Riding a bike offers women so many benefits, yet research shows that women are much less likely to cycle than men.
Riding a bike helps keeps you fit, is a reliable form of transport and could save you a small fortune in travel costs. It's also a great way for you to do your bit for the environment.
There is loads of useful information online about where to ride, choosing the right bike and how to get involved with rides and cycling events across the country. Click here to see a list of useful sites.
British Cycling's Breeze Network is a new national network of fun, local and flexible bike rides for women. The network is designed to help close the growing cycling gap between the number of men and women cycling regularly whilst empowering women to change the face of cycling for good.
Breeze is part of British Cycling's response to the growing gap between the number of men and women riding their bikes. Currently three times as many men take part in cycling regularly and the gap is growing. Yet around 1 million women have indicated that they would like to ride a bike more often.
Events and activities are planned this Spring at a number of independent bike shops to promote local Breeze bike rides and offer women the opportunity to try out bikes and kit and ask any questions in an informal, jargon-free environment.
We know that many women face barriers to bike riding. Some of the barriers faced by women include lack of confidence, access to bikes, lack of time and family commitments. In response, Breeze has introduced a range of initiatives to support more women to get on a bike or back on a bike. See www.breezebikerides.com for more information.
Female Friendly Bike Shops
The thought of buying a bike, whether brand new or second hand, can be daunting for many women new to bike riding. Often a friendly face and some simple advice is all that is needed to help women buy a bike.
In support of the Breeze network, the Cycling Experts and the ACT (Association of Cycle Traders) want to recognise those retailers that offer a great service to women and support those that want to be part of the ‘female friendly' network.
Breeze has taken some time to speak with Naomi, who runs the Ride Stuff with her husband.
As a female cyclist, Naomi knows it can be daunting to go into a cycle shop, particularly for a beginner, which is why the Ride Stuff has become one of the first bike shops to sign up as a Female friendly retailer. Commenting on the new female friendly bike shop search, Naomi said "it will get so many more women into the shop and into cycling, which is brilliant."