Last month I finally plucked up the courage and signed up to a Leeds Girls Can cycling event in association with Breeze – ticking off one of my goals for the month and well, it got me wondering why the hell had I not done this before?
Being a HUGE fan of the This Girl Can campaign (my thoughts on the campaign here) I’ve been following Leeds Girls Can for a while now on their active social media and had always thought how pretty awesome their events looked but always chickened out of it. Anyways, when I saw they were running free (yes, free) cycling sessions at the shiny new Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit I WAS THERE.
After hardly being on my bike recently (bad – I know) I was feeling a little nervous but all worries disappeared once meeting the lovely Breeze Champions (like ambassadors) who were the leaders for the day. Breeze in case you’re not aware, is a national programme run by British Cycling with the aim of encouraging and inspiring more women to cycle both for fun and fitness with the ambition to get one million more women on their bikes by 2020. There are Breeze champions all over the UK who lead free rides for all abilities and if you want to find any rides near you check out this.
It was a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere with women of all ages and abilities at the session from women who hadn’t been on a bike in decades, women who cycled occasionally like me and then women who were very confident and comfortable.
I wanted to make the most of a traffic free environment and so set up my own little training session. I used the first quarter of the track with elevation to practice my gears, the straight to practice sprints going as fast as I could (the wind helped a lot) and the rest of the course to practice clipping in and clipping out where I realised I struggle clipping out with my left foot so definitely need to work on that. I cycled a few laps with the Breeze champions who offered advice and provided good chat!
The best thing about the sessions (in addition to the fact that they are free) is the fact you don’t need your own bike. Simply arrive a little bit earlier and you can borrow a bike from the facility absolutely free of charge and the leaders can show you the gears and ensure it is the best fit for you!
If you’re interested in the Breeze sessions at the Brownlee Centre (which how can you not be?) or any other bike rides or activity you can find out more and book here . You’ll have a great time… promise!