Get on your bike before it’s too late

British Cycling
British Cycling
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Bike Week 2012 is sweeping the nation from the 16-24 June and women in Milton Keynes are being invited to celebrate the sheer fun of riding bikes with a Big Breeze Bike Ride.

Three times as many men as women in Britain ride bikes, with just one in fifty women getting their feet on the pedals once a week or more. But, with the launch of the Big Breeze Bike Ride, British Cycling’s Breeze network aims to change all that, and make 2012 a record-breaking year for women’s cycling both inside and outside the velodrome.

We want women all over London to get together with their friends, family and colleagues and have fun on their bikes on 23 – 24 June. This is the perfect opportunity to venture out and see Milton Keynes from the view of a saddle and see the capital like you’ve never seen it before. To be involved, all ladies have to do is upload their ride on the Breeze Facebook app. Part of UK’s biggest ever initiative to boost female cycling, the Big Breeze Bike Ride will see hundreds of like-minded women up and down the country setting up local rides to share the two-wheeled fun.

Research from British Cycling found that nearly a million women would like to start riding a bike, but many are put off by a lack of confidence and someone to ride with. Rides by and for women is a great way to combat that, and 2012 – a special year for British women’s cycling – seems the perfect time to get started.

Women all across London are encouraging other women to get involved and be a part of the Big Breeze Bike Ride.

A Nobel peace prize nominee from, Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year, and a double world champion and London 2012 hopeful are among those lending support to the cause. Laura Trott said: “I’ve cycled since I was a child and have always loved the freedom it’s given me to go places. Riding my bike helps keep me in shape all year round and tones my whole body. Unfortunately I’m currently in the minority because a lot of girls have a fear factor about cycling, but once you’ve tried it you’ll never look back. The Big Breeze Bike Ride is a great opportunity to get that confidence on two wheels, whilst having great fun with your friends. Girls – don’t miss out; make sure you get on your bike on 23/24 June!”

Jill Puttnam, British Cycling’s National Operations Manager for recreational cycling, added: “The Big Breeze Bike Ride is for every woman, everywhere as it’s fun and informal. Setting up or joining a Big Breeze Bike Ride is a brilliant and fun way to meet new people, get to know your local area or socialise with friends. Bike rides are good for the mind, body and soul and our riders regularly tell us that they feel happier and healthier. So what are you waiting for? Be a part of an incredible year and join in the biggest ever celebration of cycling.”

Cycling statistics

· Cycling can save you an average of £500 / year compared with driving or taking public transport

· Regular cyclists take around a day and a half fewer sick days every year than their non-cycling counterparts

· A 20 per cent increase in cycling levels by 2015 could save the UK economy £207 million in reduced traffic congestion

· Projected £2 billion saving in the UK economy through reduced absenteeism over the next decade by encouraging more regular and frequent cyclists

· An eight mile Breeze bike ride uses an average 400 calories

For more information on setting up or joining a Big Breeze Bike Ride, check out the app on our Facebook page or visit www.breezebikerides.com. You’ll also find lots of ideas, tips and inspiring stories.