Retirement didn’t just mark the end of Betty-Ann Hutchin’s working life, it was also the start of a new beginning where her bike was to loom very large.
Betty-Ann retired in 2011 and, around the same time, one of her friends mentioned that she was learning to ride a bike. Betty-Ann thought she would also like to learn to cycle and started with lessons in the local park.
After a while she progressed to doing road confidence lessons, began riding further and joined in with Breeze rides. From there, she went on to complete the British Cycling Ride Leader's course and started taking other cyclists out on rides.
Betty-Ann then realised there was a need for sociable rides to help both men and women gain confidence. So she set up a social ride group called Wheel Do It! and started putting on rides into the countryside around Sheffield. The group has gone from strength to strength, helping many people gain confidence and realise the freedom that cycling can bring.
Since then, Betty-Ann has trained as a British Cycling Level 1 coach and has now started working with young children to develop their skills and their enjoyment of cycling.
I love the fact that I'm fitter now at 72 years of age than I have ever been in my life.
Betty-Ann said: “I love the sense of freedom that cycling brings, the pleasure of being out in the countryside with like-minded people and stopping for coffee and cake.
“I also love the fact that I'm fitter now at 72 years of age than I have ever been in my life, and I so enjoy helping others to get as much out of cycling as I do."
Betty-Ann was nominated for 100 Women in Cycling by Jonathan Powell at British Cycling, who said: “Betty Ann is a true cycling advocate and I believe she could inspire anyone to get on a bike.
“Betty-Ann volunteers her time as a British Cycling Guided Ride Leader, Breeze Champion and Ride Social creator, and most recently has turned her hand to cycle coaching after gaining her British Cycling Level 1 coaching award.
"As well as this, Betty-Ann can be found providing cycle training with Pedal Ready - who she herself learnt to ride with at the age of 64 - and also organising numerous weekly rides through her Ride Social Group ‘Wheel Do It’."
What is 100 Women in Cycling?
Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling is an annual list celebrating inspirational women who are encouraging others to cycle.