Female cyclists celebrate the first anniversary of the JoyRiders group

Annette Pattinson encourages women to join the JoyRiders cycling group, which organizes women-only bike rides and has just celebrated its first anniversary.

In May, JoyRiders Oxford celebrated its first year of free, women-only bike rides led by trained female volunteers.

During this period we have run 33 rides in and around Oxford with 50 individual participants.

Our trips usually start at a community location outside of the city center and head into central Oxford or a nearby area or nearby green space.

Read again: The cost of Oxford East LTNs

We choose quiet routes, connecting quiet roads, shared paths and cycle paths where they exist. Sometimes we start from the town center and ‘relay’ to a nearby town – recently Abingdon, Kidlington and Yarnton, for example – and meet local cyclists there who cycle back with us in the other direction.

Our Beginner+ rides are perfect if you’ve recently started riding or are returning from a break and want to boost your confidence.

We ride for 30-45 minutes, stop for a refreshment break, then return to the start.

We ride at a brisk pace – newcomers are always welcome and no one will be left behind!

The rides run on weekends and during the lighter spring and summer months we also run shorter Twilight rides on weeknights.

Read more: Author’s bike helmet stolen outside covered market

Our runners are motivated to join us for their own reasons, whether it’s for fun, health or the daily commute. Sometimes it’s the social aspects as much as the bike itself. Although a bicycle takes you from point A to point B, it actually does much more than that: it connects you to your immediate surroundings and region as well as to other people.

Having met for the first time, runners from different parts of the city realized that they actually grew up just around the corner from each other or went to the same school. Recently, two motorcyclists recognized each other while they were in neighboring beds in the maternity ward. Their children are now doing their GCSEs!

Besides going on rides just for fun, some cyclists have a specific goal they want to achieve while riding a bike, such as taking their kids to school or cycling to work. If this is your case, we can help you find a route you like, give advice on carrying things on your bike, deal with a flat tire, lock your bike securely and other questions. practices, or point you in the right direction to learn more.

If you don’t yet ride a bike, you’re in good company – many adults want to learn to ride a bike, often so they can ride with their children.

Oxford Mail:

We can put you in touch with cycling groups and projects around town where you can learn.

Once you’ve started your cycling journey, it’s amazing how quickly you can get your bearings on a bike. With a few key routes up your sleeve, you’ll soon be able to get where you want to go and gain other benefits along the way.

It’s a great way to explore your city and find green spaces on your doorstep that you didn’t know were so close or easy to get to.

Read again: Lloyds Bank branch in Oxford to close this month

After joining a ride in your area, you will soon be able to join rides from Downtown and elsewhere.

A year into our rides, we are proud that some of our regular riders have decided to train as ride leaders to help other local women gain confidence on their bikes and experience the same fun and the same freedom their bikes gave them.

To find rides near you, follow “JoyRiders Oxford” on Eventbrite.

To contact us about starting a race from your community or organisation, please contact us at [email protected]

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team over 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF

Maria R. Newman