Get back on your bike ahead of the Women’s Tour
- Credit: Women on Wheels
Excitement is building for the return of the Women’s Tour to the region – with 100 of the world’s best female cyclists set to race from Colchester to Bury St Edmunds for stage one of the prestigious event on Monday, June 6.
If it’s inspired you to get back on your bike or take up cycling for the first time, there are plenty of opportunities to do so across north Essex and Suffolk.
Colchester Sports Park
The Grand Depart of the Women’s Tour 2022 takes place at Colchester Sports Park off junction 28 of the A12. Open from 9.30am, visitors can get up close to the riders and support teams as they are presented to the crowds, then cheer on the riders as they set off along the one-mile cycle track. Visitors can even bring or hire a bike to try out the track for themselves.
To inspire more of us to get active, Colchester Sports Park is hosting a weekend of activities. On Saturday, June 4, British Cycling will offer an array of cycling activities for all. On Sunday, June 5, a Festival of Fun will give everyone a chance to try out all the Sports Park has to offer from just £1 per activity. This includes use of the BMX pump track, one-mile cycle track, Activa Gym and classes in the fitness and velo studio. Other activities include football, rugby, cricket and badminton demonstrations, e-bikes, inflatables and face painting.
Keen cyclists could also try out the Colchester Orbital, a nearly 15-mile circular walk and cycle route around the edge of the town.
Breeze and Guided Rides
British Cycling organises guided rides which are free of charge and suitable for cyclists of all fitness levels and abilities. The Breeze programme is exclusively for female riders, with each ride led by a qualified Breeze Champion who has been trained by British Cycling. Guided Rides are suitable for all and led by a trained Guided Ride Leader.
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The rides are classed as easy-going, steady or challenging and go at the speed of the slowest rider so nobody is left behind. All you need is a roadworthy bike and a helmet – plus something to drink along the way and perhaps some money for a coffee.
“Cycling is not only good for our physical health but can improve our mental health as well,” said Jenny Parker, British Cycling area coordinator for Breeze & Guided Rides in East Anglia. “All problems are put to one side when we are out on our rides, and this gives us the breathing space that we all need.”
If you’re interested in becoming a Breeze Champion, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/coaching/article/20200417-Volunteer-ride-leaders-0
Women on Wheels
Women on Wheels (WoW) events are returning to Suffolk in 2022 following two years of cancellations due to the pandemic.
The events are fun and friendly bike rides for women and girls of all ages, which are suitable for both non-cyclists and existing cyclists – and usually raise money for a local charity.
The first ride of 2022 is taking place in Eye on Sunday, May 22, with riders able to choose between a 10-mile and 20-mile route. It has been organised by fitness studio Fit Together and the Blossom Charity, which helps women who are facing challenges and financial hardship.
“The Blossom Charity gives women the confidence and tools to get back on track – and we thought between us, we could put on an event that got people active and helped them develop their confidence on a bike,” said Emily Orford, owner of Fit Together.
Pre-entry is required and all entry fees will be donated to the Blossom Charity. Sign up at www.fittogetherstudio.co.uk/wow