British Cycling | Breeze

I came across this article on Zest.Co.Uk and linked to the Breeze network site to find out more. They said;

“The Breeze network from British Cycling is all about fun, local bike rides for women, by women – and there’s a whole range of support, training and ride opportunities too. The network’s informal and relaxed. It’s what you want it to be.

Breeze bike rides are free. Getting involved is easy. You can either use the Ride Finder to look for a Breeze ride in your area (more are being added all the time), or if you’re interested in starting a group, why not become a Breeze champion?

Breeze is part of British Cycling’s commitment to getting more women riding bikes for fun, and encouraging more women to join British Cycling. Together we can change cycling for women. Be part of the Breeze network.” 

This is what active living is all about to me. You don’t have to be young or athletic to enjoy active living and fitness. Personally, I’m excited about what Breeze is doing for women of all ages and abilities. Free fitness opportunities make the future of women’s health a whole lot brighter.

you are inky obsidian, sharp-edged and shining
sewing jagged secrets into jagged scars
under your skin.
you are fire-forged fury.

you are the gleam of dragons’ scales as they fight
high in the hidden hills where you are sleeping
and dance to the druids’ drums when
they are looking away from this world.

you are the summer solstice sun, burning bright
over the homes and halls of your ancestors and descendants
and as the year turns to winter you too will shift
like the leaves - from green to brown to bare bone
you are the desperate cry of the prince’s old tongue
as he hurls himself towards glory and gaping wounds
and the shadows on the hillsides roar with him
and you laugh with bloodied teeth and dreams

you are the child of the forest, the valleys, the lonely hilltops
you are the son of magic and mystery and mayhem
you are the prince of shadows and the ghost-lord of old
and your fingers are still strong on your sword.

—  a song for the raven king; or: folklore archetypes - the sleeping king who was and will be

There is no age restriction on mountain-biking. That’s part of its beauty. But for some reason, the official governing bodies of the world like to think otherwise. A weekend like the one we just had cuts deep at the mistakes BC is making by ignoring so many of these women simply because they are a little bit older. The wrinkles in her face don’t make her a slower racer. The size of her thighs and grey in her hair are not a reflection of how competitive or determined she is. By limiting their funding to the youthful pool of teen and 20-something riders, BC are not only limiting these women’s potential, they’re endorsing a culture of ageism in a sport that proves there is nothing to stop a woman well into her 40s becoming a world champion.

I don’t think governing bodies like the idea of older women winning races. These champions have complex and extraordinary personalities. They often have children. They often have had amazing careers outside of cycling. They usually won’t pose naked for men’s magazines because they have too much self-respect. They are fascinating, complicated, astounding women with multi-dimensional personalities that cannot be defined by getting a medal or the way she poses in tight jerseys. And they inspire other women into the sport in droves.


Cycling Governing Bodies | Ageism in professional women’s mountain biking | Total Women’s Cycling

I love this article, and recommend you read it all - thought-provoking and well-written