When was the last time when you felt young? For me, it’s when I feel alive and kicking and this happens every time I take a ride on my bike. Not only it is a cheap mode of transport, cycling for me is also a great way to challenge myself with something new while contemplating the surroundings. A sense of freedom.
Getting active outdoors and enjoying the fresh air can also have a great impact on our mental health and wellbeing. And summer is the best time to discover new routes and new people. Of course, cycling together is even better: a bonding experience to share with friends or riders as passionate as you. If you have not been on a bike for years, don’t panic! Find somewhere off the road, like a park, or an empty car park, and have a practice on your bike so you feel a bit more comfortable stopping, starting, turning, and using the gears. If you think you need a bit of a helping hand, many local authorities run free or cheap cycle training sessions for adults. It’s never too late to be a beginner. Sally, for instance, learned to ride a bike at 50! And if you feel ready to ride on the road, you could try searching for a ride that makes the most of off-road trails or traffic-free places like parks.
The HSBC UK Breeze
There are lots of different types of cycling to choose from, from road cycling to mountain biking and track cycling to BMX, but don’t let that overwhelm you – sometimes the best place to start is by dusting off the old saddle and just getting out there. HSBC UK Breeze offers fun, free bike rides for women of all abilities across the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re wise beyond your years or baffled by gears: every woman is welcome. You’ll discover new places to ride, gain confidence as a group, make new friends, do things you never knew you could – and have a lot of fun.
Lead by volunteers (the so-called Breeze Champions), rides are grouped into three categories: easygoing, steady and challenging. You certainly don’t need to have a flashy or expensive bike – just make sure the gears and brakes work properly, and the tyres are pumped up (your local bike shop will be happy to help). Check the ride description first for an indication of whether the route will suit your type of bike. The Breeze Champion leading the ride will run through a quick check before the ride and help you out if you’re worried about anything.
Start here, start now
Cycling is a great way to build your confidence. More than 80% of HSBC UK Breeze riders are women who come along to on their own and then meet people along the way. Rides are very sociable, and there’s always plenty of time to chat, so they’re ideal if you’ve moved to a new area, if you’re trying to meet new people, or if you just want to try a new activity.
Are you ready to go? Register your place in advance and find your local free ride here.