Launched in February by Victoria Pendleton, the unique Cycletta series of women-only sportive style events still has spaces available for both the northern and southern dates.
Conceived to be welcoming to all levels of cycling ability, the Cycletta series has its primary aim the desire to encourage more women to ride bikes. At 40km it's a distance that shouldn't terrify the complete beginner, while club riders and those looking for more of a challenge are encouraged to enjoy the course and aim for a personal best.
Cycletta South will take place on Sunday 11th September at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, and the fee also includes entry to the zoo itself, for those wanting post-ride animal encounters. The Cycletta North will now take place on Sunday 2nd October at Tatton Park in Cheshire. This is a change from the original June date, which organizers attribute to logistics and the later date being more suitable for those involved.
Nick Rusling, Cycletta founder said: “The Cycletta series is a fantastic addition to the cycling community. Through the events, we’re hoping to inspire a social shift in women’s participation in cycling events. With Victoria’s support we intend to deliver an exceptional experience for women of all cycling abilities; before, during and after the events.”
The main draw of the events, apart from the obvious appeal of riding with Olympic Gold Medallist and Cycletta figurehead Victoria Pendleton, is the fact that the entire length of both routes will be closed off to road traffic.
Organisers state these road closures as the main reason for the £45 per person entry fee, around twice as expensive as many sportives. On the one hand, the idea of a relaxed ride along traffic free roads in the company of like-minded women of all ages and abilities is an appealing one, while on the other I fear that the £45 price tag may be putting off all but the keenest. As an incentive to get more women cycling, with hopes that the events will, according to Sky “give thousands of women the opportunity to get on their bikes and rediscover the sheer fun of cycling again”, the traffic free element does seem important. Hopefully the additional bits and pieces that make up the entry package will tip the balance in favour of what promises to be a great day out (or two).
The deadline for signing up for both Cycletta dates is 31st July.
Entry is £45 per person.
See www.cycletta.co.uk for more information.
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.