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Bikebelles go "bling, bling"

Saddle up girls - "cycling can be beautiful"...

Ballgowns at the ready! Sustrans is at it again - trying to get more women cycling by encouraging them to wear dresses and high heels on their bikes.

The sustainable transport charity has organised a one-off cycling day-out in Edinburgh, challenging women (and men) to wear their favourite and most glamorous outfits, and offering prizes for the best bling!

Sustrans recently launched its website as part of its campaign to get female cycling numbers up. The site is full of top tips on how to cycle without ruining your look, as worries about what to wear, hat hair and getting hot under the collar are apparently key issues for many women considering cycling as a regular way of getting around. 

Ballgowns might be pushing it a little (imagine the scene - a Tour de France style pileup littered with ripped taffetta and scuffed stilettos) but glamour is certainly possible on a bicycle and this event is designed to prove it.

Gina Alcock, Sustrans Events Officer in Scotland, said: “We’re really keen to show that whether by wearing heels, your favourite skirt or by putting flowers in your hair, cycling can be beautiful.

“Many of us girls tend to worry that by pedalling to work, to the shops or to see friends we’ll arrive in a mess, but that’s hardly ever the case. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to get fit and feel good - and there is no need to compensate on style.”

Men are also invited to join the ride, which starts at Haymarket Yards, next to Haymarket Rail Station, on May 31 at 12pm. It will last about one-and-a-half hours along National Cycle Network routes to the north of the city centre. There will be prizes for the most glamorous riders and also a ‘Bling Your Bike’ competition to find the most dressed up bike.

Sustrans launched its campaign to get more women cycling in March including a new website with practical advice on how to get cycling. The campaign follows research showing that men are three times more likely to cycle than women.

Riders can turn up on the day or sign up in advance by calling Gina Alcock on 0131 523 0196 or emailing gina.alcock [at] 

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