Thinking about taking up cycling?
Breeze rides are a great way to get out on your bike in a supportive group with other women. We have teamed up with Jules, Breeze Champion for Eden area for the first in our series of cycling blogs for women in Cumbria.
Jules, tell us about you?
“I started cycling when I was a child, and regularly cycled to school. When I first moved to Cumbria I stopped cycling but really missed it. I saw Breeze being advertised locally and decided to go along on a ride as it sounded like it would be fun, supportive and I would feel safe riding in a group. I enjoyed the rides and the cake so much that I decided to train to be a Breeze Champion (this is what we call the ride leaders) and started leading my own rides.
I really enjoy going out on a Breeze ride as they are very relaxed rides and involve the 3 c’s of Breeze, cycling, chat and cake. We always ride at the pace of the slowest rider and never leave anyone behind. It’s all about getting out on your bike and having fun”.
What is a Breeze ride and where and when do they happen in Cumbria?
“A Breeze ride is a women only ride where you are in a supportive group. They are for all abilities from beginners to ladies wanting to increase the distance they ride. They can be traffic free rides, road ride and mountain bike rides.
Breeze rides currently happen across all of Cumbria. They can be on different days and at different times. All Breeze Champions are volunteer leaders and fit them in to their lives where they can.
You will have the chance to explore your local area while gaining confidence and making new friends. Breeze Champions will lead and support you on the rides and make sure you stay safe.”
Find your closest Breeze ride here
Do I need to be fit to do a Breeze ride?
“Breeze rides are great for beginners, but there are routes of different lengths and some routes are more challenging than others….
On a Breeze ride we always ride at the pace of the slowest rider and stay together – so you never have to worry about being left behind.”
What type of bike do I need?
It does not matter what your bike is like as long as it is roadworthy. Make sure the brakes and gears are working correctly. Always check the ride description to ensure the route suits your bike.
If you are not sure if your bike is roadworthy just take it along to your local bike shop and they will check it out for you.
Do I need cycling gear?
It doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you are comfortable. We always recommend you wear a cycle helmet.
“Women who come along can wear a range of clothing. As long as you are comfortable and are dressed for the weather that’s ok. It’s a good idea to wear trousers that are not baggy at the ankle as you don’t want them to get caught in your chain. Trainers are the best footwear. It is possible to buy cycle specific clothing, though this is not essential.
What happens if I get a puncture on a ride?
“It’s always good to bring a spare inner tube on a ride in case of a puncture, don’t worry if you don’t know how to fix a puncture as your Breeze Champion will always help out.
How much will it cost?
“Breeze rides are free, but it is good to have some money as we usually visit a tearoom or café for coffee and cake either during the ride or at the end.”
I am new to cycling and a bit worried about traffic?
“If you’ve not ridden for a while don’t worry, many of our rides are suitable for beginners and are often held in a traffic-free environment or on very quiet roads.”
How do I sign up for a Breeze ride?
“If you would like to attend a Breeze ride then all we ask you to do is register your place in advance through the website. This means that your Breeze Champion will know who is coming.
It is free to register and attend a Breeze ride. If for any reason you can’t make the ride all we ask is that you cancel your place on the website.”
What will the atmosphere be like?
“Many ladies are often worried about coming on their first Breeze ride but please don’t worry, all our Breeze Champions are very friendly and we understand what it feels like as we all have been there.”
Where do I find more info?
If you would like to find out more about Breeze or look for Breeze rides in your area then just follow this link www.letsride.co.uk/breeze
Sandra, who recently came on ‘A Castle View’ Breeze ride, said this about her experience:
‘I really enjoy Breeze rides as the ride details are very well explained. The atmosphere is always relaxed and there is no pressure to dash around the route. Cycling with Breeze has given me the confidence to buy a road bike and upgrade my mountain bike. I can now cycle the roads, trails of Whinlatter and Cumbrian fells by myself. This has been made possible by the skills passed down to me by Breeze Champions and the confidence they have installed in me.’