Lady Pedal empowers Hannah and her friends
Lady Pedal is a new cycling group set up in Manchester with the aim of encouraging women of all ages and from all walks of life to cycle.
Formed last year with support from Cycling UK, Lady Pedal wants to see more women out on their bikes, and the group gets together regularly to talk about cycling, plan events, and help women to feel safe and confident on Manchester’s roads.
Hannah said: “I have been interested in cycling and bicycle mechanics for a long time. When I moved to Manchester the bicycle became my main vehicle and I wanted to learn more about how to repair it and encourage others to do the same.
“I was told about the Lady Pedal project by three different friends independently who thought I should get involved. I got in touch with the girls and immediately was interested in the idea and got stuck in.
“Through Lady Pedal I have had the opportunity to train in bicycle mechanics with City & Guilds, gaining a recognised qualification. I have also developed many ‘soft-skills’ related to organisation, community development, project management, events organising and marketing.
“As a result of participating, I have a supportive group of proactive female friends, something which I often lack in social circles.
“I feel empowered to make real change and capable of inspiring people to get cycling. I have already used my new skills both to help Lady Pedal attendees and in my personal circles. I have also built a great network of cycling contacts.
Lady Pedal came into my life at a moment when I really needed something to get my teeth into. I feel empowered to make real change and capable of inspiring people to get cycling.”
“Lady Pedal came into my life at a moment when I really needed something to get my teeth into. I couldn't have found a more appropriate project. If I hadn’t got involved in Lady Pedal, I'm not sure I would still be in Manchester.”
Katherine York has been a regular cyclist for a long time but has discovered new skills thanks to Lady Pedal, whose secretary is Emma Petit.
Katherine didn’t know how to fix a puncture and never did any maintenance. The bike seemed to just maintain itself ... or maybe she just didn’t realise how broken it was!
She had never been in any cycling-related groups before but became interested after hearing about the Lady Pedal project through a friend.
The first focus of the group was the Lady Pedal festival, a celebration of women’s cycling for all ages and abilities which Katherine played a big part in organising last September at Alexandra Park in Manchester.
Katherine has now learnt how to maintain her bike thanks to the Intermediate Bike Maintenance day organised by Cycling UK in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester – and has learnt how to fix a puncture.
She said: “I thought it would be fun to put on a festival. It was really good and felt like we had really achieved something, and it was great to see other people getting interested in cycling, particularly just passers-by.
“I’ve made new friends and appreciate having a female group to socialise with. I already worked in the transport sector but being part of Lady Pedal has reinforced my commitment. I’m really happy that I discovered cycling and would like to share that with other people.”
Carrie Holland is another big fan of Lady Pedal. As she said, referring to the group’s 2016 Christmas Social Ride: “Cycling on a very well thought out and interesting route with fellow cyclists of all abilities, making new friends in the process ... what a wonderful way to spend a miserable Sunday!”