Lucia plays a vital role in the Bury Clarion Cycling Club, coaching newcomers and encouraging more female members into the club through women led Breeze rides. She also runs the Bury Clarion Bullets, a section of the club teaching youngsters how to ride. She has created a network of social bike rides, welcoming novice, regular and serious cyclists to join and participate in fun, social and supportive group cycling events.
"In 2010 after a leg operation, I couldn't run anymore. I moved house in 2012, I remember looking out of the window feeling isolated, lonely and unfit. I started riding to work , 7 miles killed me. I looked for beginners rides on the internet.
"I found Bury Clarion rides start at 30 miles – their website looked scary! I found 'Letsride', established the 'Bury Ladies Beginners Wanted!' group in 2014, hoping to meet people like me. The first ride had two ladies turn up. Then I discovered Breeze and met local champ Helen, then was mortified she was moving to Carlisle! Disaster!
"A Breeze leader course was being set up locally, so I talked the others into it, so we could carry on Helen's legacy. I realised we needed a pathway for riders to progress. We approached Bury Clarion CC, asked to run women led rides using the clubs existing structure and experience. From under five female members it's now around 40.
"We are a strong Bury Breeze Team who all work together, balancing work, grandparenting and caring for our families. I trained as a coach for the Bury Clarion Bullets, the next generation are important! I run Women’s Couch to 30 miles courses, organised 2 local women’s night sportive being inspired by the London Ride the Night. I regularly ride lead for Clarion and organised numerous cycling trips. I remember how hard it is when you first start so my motivation is to spread the word, how cycling can transform your life and improve your health. It’s certainly saved me!"
Lucia Cronin was nominated for the 100 Women in Cycling by Nigel Blandford, who said:
"For what was not so long ago a male dominated sporting cycling club, Lucia has put in a lot of time and effort to encourage less competitive and less experienced cyclists to join. She does this by coaching newcomers and ensuring there are shorter beginners rides available. The number of women joining the club has increased and from simple beginnings many are now making more frequent, longer and independent rides in small groups. None of this would have been possible without Lucia's patience and commitment."
The number of women joining the club has increased and from simple beginnings many are now making more frequent, longer and independent rides in small groups. None of this would have been possible without Lucia's patience and commitment
Adele Vanderkamp also nominated Lucia and said: "Lucia plays a massive part in our club, she has brought so many female members into the club. Lucia also helps run Bury Clarion Bullets, a section of our club that teaches younger riders bike skills and confidence. From this group she also set up a ladies skills group. She does all of this while still holding down a full-time job. Nothing is too much trouble for Lucia to help out fellow cyclists."