We proudly support some incredible women. We get their insight into how they started out cycling and tips on how you can get more involved in the sport.
- I started commuting to work on a fixed gear bike and the London bike community became a huge part of my social life. Eventually I watched a huge fixed gear race, Red Hook Crit in London in 2015 and I was hooked. I knew right then I had to race the next year and I did, I've loved racing ever since.
- If you want to start cycling and don't know where to start then ask in local bike shops or check social media for cycling groups in your area. There are likely to be people who want to ride at a similar level to you who are keen to help others to get started. You just need a bike in good working order to get started, it doesn't need to be very expensive, local bike shops often sell second hand bikes and they need your support.
- I started cycling when I was a student and wanted a cheaper and quicker way to get around London than the bus. After my crappy second hand mountain bike got stolen, I got a single speed and immediately fell in love with riding it (and invested in a proper lock!).
- Cycling can be a daunting and confusing sport to get into, so find someone who is already into cycling who is happy to give you advice, or search for common topics and questions on Google or YouTube. Learn and practice how to fix a puncture at home so if you get one on the road you know what to do. Then find some friendly people to ride with – there’s a lot of welcoming and inclusive groups and clubs out there who can support your cycling journey and help you to push your limits in a safe environment when you’re ready. If you’re in London, I run a beginner’s ride every Monday at Regent’s Park which is an introduction to group riding, and I’d love you to join us!
- My mum took me to a local cycling club when I was around 12 and I started racing and beating the boys, I’ve pretty much raced ever since.
- Do it! Find some like-minded people, if you don’t know any, have a look at local women's groups or Breeze rides, then just enjoy it! Cycling is my freedom, especially now I have a baby, you won’t regret it!
- I started cycling after injuring myself playing rugby. It was a way to keep fit and spend time with my friends whilst also saving money on the tube!
- Find a group to ride with that makes you feel comfortable. If you’re with good company you’re more likely to keep at it and push your boundaries. Enjoy the process of getting faster or stronger or even more confident! And remember, not every ride has to be a smashfest, getting out and experiencing a ride is what counts.
- I got myself a fixed gear bike for commuting in London and by chance met a bunch of people doing Tuesday night fixed laps around Regents Park. I had to join in. I then started riding everywhere on this bike, including cycling to Brighton and doing longer rides like Dunwich Dynamo. Cycling has given me a sense of freedom and it was a great substitute for running when I got injured.
- Finding a good cycling group or a team can make a huge difference to your motivation to ride and can be a great help with anything you might be unsure about. Build confidence through doing smaller rides and going to the parks where it feels a bit safer to practise things like clipping in. There’s also a lot of good tips on YouTube and GCN!
- I commuted by bike all through uni, but then as a leisure activity it was my friends from my frisbee team who got me into cycling. They invited me along to rides to Brighton and around Dorking hills. They were great, so patient, taught me how to use cleated shoes and how to descend etc. It was fun to get out.
- If you can find a group, team, or collective to go on a ride with I’d recommend it! It makes it more enjoyable with other people and helps you feel safer on the roads and with navigation etc. If not, encourage someone you know to go with you and you can discover the joys of cycling together!