A series of led rides, due to take place over the summer in Winchester and Fleet has been launched. Designed to help newer riders build their cycling confidence, the rides are part of a programme of activity run by Hampshire County Council, in partnership with CTC.
Winchester women who ride

Four women and one trainee woman (preschool) set out from River Park in Winchester at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd May. It was the inaugural occasion, marking a series of rides planned over the summer in order to inspire new cyclists- part of my role, working with Hampshire County Council, to encourage people to get on their bikes.

The weather was fantastic (and so were we) equipped with our bikes, a positive frame of mind and the ability to not take ourselves too seriously- especially when the photo opportunity at the start of the ride was taken!

From the park Heather, her friends and I made our way out on the cycle path next to the road, heading in the direction of the Worthys. It was all downhill from there (not), well there was also some uphill which we managed with aplomb!

Reaching Kingsworthy we rolled our bikes into a small but perfectly formed garden centre. Cycle parking was empty (why?) but obviously waiting for us to arrive. I think it was just as well that we stopped, as we were hot (obviously!?). There was even space to sit outside to sip our drinks.

On the way back we did a little exploring cross country, with conversation moving to the subject of saddles and bike suspension. Personally, I think I was designed with integrated suspension, although the others had substantially less natural padding.

When we got back to River Park there were still smiles all round. Heather was heard to comment, "I'm so glad I made the effort to get out on my bike, my husband will be sorry he missed the opportunity."

Not only had we survived but we had fun, laughed, had a drink, learnt more about how to protect our rears, oh, and we had ridden our bikes!

Bring on the next ride on Sunday June 3rd at 10am. The Queen can have her Jubilee flotilla, I've got my bike!

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