Saddle up girls and get on your bikes

Basingstoke Gazette: Some of the women who have joined Breeze Network Basingstoke and got on their bikes Some of the women who have joined Breeze Network Basingstoke and got on their bikes

IT STARTED with a handful of women determined to make their lives a little bit healthier by cycling.

Now, nearly two years on, Breeze Network Basingstoke has seen its numbers double.

And now the organisation is calling on more women to dust down their old bicycles and hit the borough’s roads.

Ruth Crawford, who founded the Basingstoke group in March 2012, said: “We have cases of women now riding to work, riding with their families at weekends, and even meeting up socially themselves to ride locally.”

Since April 1 this year, more than 300 women have taken part in 60 Breeze bike rides in and around Basingstoke – double the 169 women who took part in 2012.

The latest initiative held by the Sport England and British Cycling-sponsored group was a series of beginner cycle training sessions at Everest Community Academy in a bid to bolster numbers further.

“The training was for ladies who felt they did not have the skills to join their first Breeze ride or for ladies who wanted to improve their riding technique,” added Ruth.

The organisation is part of the national British Cycling’s Breeze Network. Across England, 23,000 people have taken part in Breeze Network initiatives since May this year.

Councillor Cathy Osselton, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s partnerships chief, praised the group.

“Initiatives like Breeze are great for people who want to get up, get out and improve their fitness and wellbeing,” she said.

“Peer support networks such as Breeze can make a real difference in encouraging people to participate in activities no matter what their background or fitness level.”

Comments (3)

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12:03pm Tue 31 Dec 13

AndrewRH says...

Congratulations to the group on their continuing success! It is great to see more people choosing to cycle; and it is good to read the quote from a B&DBC councillor encouraging more participation.

People also choose to cycle or walk to work and down to the shops for pragmatic reasons - its simple, convenient, cheap - not just for sport and/or fitness.

On Thursday 26 December 2013, Olympic champion Chris Boardman was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme; he said in part, "The 2 per cent of people who ride on bikes now around the country, they’re going to keep doing it no matter what, it’s the 60 per cent who aren’t sure, probably ‘would if you gave me a nice space to do it,’ they’re the ones we should be targeting, and they want separated road space.”

So, to B&DBC and HCC councillors: what are our councils' new year's resolutions regarding the creation of space for cycling?

~Andrew~
Congratulations to the group on their continuing success! It is great to see more people choosing to cycle; and it is good to read the quote from a B&DBC councillor encouraging more participation. People also choose to cycle or walk to work and down to the shops for pragmatic reasons - its simple, convenient, cheap - not just for sport and/or fitness. On Thursday 26 December 2013, Olympic champion Chris Boardman was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme; he said in part, "The 2 per cent of people who ride on bikes now around the country, they’re going to keep doing it no matter what, it’s the 60 per cent who aren’t sure, probably ‘would if you gave me a nice space to do it,’ they’re the ones we should be targeting, and they want separated road space.” So, to B&DBC and HCC councillors: what are our councils' new year's resolutions regarding the creation of space for cycling? ~Andrew~ AndrewRH

2:25pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Ruth_2Si says...

Thanks Andrew (and Adam for publishing).
Us ladies need to be more active in general, in whatever form that may take, and, for the reasons you state above and a ream of others cycling is one very good option to consider. What the programme tries do is make it more accessible; remove barriers and provide opportunity.
Interestingly that photo was taken at a joint initiative with the team from Destination Basingstoke to joint promote physical activity for women.
http://www.destinati
onbasingstoke.co.uk/
?page=NewsPage&artic
le=572

If any ladies are considering getting back on 2 wheels for 2013, you can follow on www.facebook.com/bre
ezingstoke twitter @Breezingstoke or email breezingstoke@gmail.
com
Thanks Andrew (and Adam for publishing). Us ladies need to be more active in general, in whatever form that may take, and, for the reasons you state above and a ream of others cycling is one very good option to consider. What the programme tries do is make it more accessible; remove barriers and provide opportunity. Interestingly that photo was taken at a joint initiative with the team from Destination Basingstoke to joint promote physical activity for women. http://www.destinati onbasingstoke.co.uk/ ?page=NewsPage&artic le=572 If any ladies are considering getting back on 2 wheels for 2013, you can follow on www.facebook.com/bre ezingstoke twitter @Breezingstoke or email breezingstoke@gmail. com Ruth_2Si

4:09pm Thu 2 Jan 14

robertspet8 says...

AndrewRH almost always makes many good points about the provision, or lack of, for cyclists in this country. But I am cautious about encouraging cyclists to go out in big groups. I can see there is safety in numbers - I have seen many car drivers not allowing enough room when overtaking single cyclists but it would only be the completely foolhardy who tried to do this with a group of 20 plus cyclists riding 3 or 4 abreast. Over this last holiday period I followed one such group for about 20 minutes and by the time my route diverged from theirs there was an enormous queue of traffic behind them. During that 20 minutes only one car managed to overtake and that was in a very dangerous fashion. In my opinion the cyclists should have pulled over after no more than 10 minutes to allow the queue of traffic to overtake safely.
AndrewRH almost always makes many good points about the provision, or lack of, for cyclists in this country. But I am cautious about encouraging cyclists to go out in big groups. I can see there is safety in numbers - I have seen many car drivers not allowing enough room when overtaking single cyclists but it would only be the completely foolhardy who tried to do this with a group of 20 plus cyclists riding 3 or 4 abreast. Over this last holiday period I followed one such group for about 20 minutes and by the time my route diverged from theirs there was an enormous queue of traffic behind them. During that 20 minutes only one car managed to overtake and that was in a very dangerous fashion. In my opinion the cyclists should have pulled over after no more than 10 minutes to allow the queue of traffic to overtake safely. robertspet8

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