Breeze Rides, British Cycling’s massive network of informal women-only bike rides are preparing to add sportive length distances – up to 60 miles – to its events calendar.
But to participate, riders will have to pay an entry fee. Until now, Breeze Rides have been free.
Dubbed Breeze Challenge events, the first 50km (31-mile) and 100km (62-mile) events will be held in Warwickshire and Lancashire from October. More are being planned in other parts of the country.
They have been launched to cater for riders looking for an extra challenge after building up their skills and confidence at regular Breeze rides, says British Cycling.
Lizzie Armitstead, the Olympic road race silver medallist and Breeze Ambassador, said: “Breeze Challenge events are the perfect next step for those who want to train and prepare for something different, and will be an important platform for showcasing that women’s cycling is on a par with the men’s field at all levels.”
British Cycling’s Stewart Kellett, Director of Recreation and Partnerships, added: “British Cycling’s Breeze network aims to encourage and open as many routes to female cycling participation as possible. The challenge ride market is dominated by male riders and we want to use the Breeze Challenge Events to inspire more women to take up regular riding and provide a great experience for all participants.”
Up to 200 rides a week are organised by the 1,000 Breeze champions spread around the UK. Since Breeze was launched in 2011, 32,000 women have attended one of its 9,000 rides
Breeze Rides are a key part of British Cycling’s drive to get more than one million women cycling in the next six years, and are designed to be a friendly and welcoming introduction to the activity.
The 50km event will cost £23 to enter and the 100km, £28. British Cycling members are eligible for a £3 discount on each ride.
For more information visit the Breeze website.