Shaila started off with Saheli Cycling Club in Birmingham as a participant four to five years ago, with a friend who at the time was a cycling instructor. As time progressed, she was invited to take part in led road rides as well as events such as Skyride and Bloodwise, where she cycled 26 miles for the very first time. Shaila was quickly hooked, seeing how far she could push herself.
Shaila says, “I particularly enjoyed seeing my city from a completely different perspective; suddenly on my bike I had access to areas which had always been there but I'd not known of before.”
It was this that encouraged Shaila to move on to becoming a fulltime Bikeability Instructor. With the full support of Saheli Cycling Club and later Cycling UK and British Cycling, she’s had training as a Ride Leader and a Ride Active facilitator. Most Sunday she co-leads road rides for Saheli Cycling Club, riding distances of 10, 13 or 15 miles.
I get joy out of bearing witness to that eureka moment when they manage to pedal independently and I see them beam with pride.
- Shaila Sharif
She adds, “My other interest includes taking ladies on bike rides outside of Birmingham. Over the years, I have organised a couple of cycling trips to the Peak District, Rutland Water Park, Shropshire, as well as a Christmas ride to the Lickey Hills and back. None of this would be possible without a solid team of ladies who work alongside me and to whom I give thanks.
“I love working with children and adult women alike. Each age group requires a different approach but the goal is the same – to teach them a life skill which will enable and empower them to get the most out of cycling. I get joy out of bearing witness to that eureka moment when they manage to pedal independently and I see them beam with pride.”