Carolyn Axtell

Carolyn Axtell
Carolyn Axtell and the group
Carolyn Axtell is part of Cycling UK's 100 Women in Cycling 2018 list for reaching out to women through cultural barriers to share the joy of cycling.

Carolyn works as a cycling instructor and runs Hornbeam JoyRiders in Walthamstow, a family cycling project which organises social rides and provides support to get women into cycling. Most of the women Carolyn works with are from Muslim communities and have little or no experience of cycling before they get involved. Since the group’s beginnings, Carolyn has organised the training of nine additional female Muslim ride leaders to increase the sustainability of the project.

Carolyn says, “I basically ask every woman I meet, if she is not cycling, why not, and encourage her to book a lesson.”

“I love sharing the joy and sense of achievement that women feel when they learn to cycle for the first time, or go on their first ride to the Lea Valley or the Olympic Park. It’s a real privilege!

“I also enjoy the sense of solidarity between the women and the way they support and encourage each other in training sessions and on rides. In my experience, cycling is the perfect tool for social integration between different communities and for helping women to empower themselves.”

Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling is an annual list celebrating inspirational women who are encouraging others to take part in this wonderful and life-enhancing activity.