JoyRiders Oxford: bike rides by women, for women

By Annette Pattinson

JoyRiders organises free, volunteer-led bike rides by women, for women, that start in the heart of communities around Oxford, as well as rides from Park & Rides that are easier for women travelling in from outside the city to join.

Our rides are friendly and sociable, led by fully trained female ride leaders. We always ride at the pace of the least experienced riders.

We’ve learned a lot since JoyRiders Oxford’s first ride in May this year. One of the most positive aspects has been meeting riders from all around the city who join the rides for lots of different reasons. Many of them already have good cycling skills but are put off by the thought of riding in busy traffic or aren’t sure of the best routes to take. Others are new or returning to riding after a break and want to practise in a group while building up their skills and confidence. Some want to ride because of the physical and mental health benefits cycling brings. There’s also a social element to our rides and the most common answer given in our recent survey asking why women want to ride was simply “fun”!

Whatever our riders’ motivation for coming on a ride, our ride leaders have been so impressed with their determination to just have a go and see where their bikes can take them – which is usually much further than they thought.

This September, JoyRiders is excited to be involved in the Celebration of Cycling with Cyclox. You could say the Celebration’s motto of ‘riding for fun, health, and everyday journeys’ sums up our philosophy perfectly.

As part of the Celebration, we’re organising two women-only bike rides on Saturday 11 September, one starting in the east of the city and one in the south, coming together at Broad Meadow in the centre of town. We’ll stop for a coffee break and check out the other Celebration of Cycling events taking place there before pedalling back.

The Celebration of Cycling rides will also mark the start of our autumn rides aimed at discovering quiet routes to green outdoor spaces around the city, shops and workplaces.

Our rides are aimed at helping you become a more confident rider, first in a group – and, eventually, on your own. We focus on everyday riding in and just outside the city, but also have good links with other local groups that support women to cycle, whether that’s discovering locations a bit further afield or trying road cycling.

JoyRiders Oxford would love you to join them on a ride. If you have any questions, get in touch at: info.oxford@joyridersbritain.org and they’ll try and help you find whatever support you need to get started on your bike.

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