Women’s cycling is a major priority for us at the moment, and we’re proud to announce the introduction of guided rides, aimed at encouraging female cyclists to take part in RideIt! events.

Women’s cycling is growing incredibly quickly, aided by focused support from British Cycling, who aims to get 1 million more women cycling by 2020. Of course, there are many women who have been riding bikes for decades, but the sudden increase has got to mean new riders, too.

Our RideIt! events are organised road and off-road rides with way-marking, feed stations, mechanical support, GPS hire, electronic timing and broom wagons. Rides vary from 12 to 112 mile in length, and they are an excellent way to get out and enjoy a ride without the hassle of planning.

To help newer riders feel at home on the sportive and off-road circuit, we’re providing female guides to lead riders who would like to spend their day in the saddle with a group of other women.

Though it doesn’t have to be, your first sportive or organised ride can be a little intimidating.  We know there are plenty of new male riders too, but we feel that the situation could be made more intimidating for a new female rider, if she’s surrounded by a primarily male crowd on the start line.

The group will ride the normal RideIt! route, but they will be following one of our expert Evans Cycles female colleagues, who will ensure everyone is enjoying themselves.

The Evans colleagues will be there to keep the group together, and this approach is designed to allow riders the opportunity to meet and spend their day with other women – not to segregate them in any way. The guided ride is entirely optional, and women who already have riding buddies at the event or would rather ride alone can of course set off separately.

Our first guided rides took place at our event in Reading in June and we’re continuing the rides in the North Downs, Brighton and Biggin Hill. You can sign up to any of our upcoming Ride It events here and if you want to join the women’s led group on the day you just need to follow instructions on the pre event email.

Here’s a look at some of our group leaders:

Rebecca – sportive ride leader:

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Bike: Norco Valence A1 Women’s 2012 Road Bike

Favourite ride: “Favourite all time ride is cycling the very un-roady tow path that runs along the canal from Limehouse and up through Hackney Marshes, Victoria Park and Lea Valley (very picturesque), though I also do enjoy getting lost in Surrey and testing myself on the hills that appear out of the blue.”

 

Victoria – sportive ride leader:

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Bike: I started out on a a Specialized Ruby Elite Road bike, but I’ve been looking for a new ride recently, and I’m also testing out a Pinnacle Arkose cyclocross bike, I’m pretty new to off-road riding but it’s been fun!

Favourite ride: “I love hill climbing! I like anywhere with quiet roads and a good view – so, the South Downs are top of the list.”

 

Franki’s – MTB ride leader:

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Bike: My beasty Mondraker Summum, which I’m going to start racing on for next session, I also have a Stanton Slackline for my do it all really well bike and finally my retro Raleigh Flyer for commuting to work.

Favourite ride: “I’m probably more of the hard hitting, gnarly chick who hits the 25ft road gap 3rd run in! But… I love my scenic single track and all mountain fun, after all how else can you get to them remote descents? I’d struggle to pick a favourite place to ride, it all down to my mood and at the moment dry, techy tracks with some doubles seems like a safe place to start, or a lovely ride with Kate up Afan! I’ll be running the short MTB ride on the day so I’ll see you there! GIRLPOWER! ”

Kate – MTB ride leader:

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Bike: I currently own two bikes a Yeti 575 and a Cove Sanchez. Its impossible for me to pick one favourite ride as I can’t ever recall a bad ride.

Favourite ride: “I spend most of my days off mountain biking. It doesn’t matter if it’s riding local trails with friends, a crazy techy run in the alps or a super dusty trail in Australia, every one has been awesome!”

The guided rides are one of many things we’re doing to improve our offering for female cyclists – other activities include our One for the Girls events, and female only FixIt! classes.

Got more suggestions? Let us know in the comments…