British Cycling has launched Breeze – a nationwide network of bike rides to help introduce 80,000 women to cycling.
Breeze is British Cycling’s response to the growing gap between the number of men and women riding their bikes, with three times as many men cycling regularly.
“Currently only two per cent of women cycle regularly compared to six per cent of men yet we know that nearly one million women would like the opportunity to get out on their bikes and socialise with other women,” said British Cycling network manager Natalie Justice.
“Breeze gives them the chance to do just that on their doorstep and change cycling for women forever. If you’d like to get out on your bike, whether it’s for the first time or after a long break, Breeze is for you.”
A British Cycling survey of 1,000 women found safety concerns, lack of knowledge of routes and having no-one to cycle with were the key barriers to getting involved, with Sport England research suggesting nearly one million British women would like to ride more often.
Local, friendly and informal are the three British Cycling buzzwords for the traffic-free Breeze rides, run by women for women, and aimed at anyone who hasn’t been on a bike for a while and would like to go for a casual bike ride with a small group of women from their area.
Breeze is funded by the National Lottery via Sport England’s Active Women’s Fund which aims to attract 80,000 new riders, coverting 20,000 of them into regular cyclists over the next three years, reversing a trend that has seen 35,000 women drop out of bike riding.
Sport England chief executive Jenny Price added: “Breeze is responding to what women want by offering them a fun and flexible way to get involved in cycling.
“Our investment of almost £1 million of Lottery funding in Breeze will help us to tackle the gender gap in sport and deliver a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
To find a Breeze ride in your local area or to find out how to become a Breeze Champion, go to www.goskyride.com/breeze