HSBC UK Breeze is Booming in Elgin and Nairn

HSBC UK Breeze is Booming in Elgin and Nairn


Breeze Champions from Elgin in Moray and Nairn in the Highlands recently came together to lead what is believed to be the biggest Breeze ride in Scotland to date. In this article we find out about the development of HSBC UK Breeze in the north of Scotland and how this big Breeze ride came about.

Our HSBC UK Breeze programme first hit the north of Scotland with a training course in Inverness in June 2018. Since then, there have been two further courses and in total 22 Breeze Champions have completed the training.

The first Breeze ride in Highland region took place in August 2018, and since then there have been 319 rides, with a total attendance of 1,086, with each ride cycling an average of 14 miles.

Moray had to wait until October 2019 for its first Breeze ride, however it is only now in 2021 that Breeze rides in this region are really taking off, thanks to the efforts of the local volunteer Breeze Champions and the many women who have joined them on their rides.

To celebrate this enthusiasm for Breeze and women’s cycling, Breeze Champions in Elgin and Nairn joined forces for what they hoped would be the largest Breeze ride in Scotland to date. On Saturday 6th November, six Breeze Champions from Elgin and Nairn led 30 women and one talented youngster on the ‘Elgin and Nairn Breeze Firework Meet Up’ Breeze ride.

Nine women on road bikes, all wearing helmets and dressed for colder weather, cycling on a path. In the background is trees and houses

Four Breeze Champions from Elgin and two from Nairn, who all offer regular fun, free bike rides for women of all abilities in their local communities, came together to lead the ride from Elgin Library to Duffus Castle, where the group, which included riders from both Elgin and Nairn, stopped for the obligatory coffee/tea and cake.

Organiser and Breeze Champion Diane Maciver shared with us her thoughts on Breeze and their biggest ride to-date: “The programme is especially encouraging for new, returning and not-been-out-for-a while women to come out and (re)discover the joy of cycling, and it was great to welcome six riders who were new to Breeze on this record-breaking ride”. She continued “One observer messaged me afterwards saying she had seen us all on the cycle path from Lossiemouth to Elgin. She said: ‘It was pouring rain but all I could see were groups of women cycling and chatting .. they all just looked to be really enjoying themselves’”.

We also spoke to Sheila Scott, from Elgin, who trained as a Breeze Champion in September. She told us “The plan for the Big Breeze ride was hatched after Diane was asked to help out as a leader for the Nairn Group’s 50th ride. We coined the term ‘ Breeze Tourism’ when we cycled the 28 miles to and from Nairn to join in one of their rides and discovered the pleasure of riding a completely new route to us both. The Nairn ladies promised to join us if we organised a ride for both groups in Elgin, so Diane organised the Big Elgin and Nairn Breeze ride, drawing in all six Champions to lead four separate groups to and from the cafe stop.”

A group of female cyclists on road bikes, cycling on a path, to their right is houses and grass, and in the distance is tress and more houses

The Breeze Champions continue to welcome local women to each bespoke HSBC UK Breeze ride from Elgin Library and Nairn’s Maggot carpark. See for more information and details on upcoming rides across Scotland, including from Elgin and Nairn, and how you can sign up.