British Cycling has launched Breeze, a new national network of fun, local and flexible bike rides for women. The network is designed to help close the growing cycling gap between the number of men and women cycling regularly. Breeze will introduce over 80,000 new women to bike riding. Breeze is the biggest ever programme focused on getting more women into riding bikes for fun.
Led by women for women, Breeze bike rides are local, friendly, free and informal. The short, traffic-free rides are ideal for busy mums and anyone who hasn’t been on a bike for a while.
Breeze is part of British Cycling’s response to the growing gap between the number of men and women riding their bikes. Currently three times as many men take part in cycling regularly and the gap is growing. Yet lots of women would like to ride a bike more often.
Breeze offers flexible, safe, accessible and fun opportunities to ride a bike as well as training and support. The rides are organised by British Cycling trained local champions and fit around the work and family lives of busy women.
Natalie Justice, Breeze network manager, British Cycling says; “We know nearly a million women would like the opportunity to get out on their bikes, have a chat and socialise with other women. Breeze gives them the chance to do just that on their doorstep. We’re encouraging women to get involved 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.”
Birmingham City Council has a partnership with British Cycling and Birmingham is one of the first places to get involved in Breeze. Bike rides will start in June.
Breeze is funded by the lottery via Sport England’s Active Women’s Fund and designed to get over 80,000 women back on a bike or riding for the first time. It also aims to convert 20,000 of them into regular cyclists over the next three years, reversing a trend that has seen 35,000 women drop out of bike riding in recent years.
To find a Breeze bike ride in your local area or to find out how to become a local volunteer champion, go to breezebikerides.com
Female Participation in Cycling
- Currently only 1 in 4 people who cycle once a week are women
- Nearly three times more men than women currently cycle once a week
- Only 2% of the female population cycle once a week compared to 6% of men.
- The number of women cycling once per week has decreased by over 35,000 in the last three years. Compared to October 2008 when 506,400 women cycled once a week the figure currently stands at 470,600, representing a 7% decrease in participation.
- Over the same period of time the number of men cycling once a week increased by 8% from 1,260,700 to 1,364,200.
Source Sport England, Active People Survey 5 (2010/11)
The Impact of Breeze from British Cycling
- 80,000 more women engaged in cycling. 20,000 of whom will become regular once a week cyclists. This will represent a 5% increase in participation and importantly reverses the current decrease in female participation.
- 1,000 local Breeze champions
- British Cycling aims to convert nearly 25% of the female demand for cycling
- 25,000 local Breeze bike ride opportunities