'Brilliant' women-only cycling session at Derby Arena
Posted: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:36
The event – organised by Samways Cycles' Kate Samways, in conjunction with British Cycling – saw 48 women or varying abilities take to the track to learn the basics, or improve their skills, in a velodrome.
The riders were spilt into three categories depending on previous experience – absolute beginners, those who had some track time and those already fully accredited but wanting to learn more about racing craft.
Each group spent 20 minutes at a time riding in a non-competitive environment and then 40 minutes off the track to rest, have a go on the rollers and gain technical insight from the expert coaches in attendance.
On the track, women had the opportunity to develop their bike handling skills, learn about riding techniques and track etiquette and, of course, improve their cycling fitness.
There was even time for a cake sale, which raised a welcome £40 for BBC Children in Need, and the session last three hours in all.
"It was an absolutely brilliant day - the session has been getting rave reviews from all the women who attended," said Kate, whose bike shop is based on Ashbourne Road in Derby.
"The response we had when he said this would be happening was phenomenal and it's great to have something like this to empower women and give them an opportunity they might ordinarily not have.
"There was something for everyone, whether people had been on the track or not. People even said to me that they could die happy now they had given it a go!"
Kate paid tribute to the hard work of the Derby Arena coaches, officials from Breeze, British Cycling and work colleagues for coming together to make the event happen.
She said: "Going forward I would ideally like this to become a regular session because we want women from all walks of life to come together and have fun.
"It has given those who are not in a cycling club and are not used to being out on the track the confidence to believe they can do it. It has pushed them out of their comfort zone and given them a real sense of achievement."
To find out more about cycling opportunities across the county, visit the Cycle Derbyshire Pages of Derbyshire Sport.