Rides help make cycling a breeze

The sessions run on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings in Hastings
The sessions run on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings in Hastings

Women are being invited to join free, female-only bike rides in Hastings.

The sessions are run by Sophie Barton-Hawkins, who said: “During my training for charity rides over the last three years, I noticed many women cycling alone, myself included, looking quite demoralised and being overtaken by the faster, mainly male, riders whizzing past in packs chatting away to each other. I would strike up conversation with these female riders to help pass the time for both them and myself as the road can be quite a lonely place at times.

“Out of these conversations I realised there was a need to have female-only rides organised. About the same time I came to this conclusion I saw that British Cycling were recruiting Breeze Champions.

“Breeze is a female-only cycling network run by qualified volunteer ride leaders, who will lead rides from five miles up to 50 miles. All the rides have a heavy emphasis on being social rides and often have a coffee and cake stop halfway through. The rides are suitable for women (and their children) of any ability and there will never be more than eight riders per ride.

“Each ride is inclusive and nobody gets left behind as the leader leads from the back of the pack to ensure the pace is comfortable for all riders. The rides in Hastings have been running since July and have a wide range of women who attend them.

“New for this year is the Couch to Castle Challenge ride series. This is a group of rides that encourage complete beginners and less experienced riders to get out on their bikes and train up to take part in the Rotary Club of St Leonards Castle Challenge charity ride in April.”

Every Breeze ride is free and from now until the end of February anyone who takes part in four rides will receive a free British Cycling goody bag. To find out more contact Sophie on 07717620163 or visit www.letsride.co.uk/breeze.