This week I have had a bit of a moment. It started in the swimming pool. Due to extremely hot weather here in Portugal, I have not been able to run. So, instead, I have been doing more swimming and a little bit of cycling (as in cycling to the swimming pool). Swimming is a very solitary pastime given to thinking about life.
It occurred to me as I was swimming that there are very few opportunities for women to begin cycling. There are more and more ladies running groups cropping up, in real life and virtually, which encourage and support ladies as they take their first tentative steps into the running world. But, I struggled to find an equivalent for cycling. Why is that?
Bristol is supposedly a cycling city, so why is it then, that the opportunities for encouraging ladies to begin cycling are so few and far between. There are some fantastic cycling clubs in Bristol, who do welcome beginners, however, there are beginners and there are beginners. I am talking about people (not unlike myself) who haven’t ridden a bicycle for years, let alone cycling 25 miles. That in itself, is enough to put many ladies off, I would imagine. I have also been along to a cycling group and been completely put off. Yes they stopped every so often for me to catch up, however, as soon as I caught up, off they cycled. So those that were able to cycle the speed and distance got a rest. I, who was struggling, never got a rest to catch my breath. As a consequence I felt completely useless all the way around and never returned. There needs to be a bridge, an opportunity for ladies to cycle and gain confidence. And so, the idea for cycling and cup cakes has come about!
A cycling group for ladies who want to start cycling again, to get over their fear of cycling on Bristol’s busy streets. To cycle with a group of like minded ladies, who one day may reach the great heights of a 50 mile sportive, but encouraged along with way – with the incentive of a freshly baked cup cake as a reward for their efforts.