A life-long cyclist, Laura trained as a ride leader and through organising bike maintenance and cycle confidence sessions she has inspired other women to get pedalling.
Laura Nisbet said…
“Cycling has always been a part of my life, early memories of bike rides with my Dad, to my boys learning to ride their bikes.
“But the last few years Cycling has become a bigger part of my life, mainly from the Breeze program, I heard about the idea of women’s cycling groups being delivered under the British Cycling Breeze and thought this might work as in the past had tried to set up a cycling group within our main club The Kelso Wheelers for the lesser speed and distance riders but it didn’t attract as many as I’d hoped.
It’s all about the coffee stops
“So, I did my training and in March 2018 delivered my first breeze ride, from then it has grown. After a couple more rides and regular ladies coming, we became known as the Kelso Breezers, ladies starting out just managing five miles to currently the 50-ish miles.
“I’ve organised bike maintenance sessions, cycle confidence coaching sessions, fun rides, we even have our own kit. We now have two more ride leaders so we can deliver more organised lead rides, my lovely friends Tracey Humphreys and Sarah Dickson.
“We meet every Sunday, weather permitting, in the summer months evening rides. Of course, all rides generally include a coffee stop. ‘Its all about the coffee stops’ has become my motto.
I’ve always said it doesn’t matter what age, what bike, or your ability, cycling is for all. I love helping them find their smile and enjoying being out on their bikes.
“I love being able to help ladies enjoy being out on their bikes, I’ve been able to encourage many from being unsure they would manage a couple of miles, to them signing up to local sportives, I’ve always said it doesn’t matter what age, what bike, or your ability, cycling is for all. I love helping them find their smile and enjoying being out on their bikes.
“Even if the weather is bad and we can’t get out for a cycle, coffee can always be had, with plenty of planning for more cycling adventures.
“We don’t just have rides for the ladies we also included the men folk and children, our festive fun pedal is a favourite.
“Thanks to our amazing group I have had some amazing recognition, I was awarded Chain Reaction Community Champion 2018, I’ve made the shortlist twice for Scottish Cycling Awards, for Volunteer of the year 2018 and for Breeze Champion of the Year 2019. A Highly Commended Cycling Champion of the Year 2019, Scottish Cycling, Cycling UK, Sustrans and Cycling Scotland.
“A massive honour in 2019 to lead the ride through at the start of Stage 2 Tour of Britain in Kelso, having the Kelso Wheelers Juniors, the Kelso Breezers and Wheelers, plus another couple of groups follow me, it was a great atmosphere.
“All this wouldn’t be possible without the support of my family and my extended family of Breezers. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and made so many new memories.”
Several people nominated Laura for the 100 Women in Cycling her mother Maureen Hogg said:
“Laura is passionate about cycling and getting more people no matter their age or ability into cycling.
“Prior to this as an active member and coach within the Kelso Wheelers she had been asked to try and get more women and non-competitive people into cycling so she formed Laura's Cycle Way but it only had mainly her friends that cycled involved. Once the Breeze initiative started and word of mouth, that a cheery always smiling local lady had set up a women’s cycle club and was including free coaching and maintenance it started to grow.
“From the first ride with one lady joining her the next week there was eight and from this it has grown and grown recruiting more ride leaders so that more women can be out within the groups. She now promotes rides and encourages women to meet up and cycle even if it’s not a set group day for riding.
“Her passion and all about the coffee stops moto, has helped encourage more and more to come out. She has been nominated for some awards along the way making the shortlist twice for Scottish Cycling. She was also recognised as Highly Commended Cycling Champion of the year 2019 by Scottish Cycling.
She set out to get people pedalling and has made some many new wonderful friends along the way.
“She set out to get people pedalling and has made some many new wonderful friends along the way.
Moragh Pitt said: “Laura lives to promote cycling - she encourages, motivates, builds confidence, coaches. She organises and leads rides and encourages others to become ride leaders. She encourages social rides where we ride together when no leader is available. She organises maintenance workshops where we learn how to look after our bikes. She organises social events so we can 'dress up' rather than meet in lycra and helmets. She advises on bike setup, where the deals are, is available at all times if you need anything at all.
“She encouraged me to enter a sportive last year and even during the event was coaching and encouraging all her members through the day and celebrated with us all afterwards. She even arranged to collect and drop off bikes for those with no bike transport.
“From someone who never cycled and lacked confidence on the road Laura has encouraged me every push of the pedal so that I now actively choose to go out and cycle - still not quite on my own - I'm not that confident in traffic, but as long as there is one other person to cycle with I'm quite happy to go for it. I originally thought I'd only ever do a couple of miles, but that's not quite how it works. Happy now to cycle for up to 40 miles at a time.
She is an absolutely awesome individual who is totally responsible for me not only cycling but enjoying it, so much so that during this lockdown period I have been cycling with my son daily - something I never thought I would do, much less enjoy!
“She is an absolutely awesome individual who is totally responsible for me not only cycling but enjoying it, so much so that during this lockdown period I have been cycling with my son daily - something I never thought I would do, much less enjoy!”