Summer’s just around the corner, even if the grumblebums at the Met Office say it’s going to get cold again this week. Cathy Bussey has some ideas for rides that should be in your diary.
Looking for a female-friendly cycling event? The below are all fun, fantastic and very feminine indeed, from gentle beginner-level pootles round beautiful country parks to serious competition-level slogs through the toughest terrain in Europe.
Cycletta events are confirmed for Cheshire (May 12), South Wales (June 9), Bedfordshire (June 30), Surrey (July 7), Scotland (September 15), Brighton (September 29) and the New Forest (October 13). These all-female events are perfect for those looking for a target to work towards. Choose from 20km, 40km or up to 80km routes and use the great tips and advice on the site to set up a training programme.
Go on one of the hundreds of Breeze bike rides set up for 2013. Breeze is a great scheme aimed at encouraging more women to cycle. Organisers have promised there will be some all-female mass participation events coming up. If you’re keen to encourage other women to cycle why not apply to be a Breeze Champion and train up to lead local organised bike rides?
Complete a charity challenge for Breast Cancer Campaign – don top-to-toe pink and raise funds for a great cause while having a fantastic time biking from London to Brighton, London to Paris or even further afield. Or if you want a serious challenge take on the legendary Etape du Tour for Macmillan Cancer Support. This one’s on my to-do list once I’m done having children.
Ride 100km through the streets of London or Paris under cover of darkness and raise money for a wonderful cause at the Nightrider 2013, which will take place overnight on June 8/9. This is one ride I really have my heart set on, sadly as I will be seven months pregnant this June, I might have to leave the 100km treks until 2014.
Take in 25 or 50k of the most beautiful scenery in Kent and raise cash for local Pilgrims Hospices at the same time at Divas on Wheels on Sunday June 23. There’s a charity raffle and you could win a copy of my amazing new book The Girl’s Guide to Life on Two Wheels.
Join London’s first annual festival of cycling, the Prudential RideLondon, on the weekend of August 3-4. Go on the freecycle or ride from London to Surrey in a 100m cycling challenge.
On a personal note, I’ve made myself jealous listing these, as I’m currently three months pregnant I’m aware the clock is ticking and soon I will be too gargantuan and knackered to cycle further than to the nearest cake shop. Still, plenty of these are on my to-do list for late 2013 or 2014, which will be my personal year of cycling. Assuming all goes well giving birth in August I hope to be back in the saddle and in good enough shape to take on the New Forest Cycletta event on October 13.