Published: 06th Jun 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Celebrating 10 years of Breeze in Scotland: Meet 10 Breeze Champions

This Volunteers’ Week we are also celebrating ten years of Breeze in Scotland and in honour of both we would like you to meet ten of our Breeze Champion volunteers from across Scotland.

All of our volunteers share their time, energy, skills and knowledge, planning and delivering Breeze rides in their local areas, providing fun, friendly and free cycling opportunities for women. They love getting to know the women who join them on their rides, and here you will get the opportunity to get to know some of them a little better before signing up for a ride.

West and Central

Philippa Cochrane, Stirling
(pictured right)

I’ve been leading Breeze rides now for a little over a year.  In that time I’ve led 25 rides in and around Stirling.

I like leading shorter rides, encouraging women to take up or get back into cycling.  It’s always worth remembering that even what we count as ‘short’ might be too far for some women.

The best thing that has happened so far has been when two of my regular riders, a mother and daughter, told me that they’ve started to cycle one of my favourite routes without me and have got their husband/dad out on a bike too.

Favourite café stop treat: One of my favourite cafes is Penny Licks in Tillicoultry.  Fantastic ice cream, coffee and cakes and lots of space for cyclists.

South East

Beth Hart, Scottish Borders

I trained in Cambridgeshire in October 2018 as I started riding at the age of 55 in 2017 as part of a challenge I had set myself to accomplish 55 things in that year. One was to do a triathlon and I needed to learn how to ride a road bike.

Even though I trained to be a leader I only assisted for years as I didn’t feel confident to lead myself.

We then moved up to the Scottish Borders in July 2022 and joined all the Breeze groups up here. I found I really enjoyed planning and leading rides, even though I felt quite nervous beforehand.

My rides tend to have a local focus either an event, open garden or community café. Basically, where I would like to go myself. I love getting involved with a local charity and giving something back to the community.

Favourite café stop treat: I do love a fruit scone with jam and butter. I tend to be very fussy about baking as we do so much ourselves. Also usually have a tea or a latte (if it’s not too strong!). I always carry fig rolls as an emergency snack and a few jelly babies too.

Jan Riley, Edinburgh

I trained in Edinburgh May 2022 at the Bridgend Farmhouse on the south side of Edinburgh, but it wasn’t until early 2023 that I managed to lead my first ride!

After waiting until October to be able to complete first aid training, I posted my first ride in December 2022. I then had to postpone it three times due to bad weather, and finally took the ride on 15th February ’23.

I’ve now completed 14 rides soon to be 16, would have done more but broke my collarbone last year. I generally try to do two rides per month, and all the rides are in my local area. I try to do routes that are mostly off road, usually in the easy or steady category.

Favourite café stop treat: I recently discovered The Mill Cafe in Balerno on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It’s a lovely friendly community café that does great scones!


Diane Maciver, Elgin, Moray

I’ve been a breeze champion since May 2021. I did my training during Covid – third time lucky getting on a course. Due to Covid we had to do the whole course outside and with social distancing. I’m just about to complete my 63rd Breeze ride this week.

I love being a Breeze Champion, I love to get new ladies out on bikes. I do a mix of rides – from beginner rides up to leading 50-mile Breeze rides. ’ve meet some wonderful people through Breeze.

I ride in Elgin in Morayshire. Morayshire is a gem to cycle; we have wonderful roads to cycle on from beach, country roads, hills, and cycle paths.

Favourite café stop treat: an Empire biscuit

Helen Brown, Nairn, Highland

I trained in Inverness in June 2019 and led my 125th lead ride on the 25th May.

Nairn Breeze are a really friendly cycling group with a many active members and folks that dip in and out. We host all sorts of rides from short to longer routes, road and occasional off-road routes, ice cream and coffee stop rides. We’ve had cycle skills sessions after I trained as a Level 2 coach, and we met for a MTB skills session with a coach.

As a group, many of us met up to ride in a local family friendly charity cycling event in Kingussie. We have had a cycle with the female LEJOG record holder Christina Mackenzie. We were also part of the biggest Breeze meet up with Elgin Breeze!

Some of Nairn Breeze have participated in The Etape Loch Ness after getting into cycling!

I’m extremely proud of Nairn Breeze!

Favourite cafe stop treat: is fast becoming a coffee an artisan ice cream at James’s on Nairn Links!

Annie Forwood, Boat of Garten, Highland

Hello, my name is Annie Forwood, I am 70yrs old. I live in the small village of Boat of Garten, in the Badenoch and Strathspey area of the Highlands. I am proud and happy to have been a Breeze Champion for the last five years. I did my training in the city of Inverness.

My rides are mainly off road, using the huge variety of forest trails/paths and Sustrans Route 7/Speyside Ways. Some routes involve short distances on minor roads.

Favourite café stop treat: On a typical Breeze ride there is always a café stop. There are two favourites cafe stops on my routes. The Barn at Inverdruie, Rothiemurchas Estate, located on the ski road from Aviemore to the Carngorm mountain. The scones are enormous with a variety of choices, my favourite is Apple and Raspberry! The other one is Nethy House, located in the village of Nethybridge. The homemade cakes are mouth wateringly delicious; my favourite is the Ecclefechan! Both venues have indoor and outdoor seating.

South West

Tracy Moynihan, Ayrshire

I trained on a Breeze course down in Dumfries in September 2022. Sheelagh Whitton and I buddy up to do the rides, which has grown to every second Saturday. I also do a Tuesday morning as a confidence building session; we go at more leisurely pace, with the opportunity to talk about gears, etc.

I’ve been able to connect with Ukrainian ladies in our area to get them out on both the Tuesday and Saturday rides. We also had a request for a midweek evening ride which we did try a couple of weeks ago and plan to offer again a few times over the summer.

Our Facebook group is growing and we have regulars and newbies on most rides, which is amazing!

In Ayrshire our routes are a lot flatter, with more cycle paths once you pass Prestwick and head north. We are working up to hills which hopefully will see us heading south of Ayr to Culzean castle and Dunure. One day we hope to have the Culzean Way which will let us cycle Ayr to Girvan totally on cycle ways!

This year we kept the rides going all winter and only cancelled one for snow ,which is pretty unheard of in Ayr.  However we still met at the Ayrshire fiddle orchestra coffee morning without bikes!

Favourite café stop treat: Troon golf club for a scrambled egg roll and coffee, they are very welcoming to us cyclists. Though we did have a lovely ice cream stop when it was 32 degrees at Vanilla Joe’s in Irvine too.

Lara Philip, Ayrshire

I trained as a Breeze Champion in Glasgow May 2018. I have cycled since I was a child, sometimes think pity didn’t have Strava and Garmins back in the day, you left the house in the morning and didn’t go home until you were hungry; there must have been lots of miles each day during school holidays! The only way to know how many miles you did was if you had an old fashioned mileometer than clocked up on unit attached to front fork, LOL.

Cycling has always been a passion of mine, and by becoming a Breeze Champion, I can share my passion and encourage other ladies to enjoy cycling. Some ladies that have come along to rides have either never cycled before or not cycled for years. It’s great to see the satisfaction and joy on their faces.

The majority of rides I carry out are on Cycle paths or quiet roads, with a few hills in for good measure, I plan rides both in Ayrshire or Glasgow. I am fortunate to live on west coast so can cycle to beach or travel to city and admire different sights.

Favourite café stop treat: Cafe stops are the best part, as long as there are nice cakes and in summer nothing to beat a nice freshly made ice cream cone.


Jennifer Tonks, Angus

I have been a Breeze Champion for five years and whilst I’m based in Arbroath I’ve really enjoyed leading rides in Dundee and Perth. Through Breeze I encourage ladies to get out on their bikes, making new friends and visiting new places.

Favourite café stop treat: We have some amazing coffee stops but my favourite is the Lass O’Gowrie at Errol. Gorgeous toasties, soup and friendly staff.

Lynsay Johnston, Perth and Kinross

I’ve been a Breeze Champion for about a year and a half since another Breeze Champion, Kirsteen, persuaded me that I COULD do it. I like showing other women that you don’t have to be a particular size or shape to enjoy cycling. You can come along for the social, fun aspect of cycling and there is no pressure to go faster or further and you’ll NEVER be left behind.

Favourite café stop treat: My favourite cafe stop is Heaven Scent in Milnathort, they do the yummiest breakfasts and are always welcoming.

Click here to find out more about Breeze and to search for a ride in your area.

Interested in joining our volunteer team? Find out more here and apply for a place on our upcoming course in Dundee on 29th June here.

If you have any questions or want to discuss your interest in Breeze in more detail, please contact: [email protected]