Tooting: The women's beginner bike ride you should try on Sunday

  Posted: 21.07.21 at 18:31 by Tommy Joyce

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There will be a women-only cycle happening in the area on Sunday - here's what you need to know.

JoyRiders will be hosting a beginner's bike ride from Earlsfield to Morden Hall (July 25). The cycle will be slow-paced and suitable for anyone who has just learned to ride a bike or is getting back into cycling.

The group will be meeting at 9am outside of Earlsfield railway station and will be riding to Morden Hall Park. They will have a quick break and then head back, returning for 11.30am.

Those attending have been asked to bring the following items if they can: a helmet, water, snacks, money and card for the cafe (if you wish to buy something), a facemask, a bike lock and a spare inner tube if on your own bike.

Labour Earlsfield councillor Jo Rigby will be leading the ride. She hopes that this can be an empowering experience for those who attend.

She said: "JoyRiders is here to empower women through the joy of cycling.

Credit: Jo Rigby

"The UK has a rich history of women cycling - today there is a gender gap with fewer women cycling than men.

"We're here to give women back confidence to cycle - for some that's just for the enjoyment, for others it will widen access to employment and a route out of transport poverty.

To register for the event, click the register button on its Eventbrite page - it's totally free.

What is JoyRiders

JoyRiders has been going since 2017 and aims to get women from all walks of life cycling.

Here is what the website says about the organisation:

Empowering women by introducing them to the joys of cycling.

In Britain, unlike many other European countries, cycling is viewed more as a sport than a primary form of transport. Cycling is predominantly undertaken by men, both as a sport and a means of transport. Men make about 72% of all journeys.

All recent governments in the UK– of every political persuasion – have pursued policies of encouraging more people to ride more regularly as part of how they get around, and /or as part of their exercise regime. There is a recognition that, for short journeys in particular, cycling is far healthier for people and better for the environment.

The issue is that women – and women from ethnic minorities in particular – encounter many barriers to taking up cycling.

Women see themselves as less able to cycle regularly because of their age, fitness, dress and appearance. They lack confidence in their ability to deal with any sort of traffic; many of them don’t believe it’s safe for their children to cycle either.

Finally, women encounter far more harassment than men when they cycle. Women from ethnic minorities encounter this to an even greater degree.

JoyRiders was the brainchild of Carolyn Axtell.

During her school run trips on a bicycle, she began talking to other mums – particularly those from a Muslim background, like herself. She discovered that many of them harboured a desire to cycle, but there were just too many barriers that prevented them from doing so.

So, with support from Waltham Forest Council (loan bicycles and developing cycling infrastructure), a Cycling Grant from Transport for London, and a few like-minded women, In January 2017, JoyRiders was born!

Take a look at our What's On page to see some of the exciting things happening in the area. You can even advertise your own event for free by clicking the 'Nub It' button.

Have a story in Tooting you'd like to share? Get in touch! Email [email protected], call 07557513104 or tweet @TommyJJourno

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