GO TRI Something New – Ladies Beginner Cycling Sessions in New Wortley
You are always nervous before a new session as to who will or won’t turn up. We were sat waiting for the group to arrive in the New Wortley Community Centre, surrounded by Tri Something New helmets and bikes from the centre’s bike library. There were plenty of community centre volunteers milling about the café and we had soon managed to persuade one of the girls to take part before around 8 women arrived ready to go out on the bikes.
The sessions are targeted at beginners and those who would like to build up their confidence on a bike. Before the session had even started the ride leaders had quite a challenge on their hands just to get the bikes from the library in a road worthy condition. Unfortunately the centre had been broken in to a week or so before and a large amount of bikes taken. Those left were in need of some attention and with limited time and the new cyclists arriving it got a bit stressful!
Those arriving were all largely local to the Armley/Bramley area and keen to build their confidence up, gain some experience of road cycling and start to access rides within their community. The ride leaders did an amazing job in matching those without a bike up with one that would hopefully last the ride! Within the group there was a variety of different abilities. One lady hadn’t ridden a bike before and was a total beginner – she was keen to learn so she was able to go out on rides with her partner. Others hadn’t been out on a bike for a few years and some were fairly confident riders. The ride leaders had to be really flexible in their approach to the sessions in order to accommodate all abilities.
Eventually, after a little longer than planned on the maintenance side, the group set off for Jailey Field. The ride leaders were brilliant and adapted the planned session to be inclusive for all those there. All those who set off returned in one piece and were keen, even with the minor issue with the bikes, to come back the following week!
With the support of British Triathlon we were able to access more bikes for week two and we saw the numbers increase. Over the first three weeks we’ve supported three none riders to successfully complete short rides, we’ve had women turn up with others having spoken positively about the session with their peers and you can already see the group forming friendships. There were discussions between those participating about signing up for the city ride in September and also a couple arranged to go together to the session on Monday nights at the Brownlee Centre.
The programme has already proved a hit with local women and with the excellent guidance from the ride leaders, introducing them to a range of different routes within easy reach of their community, the sessions are going from strength to strength.
To find out how you can get involved and for more information, visit here.