Women on Wheels sessions aim to get more women cycling in Luton

Sustrans is hoping an offer of free cycle training will tempt more women onto their bikes in Luton.

The sustainable transport charity, which is involved in a year-long campaign to increase the numbers of women cycling, has linked up with Luton Borough Council to provide a series of free sessions to women who are complete beginners or novice cyclists.

The imaginatively entitled Women on Wheels sessions will be led by cycling convert Jenny Goff, who learned to ride four years ago becuase she was sick of having to ride a tricycle on holiday.

Jenny, aged 59, of Dunstable, said: “I really hope lots of women take up this offer and feel the huge benefits from cycling, which I’ve enjoyed.

“I decided to take lessons because I felt very self-conscious on leisure holidays when I would be the only adult pedalling around on a tricycle. But I gradually improved to the point where I had the courage to take off on various everyday journeys around town and even ride to work.

“It was fantastic to achieve something I never thought I’d be capable of. It also helped me tone up and lose weight."

Chris Wilkinson, Sustrans’ Active Travel manager in Luton, said: “This training is aimed at women who have never ridden before or whose bike has been gathering dust for far too long.

"It will focus on improving balance and cycle skills rather than stamina so there is no pre-requisite at all. We just want to inspire lots more women to try cycling, which is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get fit and healthy.”

Jenny will be part of a team of fully accredited cycle trainers for Women on Wheels, leading one-and-a-half hour sessions on June 1, 4 and 5 at 1.30pm and 5.30pm. The training will take place around the car park outside Sustrans’ Luton office in Power Court. All equipment including bikes will be provided, although women can also bring their own.

For more information on the campaign to get more women cycling, visit the Sustrans and bikebelles websites.