Breeze is a British cycling supported initiative, ‘Inspiring women to ride for fitness and fun‘.
Here at Melyd, we have already being doing that, with the Ladies coaching sessions on a Monday evening at Marsh Tracks, Rhyl, Thursday evening rides during the lighter months ( May- September) and regular Saturday morning rides, from Rhuddlan Nature Reserve – delivering British Cycling Brreeze for North Wales – Denbighshire, Conwy, Flintshire.
However, we are still keen to get more women cycling, because as we know it is so fantastic. It’s a great way to exercise, to see the local scenery and meet people.
So four of us, Sarah Overson, Sue Nash, Kath Sparrow and me, Julie Allen, decided we would become Breeze champions. We did the one day training course, and have started leading rides on a Thursday, at a steady pace, on the quiet lanes of Denbighshire.
Some new women have joined us for rides, at a more leisurely pace than the existing Thursday night ride, although I think some of the new women will join the other group soon! We are all enjoying the rides and getting to know new people. Some of the women have also joined us at Marsh tracks for coaching sessions.
We hope to offer more ‘Breeze‘ rides at a different pace soon, so we can reach different people and encourage more ladies to enjoy the best leisure activity there is! If anyone is interested you can find the Breeze rides on Breezebikerides.com
If you’re reading this, you may be where I was a couple of years ago, wanting a new hobby and/or a new way of keeping fit. After a summer of cycling with my cousin on a hybrid bike, I’d decided by September 2014 that I wanted to go ‘further and faster’ and that the hybrid wasn’t really conducive to what I wanted out of cycling. After googling cycling clubs, I came across VC Melyd’s website and emailed Mark Allen for some advice. Mark was very helpful and suggested I go to Marsh Tracks (MT) on a Monday evening for the ladies’ session, so one cold November evening I ventured to MT, hired a road bike and had my first ‘go’ on a road bike around the track. Wow! What a difference! This was what I’d been looking for in terms of ‘faster’ in any case. I joined the other beginners and Mark gave us an induction and we went round and round the small track, getting used to the bike and the gears and learning how to cycle safely on a road and how to deal with any obstacles along the way. I went to MT on Monday evenings through the winter, got used to the bike, the gears and progressed to join the experienced group on the bigger track. Everyone was very friendly and some had been cycling for years and obviously loved cycling. We had to fill in some paperwork and one of the questions was ‘what do you want to achieve from attending the MT sessions?’ – my answer was to be good enough to join a club ride on a Sunday.
Fast forward to April 2015 when I did the Gran Fondo Conwy ‘bach’ route on my hybrid. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and the atmosphere, the only downside was that I was on my hybrid and the majority were on road bikes. By this time, I’d also been on one or two ladies’ ride on a Thursday evening and again they were all on their road bikes and I was on my hybrid. That was it, decision made. After months of reading articles about bikes and cycling, I treated myself to a road bike and although I was very apprehensive about the cleats and being “clipped in” I knew I had to do it. When I went to collect the bike, I was lucky enough to be able to try out the bike and cleats in the company of staff who were very helpful and gave me some confidence with clipping-in and unclipping.
The Thursday night ladies’ ride was a great way to get used to cycling as part of a group. Everyone was very friendly and able to offer advice and answer any questions I had about cycling. In July I went on my first Sunday intermediate ride and loved it; we went to Llanrwst and obviously there were hills but what goes up must come down and in North Wales you won’t go far without a hill so it’s best to get used to them sooner rather than later. I took part in the Manchester 100 ride in September and did my first 100 mile ride; it was a great day out and hardly any hills, which was a treat!
Group rides are great for a number of reasons: there’s safety in numbers, an opportunity to meet new people, try new routes and new roads and it’s a really good way of improving as a cyclist as you tend to go that little bit faster than you would on your own. Also, what’s really fantastic about VC Melyd rides is that there’ll be regular stop and re-group points, so if you are having a bit of an off-day and not quite able to keep up then don’t panic, everyone will stop, wait, re-group and then start off again together.
So there we go, a taster of my first year of cycling with VC Melyd. I would encourage anyone who has a bike and enjoys cycling to go to one of the regular Marsh Tracks coaching sessions. Ladies on a Monday evening at 7pm, under 12’s on a Thursday at 6pm and open session on Thursday at 7pm. You’ll meet a lot of nice people who are very welcoming and encouraging and you’ll soon have a new hobby where you’ll become familiar with all the nice cafes in the area as a coffee and cake stop is obligatory on a bike ride!
Congratulations to Lucy Lee on her fantastic win at the Manchester Wheelers event “Women’s 2-day Stage Race“. Don’t take my word for it – check out the report at VeloUK.
Lucy had the fine company of other VCM riders Janet Burthem, and Laura Ellis (also riding for Marsh Tracks Race Team) for the event, and Charlotte McKernon from local North Wales club Rhos On Sea CC.
Huge congratulations on your win from everyone at VC Melyd Lucy, and to everyone who took part.
Please join us in congratulating Janet Burthem on her 3rd place and podium spot in the final round of the British Mountain Bike Series this weekend in Cannock Chase. Chapeau.
We have found ourselves on The Good List …. and its not even close to Christmas!
This awfully nice people over at bike5050 have started pulling together a list of clubs that are women only / putting effort into growing their number of women members / a good mix of men and women…. and what do you know – that means us:
“Velo Club Melyd | 25% female | Run a women only coaching session every Monday 7pm @ Marsh Tracks Rhyl, a Thursday beginners ride, and a Saturday women’s club ride as well as promoting several women’s road races“ — The Good List.
Many thanks for the mention – and hey – check us out – we may not have realized it – but we are bucking the stale old stereotype – go us – we did a good thing.
Many congratulations to Lucy for her first place at Sunday’s Liverpool Century Road Race (Cat W2,3,4).
With Angela Hibbs and Ellen McDermott of Team WattCycle – both 2nd Cat riders coming second and third.
“A comfortable win from where I was standing” — Matt Limacher.
Bravo – and huge congratulations.
Much better weather this week saw a return to weather we all want to be out in – do not forget the evening sessions are on with our BC qualified VC Melyd coaches at Marsh Tracks:
“Great turn out at last nights Junior Coaching Session at Marsh Tracks – 16 kids and several new faces – nice to get some good weather too – see you all next week.” — Mark Allen
The following sessions are held at the road track on a Monday & Thursday evenings:
– THURSDAY Youth Cycle Coaching (Under 12’s) – 6 to 7pm
– MONDAY Women’s Cycle Coaching – 7 to 8pm
If you would like to know more – either contact our coaches, head over to the Facebook Group, or contact Marsh Tracks directly. Get involved.
Julie has been nominated for 2014 Welsh Cycling Coach of the year no less.
While she is it at great pains to point out she could not have done it without the support of the other coaches, we are super proud to have her as a member of the club, as a coach, and for her to be nominated for such a prestigious award. Well done Julie!
The good news has been further spread by the Rhyl Journal – and last weeks article article about the 2014 Welsh Cycling Coach of the Year – from which the below was borrowed: