26 October 2012
This is a story of how six busy mums from Battersea, London became the real winners of an inspiring 40km bike ride…
Last year, Judith Kent, a fortysomething mum from Battersea, became a Breeze champion. After 20 years of bike-absence, she’d decided it was time she had fun on her bike and enjoyed the company of like-minded women. Finding it difficult to get out on her bike during the weekend, Judith set up morning Breeze bike rides during the week for mums who, like her, juggle the school run with part-time work and other commitments.
With a little bit of promotion and a local advert in her kids’ school PTA newsletter, her rides became a success. This was just the start of things to come as Judith and her Breeze ladies wanted to push themselves that little bit further.
Judith said: ‘Last month, six of us took part in the 40km Cycletta Brighton sportive, calling ourselves Team Belleville Breeze, after our kids' primary school. None of us had done a sportive before (or even knew what they were until very recently), and we were hugely pleased with ourselves for just making it round 40km of the hilly Sussex Downs. We then found out that we’d won a Cycletta Team Challenge! If it hadn't been for the Breeze rides, we would never have done anything like it.’
But that’s not the only thing Judith and her team won that day. Together, they’ve gained a heap of confidence and self-belief. After joining her first Breeze ride eight months ago, Team Belleville Breeze's Kirstie Howard tells us how far she’s come:
‘I went on my first Breeze bike ride on an exceptionally cold morning last February. Despite being the least fit, having only three gears on my bike and needing to push my bike up a hill, by the time we got back to base for a coffee, I was hooked. What's not to like about meeting new friends on the ride, having a good natter and enjoying new places in your local area? Several Breeze rides later I'd grown in confidence and was fitter too. I even felt confident enough to take my son on one of the rides I'd done with Breeze.’
As a newcomer to the area, Fiona Barbagallo had no idea where she could go on her bike before she found out about Breeze:
‘My husband is a keen cyclist and bought me a road bike for my birthday. Unfortunately, we never go riding together as one of us has to look after our kids. Not having ridden a bike for years and a newcomer to London, I also had no idea where I could go. Then – out of the blue I saw an email from Judith asking if anyone would like to join her on bike rides. I love seeing new parts of London without having to plan anything myself. I never thought I would enter a 40km ride, let alone complete one – but that is just what I have done!’
Well done ladies! It’s fantastic to see that Breeze bike rides are inspiring women to get back on their bikes. If you want to be a part of it, find a Breeze bike ride near you today.