Breeze into cycling

Breeze rides for women led by women.

Bleary-eyed early on a frosty Sunday morning, I dragged myself out of bed, fuelled up on a hearty bowl of hot porridge and dressed myself head to toe in layers of tights, leggings, vests, t-shirts jumpers and coats, questioning my own sanity and wondering if in fact I was even able to walk in all these clothes let alone ride a bicycle!

Why do I do this, when I could so easily have still been snuggled up in my nice warm cosy bed dreaming of swimming with pigs in the Bahamas!

The answer to your question is Breeze.

Breeze was set up in 2011 by British Cycling, Sport England and Sky with funding from the National Lottery. The initiative was started to encourage women to get fit and have fun on their bicycles, by going on women-led rides.

At Espokes, we have lots of customers who haven’t cycled in ages, are nervous about going on the road, get off to walk around corners, are put off cycling with men who know it all and who wobble more than a plate full of jelly.

It is our pleasure to take these customers out on a short ride to test an electric bike. After a few circuits outside our showroom, they are no longer getting off to walk around the corners, their scared faces have turned to beaming smiles and they are asking if they can go a little further.

Sarah Austin of Alton collecting her EBCO UCL 60 step-through ebikeKay on the wisper 70se and Amanda on the Roodog Striker ebikes

The common denominator among these customers is simply lack of confidence.

Riding an electric bike is like you have someone behind you pushing you along; suddenly it takes all the strain out of that killer hill you would never have even contemplated. Having the assistance there also helps you balance better, especially on takeoff, and now you will want to go out on your ebike come rain or shine. You will also no doubt, find yourself going double the distance than ever before.

Seeing how an electric bike has transformed people’s lives is such a fantastic feeling.

Cycling does make you happy and I want other people to experience this too. Even on their ordinary bicycles. Which is why back In April last year I went off to be trained as one of over 2,000 volunteer Breeze Champions who organise and lead ladies rides.

Partner of Espokes Laura Jones with her certificate fo completing the British Cycling ride leadership level oner

This programme is the cornerstone of British Cycling’s ambition to get one million more women on their bikes by 2020.

As a Breeze champion, I am responsible for organising fun social bike rides for women to take part in. This is to help encourage women to become more active, improve their fitness as well as enabling them to meet new likeminded people.

Daphne on the Pulse ZL 2 ebike on a Breeze ride in Wincanton Somerset

So when I saw the Breeze Through Winter campaign, I thought it was an ideal opportunity to motivate some ladies to come out on their bicycles.

Breeze Through winter

Last year Breeze recorded 6,500 women taking part in the challenge, which started January 1st and runs to 28th February.  As an added incentive, they are rewarding everyone who completes four HSBC UK Breeze rides before 28th February with a cycling goody bag.

With my first ride booked up in a matter of hours, it was a promising start.

Come Sunday morning, we were very grateful to be blessed with beautiful sunshine, even if it was very cold.

My ladies arrived – equally as layered up as me and all smiles.

I had planned a short ride to start us off. Living in Somerset means we have a hill every which way, but I had managed to find a short ride with just one gradual hill in – which I figured would be good for us all, it would also mean we had worked for our coffee and cake stop which was at the top!

The coffee shop near the end of the ride, not only gave us a chance to warm up, but also to bond, and soon all the ladies were talking to one another as though they already knew each other. It also gave me a chance to find out what they want from the rides.

Breeze ladies outshide Hooga Coffee in Wincanton Somerset

Cycling with these wonderful ladies is what gets me out of bed on a frosty Sunday morning. I certainly had a lovely morning and it left me feeling refreshed and energised for the rest of the day.

So whether you have made getting fit your new year’s resolution or you are already a seasoned Breeze rider. Sign up on some rides and let’s see if we can beat last year’s 6,500 and if the only thing putting you off is the thought of those hills – we are hiring electric bikes at a discounted rate to ladies booked on a Breeze ride of only £15 book yours now email or call 07771 927354

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