Free Bike rides on offer to women living across the Vale

The Vale of Glamorgan Council is supporting a campaign that offers women free bike rides in an effort to reduce the inequality between the number of male and female cyclists.

Through the Council, the HSBC UK Breeze programme delivers fun, free, local rides for women on a weekly basis.

The number of female cyclists has increased in the last few years, and thanks to two enthusiastic ‘Breeze Champions’ Sara Novo and Hilary May, the rides were introduced into the Vale last year.

“I was new to Wales and I wanted to work as a volunteer. I found out about the HSBC UK Breeze project through the Wales Volunteering website, and thought it would be a great way to meet new people, and improve my English. Breeze rides encourage women to be involved in an outdoor sport in a non-competitive way” – Breeze Champion Sara Novo, originally from Spain, and now rides in and around Barry and Penarth.

The rides vary in speed and terrain and Breeze Champions will ensure no one is left behind. Both champions are also looking to set up regular coaching sessions for women in the Vale.

“Female cycling has seen a dramatic upturn in the past few years, however we still have a way to go to reduce the inequality between the number of male and female riders.

“Thanks to volunteers such as Sara and Hilary though, and the support received by their Local Authority and the HSBC UK Breeze Programme, every day we are reducing the gap” – Emma White, Female Participation Officer at Welsh Cycling.

For more information on cycling activities in the Vale of Glamorgan you can email Rachel Shepherd or to find a HSBC UK Breeze ride in your local region, visit www.letsride.co.uk/breeze

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Nathan Spackman

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