three ladies riding into the forest on bikes

Women of all ages and abilities are set to discover the joys of cycling in England’s greenest settings thanks to a new project delivered in partnership by British Cycling and Forestry England.

The Breeze into the Forest project launched today will equip Breeze Champions – volunteer ride leaders who offer support, inspiration, and guidance for women in their local area – with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to lead cycle rides in a host of England’s forests.

Breeze into the Forest will provide a great entry-level opportunity for women to build their confidence on bikes and their potential to progress to mountain biking. It will play a key part in British Cycling’s recently published long-term plans for mountain bike endurance, and its ambition to evolve the organisation’s suite of recreational led ride programmes into off-road environments, with a strong focus on female riders.

The first course will be held in Wendover Woods in the Chilterns on Saturday 17 July, with a further two courses delivered in August.

Breeze into the Forest course dates

Saturday 17 July – Wendover Woods
Saturday 14 August – Cannock Chase
Sunday 22 August – Hamsterley Forest

The UK-wide HSBC UK Breeze programme was launched in 2011 alongside Sport England, with the support of National Lottery funding, to inspire women of all ages and abilities to discover or rediscover the joy of riding via fun, free female-led rides. The ground-breaking programme has now provided over 320,000 women with a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment to get on their bikes.

British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, Danielle Every, said: “We’ve always known how important local and accessible green spaces are to people, and that message has never been clearer than during the pandemic. So, when the opportunity came around to add more strings to the bows of our trailblazing Breeze Champions through partnering with Forestry England, we couldn’t think of a better time to get the wheels in motion during our 10th birthday celebrations.

“Breeze into the Forest will provide all women the opportunity to connect with nature through group cycling, increasing wellbeing and confidence, leading to a lifelong cycling habit. We’ve had a flurry of interest in Breeze into the Forest since opening it up to applications, and we are proud to be providing even more support to our Champions with this new course.”

Forestry England’s Active Forests Project Manager, Jemma Hulbert said: “It has been fantastic to partner with British Cycling and develop Breeze into the Forest with the support of National Lottery funding from Sport England. Building on the success of the HSBC UK Breeze programme, we look forward to seeing the Breeze into the Forest rides in the nation’s forests later this year, helping to improve women’s confidence in cycling and improve their wellbeing through a greater connection with nature.”

Find out more about Breeze into the Forest by visiting https://letsride.co.uk/Breeze-Into-The-Forest-Champion

Find out more about cycling with Forestry England