GET ON YER BIKE

Taking part in the ladies-only British Cycling Breeze event on Blackpool's Middle Walk, are from left, Laura Bennett, Julie Ball, Carley Brierley (organiser), Sarah Brown and Vicky Easley.
Taking part in the ladies-only British Cycling Breeze event on Blackpool's Middle Walk, are from left, Laura Bennett, Julie Ball, Carley Brierley (organiser), Sarah Brown and Vicky Easley.
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IT can help improve fitness, tone and strengthen legs, can be great fun, gets you out in the fresh air and can be a great way to socialise.

And now British Cycling is holding special women-only cycling events to get more local ladies to saddle up and get on their bikes.

It held its first Breeze cycle ride in Blackpool last week, led by locally-trained Breeze champion Carley Brierley.

The Breeze network of women-only rides is all about remembering what fun is to ride a bike with friends.

The rides are free and take place on local, accessible routes in small friendly groups.

Carley Brierley said: “It’s about giving women chance to ride their bikes in a comfortable environment, which is more social.

“It’s non-competitive and welcomes all fitness levels and ages.

“For me, it’s about getting women to see they can get out and about on a bike and enjoy it.

“The arranged bike rides give them a chance to make new friends, and they might even arrange to meet up again to do other bike rides.

“For example, a group of women the other night on the Breeze bike ride were talking about doing the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride together, which is great.

“It’s really just about getting women out on their bikes, to be more active and have a healthier life.”

Julie Ball, from Bispham, took part in the first Breeze Blackpool bike ride.

Last year, Julie lost 9st after featuring on the TV show Obesity: A Year to Save My Life.

She said: “What a lovely way to get fit and stay fit – cycling along the Promenade and having a good chat.

“The miles just roll by – I can’t wait for the next one.”

Vicky Easley, from Fylde International Backpackers, was also taking part.

She said: “It’s a great way to socialise and get fit at the same time.”

And Sarah Brown, from Blackpool, said: “Breeze rides are a great way of getting out on your bike, mixing with people and getting exercise at the same time with very friendly ladies.

“They contribute to both physical and mental well-being.”

Natalie Justice, women’s network project manager for British Cycling, said: “The Breeze women-only bike rides are a fantastic way for local people to have fun, get active and see Blackpool like they’ve never seen it before.

“The Breeze network is led by women for women, and we train up Breeze champions like Carley, who organise social, fun and free bike rides.

“There really is something for everyone as the rides go at a speed that suits all.

“And they often finish at a cafe, so you can have a drink and a good natter afterwards.”

Another Breeze ride will take place on Thursday, meeting at 7.15pm, at the Cenotaph.

For more details about Breeze rides, log on to www.breezebikerides.com.