The Cycleplan Blog

Women’s cycling hits the big time

It’s been a great year for Britain’s female cyclists, and it’s only going to get better. First there was the fantastic success of the inaugural Women’s Tour stage race in May. Then there is the ever-expanding selection of female-friendly sportives such as the Cycletta or DIVA series. And now British Cycling has decided to expand its hugely popular Breeze network.

Established in 2011 with the purpose of encouraging more women to ride their bikes, Breeze has recently announced the introduction of some new events. Starting this October, Breeze Challenge Events will offer 30-mile and 50-mile routes for women wanting an accessible introduction to longer and more challenging cycle rides.

One rider who will be taking part is Adrienne Horne. Just three years ago Adrienne was a novice rider looking for ways to enjoy cycling more. Now she is an expert.

“I saw an advert for Breeze in a cycling magazine — that would have been in May 2011 — saying how it wanted to get more women into cycling. I thought what a great idea. So I applied to become a Breeze Champion, I did the training in July 2011 and I ran my first ride in September 2011. I’ve run about 120 rides since then.

 

When Breeze started the original notion behind it was about going on leisurely rides around parks, rides of perhaps five or 10 miles. But these new longer rides are in recognition of the fact that a lot of ladies who started on those easy rides back in 2011 have progressed, gained more confidence and want to go further.

 

Certainly cycling has changed my life, I’ve met so many amazing people. For example there’s one lady — Jo Smith — who is in her 60s and started out by doing the Breeze beginner’s bike ride. Right now, though she’s racing 300-kilometres around a lake in Sweden on the Vätternrundan ride. She’s also doing the RideLondon Surrey 100 in August with me along with a couple of other ladies in their 60s.

 

And there’s one young lady I’ve met, who is only 17, called Chloë Green. It’s really difficult to get young girls engaged in cycling, but Chloë started cycling with us when she was 16. She took a job at McDonald’s, saved up all her money, bought herself a road bike, and last August she cycled a 108-mile sportive with me. She’s so young, and she’s diabetic, but she does amazing things on her bike.”

For full details on how you could get involved with Breeze, visit:

www.goskyride.com/Breeze

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