Women urged to give cy­cling a try

Group meets weekly in Cas­tle Dou­glas

The Galloway News - - DISTRICT NEWS - Stu­art Gille­spie

A Cross­michael cy­clist is en­cour­ag­ing the re­gion’s women to get on their bikes.

Char­lene Saun­der­son is Dum­fries and Gal­loway’s only Breeze Cham­pion, which is part of a Bri­tish Cy­cling and HSBC scheme to get one mil­lion women cy­cling by 2020.

The project aims to over­come fears ladies might have about get­ting on their bikes and cy­cling in a group, such as wor­ry­ing that they can’t keep up, or their bike might not be good enough, as well as en­cour­ag­ing them to make friends.

The rides are free and aimed at any women and leave from Stu­dio Velo bike shop in Cas­tle Dou­glas at 6pm ev­ery Mon­day.

Char­lene said: “Re­cently we cy­cled 20 miles to Kirkcudbright, had an ice cream and came back. There’s a social side as well as build­ing up con­fi­dence.

“It’s for all ages and abil­i­ties as well and chil­dren can take part as well. You can take part in a ride anywhere, if you’re go­ing to Glas­gow you’re able to join in there.

“One Satur­day my­self and Han­nah In­gram, who is a reg­u­lar Breeze cy­clist, met Bev­erly Graham. She has been a Breeze Cham­pion for four years and is cy­cling around the UK pro­mot­ing Breeze. She’s amaz­ing.”

Around six rid­ers take part each week with Breeze rides lim­ited to eight. Any­one look­ing to take part needs to reg­is­ter through the www. let­sride.co.uk web­site to en­sure num­bers aren’t ex­ceeded.

Al­though Char­lene is the only ac­tive Breeze Cham­pion in the re­gion at present, a train­ing course will be held in Dum­fries on June 30 with the aim of boost­ing num­bers.

Any­one in­ter­ested in the course should email me­lanie.toner@ scot­tish­cy­cling.org.uk or visit www. let­sride.co.uk/beacham­pion.

Cy­clists Sharleen Saun­der­son, Fiona Boyd, Sharon Lit­tle and Emma Saun­der­son in Cas­tle Dou­glas

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