A mix of smiles and pedalled miles made this year’s Women on Wheels celebration a huge success.
Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) month-long drive to encourage women to cycle saw hundreds of people across the region enjoying taster sessions at the Manchester Velodrome, beginner lessons in the spring sun, suffragette rides in Edwardian costume and maintenance training courses.
The campaign aimed to narrow the gap between the numbers of men and women who cycle. Statistics show men who take the bike to work outnumber women by four to one.
Some of the events were so popular they sold out almost immediately, including a session at Leverhulme Park in Bolton, which included a maintenance class, bike check and skills session.
Ann Butler is a keen cyclist who helped organise the Burnden Belles cycling event. She said: “The day was a huge success. We were inundated with ladies wanting to attend, some even buying their first bike, or replacing their old one, especially for the event.
“One lady had a mechanical fault with her bike whilst riding home and was able to fix it herself with what she had learnt.”
Katy Peet took part at an event at her workplace. She said: “Prior to the ‘Women on wheels’ event, I hadn’t been on my bike in years. After taking part in a bike ride with other female members of staff, I not only developed confidence cycling on the road but also remembered how enjoyable it is. I went out on a bike ride the following weekend and I have been going out cycling regularly since.”
Helen Ramsden, TfGM’s Head of Active Travel and Travel Choices, said: “We had a brilliant response to the Women on Wheels celebration, with hundreds of people signing-up to more than 60 events.
“Thank you to all the local cycling groups which helped us to organise the events and everyone who got involved.”
She added: “Cycling is a brilliant way to get fit and have fun and we hope Women on Wheels has inspired women and girls to get out on their bikes more often.”
Although the Women on Wheels campaign has now finished, everyone can still benefit from free bike maintenance and one-to-one and group training courses provided by TfGM at locations across Greater Manchester. Go to www.tfgm.com/cycling for more information.
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