is becoming more and more popular in the UK, the proportion of women getting involved is actually declining. British Cycling and ourselves want to change that. British Cycling have spoken to lots of women and done our research to understand the reasons why more women aren’t cycling and they include lack of time, confidence and feeling safe riding a bike. They're trying to provide as many cycling opportunities as they can in a nurturing and friendly environment. They currently have almost 200 bike rides for women on a weekly basis. Find a ride near you.
The programme wouldn’t be where it is today with out inspiring volunteer Breeze champions. These ladies organise fun, social, local bike rides for women. Rides go at a speed that suits everyone, and they often start or finish at a cafe so everyone can have a drink and a chat.
Anna Rennie has recently completed her Breeze training and is your local Breeze champion. Anna says: "I am really excited to be part of Breeze. I've been cycling for several years and have competed in triathlons and duathlons. But my main passion in cycling is mountain biking and want to start competing this year. I have lived in Cornwall all my life and have found so many excellent trails and tracks I want to be able to share with you. I am equally happy cycling at either a leisurely pace or a more intense workout and will tailor rides to suit the groups capabilities. Looking forward to meeting you all and inspiring women to experience the huge enjoyment that is cycling!"
More information about local rides can be found on the Devon and Cornwall Breeze facebook page here.
British Cycling have also been trying to make bikes more accessible to women, through hire schemes and female-friendly bike shops, along with women-only mass participation events.
Bike Chain Ricci are proud to be associated with Breeze and we are an accredited Female Friendly Bike Shop.
We know that buying a bike or getting one repaired can be something of a daunting experience. 'What height... what type... what am I meant to be looking for...?' Breeze's partnership with the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) promotes independent traders like ourselves who support women new to bike riding with straightforward advice, a range of women’s bikes and family kit, and information on local rides.
Breeze project manager Natalie Justice says: 'We’re proud to partner with the ACT and recognise the many cycle traders who are working hard to help women find out more about the right bike and kit for them, and their children. Together we’ll support all traders who want to do more to broaden their customer base. It’s great for women’s cycling and great business.'
Jonathan Harrison from the ACT said: 'The ACT is delighted to be working with British Cycling’s Breeze network. We wanted to showcase cycle retailers who welcome women into their shops. Working in partnership with the Breeze network has provided us with the means to promote these female friendly businesses to consumers, via our Cycling Experts website.'
Richard Pascoe Bike Chain MD says: "We are proud to be recognised as a female friendly store, our aim is always to promote cycling from the beginner right up to the elite athlete, we are always there to offer advice and help to anyone who comes through our doors. Whilst we know cycling is growing in popularity in the UK, it is still a male dominated sport. We are trying to change that by supporting the "Closing the Gap campaign" and helping as many females and families get into cycling, with clear and helpful advice on everything from the right kit to appropriate bikes and sizing"
The Closing the Cycling Gap campaign is all about creating new opportunities for more women to enjoy the fun and freedom of riding a bike. Breeze is the single biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. Their aim is to help thousands of women feel confident and comfortable about going on a ride.
To do this Breeze are training up fabulous Breeze champions who volunteer to organise fun, social, local bike rides across the country, in a bid to get thousands more women riding bikes for fun.
What are you waiting for?
To find out more about Breeze please visit the their website.