Scheme of the Month - Get Gorge-ous Cycle Challenge
The Get Gorge-ous Cycle Challenge is organised by Cycle Bristol CTC to encourage and support new and nervous cyclists. They offer a series of bike rides starting at five miles in January, gradually increasing the distance so that people can build up their fitness and confidence to tackle the 50-mile challenge ride in June.
The first year was a great success. Of the 120 people who registered in January 2009, 80 successfully completed the challenge ride on 12th June, cycling to Cheddar, up Cheddar Gorge and back to Bristol. The challenge gave new riders the confidence to cycle in traffic and got former riders back on their bikes after many years. The majority of riders were women – probably attracted by the fact that the challenge was organised by women. This was a major factor in the event’s success; providing a safe and non-threatening environment for women, who are often anxious about cycling with a club.
“It was a huge amount of work but well worth the effort”, said organiser Sue Hawkins, “Many of the riders joined the CTC and are now coming out on our club rides and weekends away; one is already leading rides for the club, and others have offered to help with the 2010 Get Gorge-ous challenge. Others are cycling regularly to work or going out with friends and family. Seeing people, particularly women, gain in confidence and fitness and discover the joy and freedom of cycling made it all worthwhile.”
A quote from one of the riders sums it up:
“The challenge and training rides have been a fantastic opportunity for novice cyclists to get together, and it really helped that the rides were mainly for women so you didn’t feel intimidated. The leaders and helpers have been really encouraging and supportive. I had previously never cycled more than 6-10 miles. It is unbelievable and something I am really proud of.”
For more information see www.getgorge-ous.co.uk
The next challenge starts in January 2010; if you’re interested in taking part please contact Sue Hawkins at Cycle Bristol CTC - email@example.com.