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Getting back on your bike is a Breeze

Getting back on your bike is a Breeze

British Cycling has launched Breeze - the biggest ever programme focused on getting more women into riding bikes.

Backed with National Lottery investment as part of Sport England's Active Women campaign, Breeze is a nationwide network of fun, local and flexible bike rides, led by women for women. It aims to get over 80,000 women back on a bike or riding for the first time, and to convert 20,000 of them into regular cyclists over the next three years.

The short, traffic-free rides are ideal for busy mums and anyone who hasn't been on a bike for a while and would like to go for a casual bike ride with a small group of women from their area.

Our investment of almost one million pounds of Lottery funding in Breeze will help to tackle the gender gap in sport and deliver a mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Active People Survey shows that three times as many men take part in cycling regularly and the gap is growing, yet the research also suggests that nearly one million women would like to ride a bike more often.

In 2011, British Cycling surveyed over 1,000 women to find out what was discouraging them from riding. Results showed that safety concerns, lack of knowledge of routes and having no-one to cycle with were the key barriers to getting involved.

Breeze addresses these concerns and offers women flexible, safe and fun opportunities to ride a bike as well as training and support. The rides are organised by British Cycling-trained local Breeze champions and fit around busy work and family lives. Breeze bike rides are free, friendly and open to women of all ages and abilities.

"Currently only two per cent of women cycle regularly compared to six per cent of men," said Natalie Justice from British Cycling. "Yet we know that nearly one million women would like the opportunity to get out on their bikes and socialise with other women.

"Breeze gives them the chance to do just that on their doorstep and change cycling for women forever. If you'd like to get out on your bike, whether it's for the first time or after a long break, Breeze is for you."

The first Breeze bike rides will start in June and roll out in towns and cities across England over the coming months. As part of the programme, British Cycling will train and support 1,000 local Breeze champions, female volunteers who will add their riders to the Breeze network at times to suit them and their groups.

To find a Breeze bike ride in your local area or to find out how to become a Local Breeze Champion, go to www.goskyride.com/breeze