It’s a Breeze! One down, eleven to go.

Breeze Sky Ride

Image: Michael Spiller via Flickr

There’s been more than a breeze blowing locally. The weather here in Nottinghamshire has been pretty ropey this last week. I’m not complaining, technically we’ve had a drought compared to the amount of rain that has fallen in the some other parts of the UK. But we have had really strong winds for the last week and it’s put the kybosh on getting out on ‘the red one’ too much.

Last weekend, myself and some lovely friends hit the local country roads for a 20km cycle ride. The outward journey was beautiful; the sun was shining, it wasn’t too cold and we were heading to a coffee shop for cake – so all was good! But the return journey was 10km of riding in a full-on head wind. You could feel the bike being blown from under you. It wasn’t at all pleasant, but it was a damn good work out for the thighs. As the wind has stayed for most of this week, I’ve avoided a repeat of that experience and so I’m itching to get out.

What if they’re all better than me? – me

Two weekends ago though it was a glorious sunny morning. I got some friends together and I roped them in to my first ever British Cycling Breeze Sky ride. I’d been meaning to try one of these for the last year but never quite had the courage to sign up. For those that haven’t heard of these before, Breeze are organised rides specifically for women. The aim of them is to encourage more women into cycling.

I was feeling really apprehensive – I’m not too sure why to be honest. I think because it was a specific women’s cycling group, I was expecting everyone to be expert cyclists and super fit. The lovely women over on the VeloVixen facebook group were very reassuring and of course, it was absolutely nothing at all to worry about.

The signing up process for the BReeze Sky Ride is simple enough. I even got a confirmation email and a reminder email – you’d think they knew me. I’d forget my head at the moment, so that was a welcome addition – although, actually, when it comes to cycling, strangely my memory seems to work remarkably well!

Breeze champions to spur you on

So, my friends and I layered up and drove out to the beautiful Clumber Park, which belongs to the National Trust. There we met with Clare, the Breeze Sky Ride champion and another 8 women all set for cycling on some mountain bikes hired (at no charge) from Clumber Park’s cycle hire.

There were women of all ages, dressed in all different kinds of cycling gear and of all different abilities and thankfully all were smiling. Crucially, we all had one thing in common – we wanted to get out on our bikes in the bright sunshine without feeling under pressure to keep up with the men! And what a fantastic time we had.

There were hills, mud, puddles, roads, lakes and trees. And lots of other cyclists. We must have passed three groups of male road cyclists, three mountain bikers and a family all taking in the beautiful scenery at Clumber Park – all of whom were very friendly. That’s one of the things I really love about cycling. Everyone is super friendly. There’s always a smile, a ‘hello’ and a nod of the head as you pass each other. It was great fun and after an hour’s ride, and pretty much an hour of smiling, we were ready for the coffee shop stop for tea and cake at the end of it all. And other than the coffee shop stop, it didn’t cost a penny!

So if you’ve not yet tried a Breeze Sky Ride women’s cycle ride, I highly recommend it. My friends and I definitely intend to do another, The pace was steady, everyone looked out for everyone else and no one got left behind. It was just a group of women who loved cycling.

Seeing as I got two friends to come along with me, do you think I can satisfy #3 and #6 of my 12 challenges for 2014?



20 Comments on It’s a Breeze! One down, eleven to go.

  1. Hannah Webster
    16/02/2014 at 4:43 pm (2 years ago)

    It was fantastic cycling in Clumber with the Breeze group…..definately something to do again in the future, maybe some offroading next time!!
    Hannah Webster recently posted…Rainy Day CookiesMy Profile

    • Donna
      16/02/2014 at 7:48 pm (2 years ago)

      A bit of off-roading would be fun! 😀

  2. Stuart Russell
    18/02/2014 at 5:09 pm (2 years ago)

    Good to hear you had a great time and are keen to get on your bikes. It’s great seeing so many people getting into cycling, especially women. It’s a great sport for everyone and the more that take cycling up the better.
    Stuart Russell recently posted…Should Amateur Riders Wear Pro Kit?My Profile

  3. Mary Keynko
    03/03/2014 at 5:04 pm (2 years ago)

    Sounds like a lovely day! I miss having a bicycle – so many happy family days outs in the woods, our regular ride was in Thetford forest. I must get a new bike sorted this summer!
    Mary Keynko recently posted…52 Cook books – Week 9My Profile

    • Donna Navarro
      04/03/2014 at 10:27 am (2 years ago)

      I’d love to give the velodrome a go. I’ve not had that opportunity yet but there is one opening up later this year locally so it’s on my list!

  4. Jess @ Catch A Single Thought
    04/03/2014 at 12:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Do you know, I haven’t ridden a bike in years, possibly something like 10 years – eek! Reading your posts really makes me want to give it a go again, being able to cycle through such beautiful places – it must be very invigorating (especially if there is cake at the end!)
    Jess @ Catch A Single Thought recently posted…Giveaway: Platinum Subscription to TwinklMy Profile

  5. Laura @ Kneadwhine
    05/03/2014 at 9:28 pm (2 years ago)

    I love National Trust places. We got a membership this year and we’ve been to the local ones so many times. I must admit that the coffee shops are very popular with me!
    Laura @ Kneadwhine recently posted…Busting to share the truthMy Profile

    • Donna Navarro
      05/03/2014 at 10:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Having just read your latest post, my second was pretty much made of cake!! Congratulations :)

  6. Kate Davis
    22/03/2014 at 11:14 pm (2 years ago)

    That sounds like a lot of fun. When I’m feeling more confident about cycling with other people I will investigate whether there are any Breeze events near me – thank you for sharing.
    Kate Davis recently posted…Goodreads #25My Profile

    • Donna Navarro
      24/03/2014 at 4:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Kate, that’s the thing about Breeze, you really don’t need to be feeling confident. In fact, they are perfect for helping you to gain your confidence. Give it a try, I think you’ll find it’s probably just what you need to help you grow in confidence.

  7. Sophie at Franglaise Cooking
    23/03/2014 at 4:56 pm (2 years ago)

    I saw something about a women’s riding group in London a few weeks ago, I’m tempted but it’s been so long since I did any real cycling, and I only dare cycle in parks in London, not on the roads! Maybe one day I’ll join them….
    Sophie at Franglaise Cooking recently posted…Artichokes with vinaigretteMy Profile

    • Donna Navarro
      24/03/2014 at 4:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, London would scare the pants off me too, I think, Sophie!


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