Women – Get on your bikes!

I recently had a conversation with a male cyclist who told me that women need a bit of bullying to encourage them with their cycling. I calmly told him I was a cycling coach and that  in my experience women really don’t need to be bullied in order to improve and in fact, it can put off a nervous newbie for life.

This is prime example of why Breeze was born and why I am a Breeze Champion.

Breeze is a British Cycling Initiative which was set up in 2011 and is now funded by HSBC UK to encourage more women to cycle. The goal is to get 1 million women on their bikes in the UK by 2020 and we are well on our way. Traditionally in this country cycling has been dominated by men. Breeze aims to close the gap.

Rides are for women and are supported by women Breeze Champions.

Breeze Champions are volunteer cyclists from all cycling backgrounds who have been given in depth training in order to organise and deliver women only local rides safely and above all to make them fun!

The great thing about Breeze is that it is aimed at all abilities. If any of the following apply to you, then Breeze rides are for you

  • you’re looking for social rides and want to make new friends
  • you’re a beginner who is anxious about taking your hands off the handlebars
  • you’re confident about cycling to work  but yearn for some new routes out of town
  • you’ve not quite learnt how to use your gears yet
  • do you have an electric bike, road bike, mountain bike, hybrid bike, fold up bike? (Basically any bike that is road worthy)
  • do you want to get fitter?
  • you’re an experienced rider who is coming back from injury or ill health
  • you want to help support and encourage newer riders

Rides are for both young and older women and are anything from 3 miles to 50 and are only ever as fast as the slowest rider. We will even take breather breaks when they are needed (Sussex can be pretty hilly or ‘lumpy’ as we affectionately describe some of our local roads and trails)

There is usually a coffee and cake stop factored in.

This is a great moment to talk about and share our cycling experiences and knowledge. Friendships are made. Giggles are had. Confidence is built. Too much cake is eaten. (it’s carbo loading – we need it!!)

Cycling in a group is so much fun and it is amazing to see women increasing their confidence and bike handling skills each week. Breeze Champions take away much of the stress by planning the route so that you discover new places to ride and stay as safe as you can.

Breeze riders keep coming back for more but each year a few of the riders will have gained the skills, confidence and fitness to take part in Sportives (cycling events) or bike tours. Others tackle Ditchling Beacon, which is nicely placed near the end of the famous London to Brighton charity cycling event and is only five miles out of town. Some have joined our local cycling club, Brighton Mitre and others have even gone on to race.

Myself and a group of other women have been inspired to become Breeze Champions to spread the network of women cyclists and reach that 1 million goal.

Come and join us and make it happen.

Whether you’re wobbly and unfit or are afraid of the traffic, we can support you and we will have fun together.

Did I mention that’s it’s free? All you have to do is sign up.

Here’s the link to find out about and sign up for Breeze rides near you. If you prefer, contact me for information about rides locally. ( and I promise that no one gets bullied on a Breeze Ride!)

https://www.letsride.co.uk/breeze

And if you’re aching after your ride, why not book a soothing massage? You know you deserve it!

Find out about my availability here:

https://www.mariapali.co.uk/

2 Comments

  1. Tess Agnew on March 25, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Love this! I’m excited to join you on the course, and help lead rides in our area. Let’s get more women on wheels!

    • Maria on March 29, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Looking forward to it too Tess. Let’s reach that goal!

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