Since becoming part of the steering group with Welsh Cycling to make cycling more popular amongst young people, I thought a good place to start would be to become a Breeze ride leader.
But what does this mean?
Saturday morning came and I dragged Ryan out of bed way too early and we made the trip along the North Wales coast to Bangor University. We could have had worse road trips to make I guess! Look out for Ryan’s post soon on the 100 miles he covered whilst I was on the course. Not forgiving miles either, miles on the roads of Snowdonia.
Working my way around the maze that is Bangor University, I finally found the room full of the other women on the course. I signed in and met our course tutor, Zoe, and got to know the other women.
The group had a wide variety of cyclists, from those who race, those who cycle socially, to those who cycle for fitness. We spoke about what we think makes up a good Breeze Champion, which is someone who is approachable and encouraging. Someone who is positive and will give those maybe trying cycling for the first time, good memories that will keep them cycling in the future.
From organising Girls at Moelfre, I’ve already seen the benefits cycling can have on people’s lives. How memories stick and are fondly looked back upon. I might not be riding mountain bikes all that much at the minute, but I’ve come to realise it doesn’t matter what bike I’m riding. It’s the fact I’m out and appreciating the great outdoors all the while. I’m also planning on doing my Level 2, so I can lead mountain bike rides too though!
We had a bit of theory to cover, such as organising a group of women on the road to keep them safe, but we were soon out on our bikes doing the practical side of the course. This was to show that we could safely manage a group of women on a Breeze ride. With the hilly roads that surrounded us everywhere in Bangor, this was particularly interesting trying to pull out of a junction whilst clipping into my pedals!
Making our way back into the classroom, we were thankfully not too wet from the rain that fell outside. It was more of a drizzle than a downpour. We covered risk assessments of rides and how to go about planning a ride. We spoke about what made
our cycling routes enjoyable with Zoe highlighting that it’s not just the mileage you need to consider, but how to create a route that is enjoyable.
Despite my nerves before going into the course, it’s something I will always be glad I took the time to do. I’ve been cycling for a while and started this blog to hopefully portray cycling as the amazing sport it is. Now I can be a bit more pro-active in encouraging people into the sport and all the benefits it brings.
If a Breeze ride sounds interesting to you, or you know a lady who might consider it, make sure you keep checking back here for my first Breeze ride. As soon as I get a First Aid Certificate, I’ll get my Breeze rides up and running which will be completely free to come along to.