Track star Victoria Pendleton has urged women who want to get into road cycling to join a club or find a group of cyclists to ride with, as a way to further their enjoyment of the sport.
Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park stadium – opened for the first time since the London 2012 Games last August – yesterday, Pendleton said riding in groups is the best way to build confidence and enjoy the cycling’s social aspect. “It helps to ride in groups,” she said. “It helps build confidence and also it makes it more enjoyable.”
She also suggests choosing manageable routes and distances, and making sure your bike is in good working order. “If you’re not confident on the roads, choose quieter routes, check maps – drive the route, maybe – so that you feel confident in where you’re going.”
Video: Victoria Pendleton speaking about women’s cycling
Since retirement after last year’s Olympics, where she won silver and gold in sprint and keirin respectively, Pendleton has devoted more time to persuading more women to enjoy riding bikes. She also supports the Cycletta series of women-only cycling events, held all over the UK.
Yesterday, Pendleton briefly swapped her cleats for running shoes and joined 12,500 people at the National Lottery Anniversary Run, which opened the London Olympic stadium to the public for the first time since last year’s Games.
Earlier this year, British Cycling launched a campaign capitalising on the nation’s successful female athletes and hoping to encourage one million women to cycle regularly by 2020.