How the UK’s Biggest Cycling Programme for Women Changed My Life

Breeze is the largest programme of its kind and aimed at getting more women riding bicycles in the UK. Launched just over 5 years ago, Breeze now has over 100 000 ladies who cycle in groups led by Breeze Champions on a regular basis. Rides are free, open to anyone of any ability and comprises of guided rides in groups of eight. Breeze Champion, Zoe Campbell from Brighton, joined her first social ride two years ago. It only took a few months for Zoe to become a champion. We chat to Zoe to find out how Breeze has changed her life.

Breeze

The Breeze ladies (Zoe is 5th from the right). Photo submitted by Zoe Campbell.

Confidence Boost

My husband urged me to join a training course offered by Breeze. I loved the sense of camaraderie and I found a lot of confidence riding alongside other riders. As a champion, I go on test rides before I take a group out on the road. This ensures that I’m prepared for the risks on the road and in turn it gives my group confidence.

Breeze cyclist, Maz Ventoux.

Strong Sisterhood

Breeze cycles offer much more than just exercise. We ride in groups of eight and every woman comes from a different background. I’ve met some really interesting and diverse people on my rides and I’ve made many new friends. When we cycle together we have to cycle as a team, which builds a lovely sense of sisterhood. Everyone is always happy to cycle at the pace of the slowest cyclist and if someone gets a puncture, we’ll all stop to help.

Breeze break. Photo submitted by Zoe Campbell.

Giving Back

Being a Breeze Champion has made me feel proud. It’s an honour to be able to give back and do something good that’s having a positive impact on other women. It’s my responsibility to listen to the needs of my riders and to tailor rides accordingly.

Improves Mental Health

Exercise is vital for keeping my morale up. It releases feel-good endorphins and keeps depression and anxiety at bay. Through our Breeze cycles, we’ve developed a strong sense of community which is hugely beneficial for positive mental health. Riding in a group is also a great motivator.

Breeze

Zoe leading the ladies. Photo submitted by Zoe Campbell.

Discovering New Routes

I’ve discovered a range of new routes around Brighton thanks to Breeze. My favourite is a 14-mile ride, which trails the seafront all the way to Shoreham. We take a back route and stop at the halfway point for a coffee.
Keen to join Breeze? Sign up for a FREE by visiting www.letsride.co.uk
Follow Zoe on Twitter at @breezebikechamp & watch her inspiring video here:

Inspired to take on a big cycling adventure? Read our article on the Cape Epic here and meet another Breeze champion here.

 

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