This year the women of Action Bikes Cycling Club, Swansea, completed a mammoth 250 mile charity bike ride to the Somme Battlefield in Northern France.
The ride, raised much needed funds for the charity SSAFA. SSAFA, which stands for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association, is the oldest national tri-service military charity who, in conjunction with other military charities, provide lifelong support to active members of our armed forces, veterans and their families. The charity ride, which took place at the end of August, included a 3 day return bike ride from the Ferry port to the Somme Battlefield. Club Members Sarah, Sian, Annie, Julie, Tracey, Diane and Karen raised £1500 for the charity, and while at the memorial they were interviewed by Helen Skelton from Countryfile. The interview will be aired by the show on Remembrance Sunday, at 18:15 on BBC.
I was recently invited to attend the Action Bikes Saturday Morning Ladies ride at Action Bikes, in Swansea City Centre. On approaching the shop I was overwhelmed by the number of ladies ready to head out on the ride, approximately 30 in total. The shop regularly runs a 12 week programme which aims to build women’s confidence on the bike. The last programme saw 60 unique participants take part across the 12 weeks. Rides build up gradually; ride one is a gentle 10 mile cycle, and by the end of the period the ladies will complete a 40 mile ride. Each week the women set out from the Action Bikes shop, situated in Swansea City Centre, at 10am. For those who are able to arrive at the shop half an hour earlier, the shop also provides a basic maintenance session, at 9.30am, covering important skills such as how to change a tyre.
The shop was recently awarded an “Awards for All” National Lottery grant, with which they purchased 8 bikes, for women to freely access on rides. Karen Gibbins, Ladies Vice Captain and active Breeze Champion said,
“One of the biggest barriers to participation is access to the right kind of bikes and this bursary will hugely help us to remove this barrier for women...This Big Lottery ‘Awards for All’ project will change the lives of many women in Swansea I am sure, and we are hugely proud that our project has been selected.”
For more information on the clubs charity work, or to book onto one of their rides, visit www.facebook.com/SwanseaLadiesABCC , tweet on @actionbikescc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.