Celebrating its fifth birthday earlier in 2016, Breeze is British Cycling's network aimed at getting women into cycling.
What is Breeze?
Breeze is the
biggest ever programme to encourage women to ride bikes for fun. The aim is
to help more women feel confident and comfortable about going out cycling.
The network is run by hundreds of volunteers, or Breeze Champions, across the country, who are trained ride leaders and who lead structured, organised and FREE rides that are planned, pre-ridden and risk assessed to ensure they are safe for all participants.
The ethos of the programme is very much that the rides are accessible for any woman, of any age, of any ability and the ride leader will ride at the pace of the slowest participant - no one is left behind. Some rides are also open to children, so mums can even bring the little ones along.
Many of the 20,000 women who have taken part in Breeze rides over the past five years had not ridden a bike since childhood and have found that it has not only inspired confidence in getting back into cycling, but also in improving their levels of fitness.
As well as having the support of a ride leader, each ride starts with a quick bike-check, to give participants the extra peace-of-mind that their bike is in a safe order. This way, riders are also able to learn a few tips on what to look for when checking their bike themselves.
This video gives a further taste of what Breeze is about:
Breeze in Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire has some amazing Breeze Champions who organise a range of different rides in a variety of locations across the county.
There is something for women of all levels of experience and ability, but above all, they are fun, social rides that go at a speed that suits everyone. They
are often planned to start or finish at a cafe so everyone can have a drink and a chat.
Useful Northamptonshire Breeze contacts
Sadie Patamia is the Northamptonshire Breeze Area Co-ordinator. She can be contacted via twitter:
There is a Breeze Daventry group based at Leisure Lakes Bikes. Contact them via twitter:
To the north of the county there is a Breeze Rutland, Northants and Cambridge group who often run mums and tots rides from Fineshade Wood. They can be found on Facebook.
It is estimated that 64,000 more women have got back into cycling over the last year through various routes, many as a result of taking part in Breeze rides, so you will not be alone if you are thinking about getting back into the saddle.
Whether you are looking to increase your confidence cycling or haven't ridden a bike for years, there will be something suitable for you.
For more information and to book on a FREE Breeze ride visit breezebikerides and search for rides in your local area.