Published 27 September 2011
This month’s spotlight shines brightly on Breeze Network Solihull. This network was one of the originals started in June 2011 and has been successfully active throughout the summer months. They've developed a regular group of female bike riders and even been joined by some women completely new to bike riding – a great achievement!
Here are some of the main movers behind the group...
Elaine is at the heart of Breeze Network Solihull. From organising rides to encouraging and supporting other Breeze champions, Elaine has been influential on building the Network. She has experience of delivering both the Breeze network and Sky Ride Local led rides.
Elaine says she's always been quite a sporty, outdoors type but her passion has moved from the gym and walking to cycling in the last year. After signing up to the Cycle to Work Scheme and starting to commute to work, Elaine soon began to feel all the benefits of a daily dose of exercise and fresh air and found a local women-only cycle club who she started riding with a few times a week. After nine months of cycling, Elaine is proud to say she completed her first 100 miler!
This fantastic achievement has now led to her encouraging other women and Elaine believes "both Sky Ride and Breeze are fantastic incentives to get people out cycling, whatever your level."
Sue was another founding member of Breeze Network Solihull and has been cycling for over four years. Recently, she completed her first Devon coast-to-coast ride with other Breeze champions!
Sue enjoys passing on the knowledge she's gained and encouraging others to get the enjoyment from cycling that she does. She aims to organise and deliver "many varied and friendly rides in the pretty country lanes, parks, cycle paths and canal towpaths in and around Solihull."
Lorraine is a qualified Bikeability trainer for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, where she's responsible for delivering Bikeability Courses in schools across Solihull.
Lorraine explains that she's been cycling "for more years than I care to remember!" – so her wealth of experience is certainly an asset to Breeze Network Solihull. She became involved in Breeze to encourage more women to ride. She explains: "Women who struggle with their weight, like me, should find that riding their bike regularly helps them maintain their weight and enables them to become a little fitter and healthier. It also allows me to eat those treats I know I shouldn't and then cycle to burn some of those extra calories off!"
Jane has been assisting rides across the Warwickshire area with Breeze Network Solihull and has recently helped a colleague to ride to work to build her confidence as a commuter. Jane also completed the Devon coast-to-coast ride (and back!) with Elaine, Jenny and Sue. She's helped a number of women build confidence to get back on their bikes, from women commuting to work to total beginners.
Jenny has helped with the partnership work of Breeze Network Solihull, supporting meetings to promote Breeze in the local area – especially during National Bike Week. Alongside Jane, she's started a series of beginner’s rides in Tudor Grange Park, so if you’re looking to get back on your bike then these series of rides could be for you!
Sarah is a regular cyclist and set up 'Belles on Bikes', a group which is popular with the Breeze champions, to encourage more women to get on their bikes in the Solihull area.
Do you live or work in Solihull? Find a Breeze bike ride near you!