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Saddle up girls and get on your 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.”
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