After joining a ladies cycle club Joolz Wotton has completed numerous training courses becoming a Cycling UK ride leader, balance bike coach, a level 2 coach in mountain biking, road and cyclocross and the National Standards instructor qualification to qualify as a bikeability instructor. She started her own cycling club and established a 6-week course to support people struggling with their mental health.
Joolz Wotton said…
“I’ve been cycling as long as I can remember, but it became a passion in my late teens. In the week I would cycle to work and at weekends I would be out riding on the roads, or in the woods. Back then I took part in three London to Brighton charity rides on a steel mountain bike. Nowadays you’ll find me challenging myself on sportives on my lightweight gravel bike.
“Four years ago, I came across an article in our local council magazine about a local ladies' cycling group, so I thought I would go along. This was at the beginning of 2016 and turned out to be the start of a significant new direction in my life.
“By the autumn of 2016 I had completed my training as a ride leader with Cycling UK and British Cycling and was leading Breeze women-only rides, community club rides, and started my own midweek cycling club.
“This then led me into coaching, setting up my own business, initially running after school clubs. By the end of 2016, I had passed my British Cycling Level 1 coaching and qualified as a balance bike coach, teaching infant-school-age children to ride without the use of stabilisers.
“In the next three years I would achieve the Level 2 coaching qualification and then the specific Level 2 disciplines of mountain bike, road, and cyclocross coaching, all while volunteer coaching at a local children’s community cycle club every Sunday morning.
“In the week I am a National Standard instructor delivering Bikeability to schools, fulfilling a dream of mine I never thought possible.
“On Saturdays I run a mountain bike club called MudClub which is open to anyone but particularly focuses on encouraging teenagers to get active.
“For some time, I have been keen to use cycling to help people struggling with their mental health. I took my idea to the Clinical Commissioning Group who kindly provided funding for me to run a six-week cycling course, taking a group on confidence rides and delivering coaching too. It was great to see the participants grow and benefit from the course.
My passion is to encourage people from all walks of life and ages to get on a bike. Part of this involves supporting the local cycle forum lobbying for better cycling infrastructure to get more people safely out riding so they can discover the joy of cycling
“My passion is to encourage people from all walks of life and ages to get on a bike. Part of this involves supporting the local cycle forum lobbying for better cycling infrastructure to get more people safely out riding so they can discover the joy of cycling.
“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with MS but it makes me even more determined than ever to keep riding. I continue to challenge myself and last year took my skills to new levels riding in the Alps and Bike Park Wales.
“So, 4 years ago I had a part time admin job and if someone told me then where I would be now, I would not have believed it. I hope my journey can inspire others.”
Joolz was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling was Sarah Wood who said:
“I have known Joolz Wotton for around five years. We first worked together by setting up a groups with people with mental health issues from a charity that worked out of Guildford.
“When I first knew her, she was more into mountain biking as a leisure activity. As time went on, she trained to be a National Standards Instructor, a Cycling UK ride leader, a Breeze Ride leader and a Balance-ability Trainer.
“She is a truly lovely person, non-judgemental, and can get on with all. About three years ago she was diagnosed with MS and now has an electric bike in her yard. This enables her to cycle to work for those longer distances.”