Published: 03rd Jul 2024 Images: Scottish Cycling

Celebrating 10 Years of Breeze

Now we have said goodbye to June, we bring the curtain down on our ten years of Breeze in Scotland birthday celebrations.

For those unfamiliar, Breeze is our women’s cycling initiative aimed at supporting more women (back) into cycling by offering free community rides, planned and led by local female volunteers known as Breeze Champions.

We kicked off our festivities by looking back on the past decade of Breeze in Scotland, reviewing our progress and challenges. Did you know there have been 4,709 rides with an overall attendance of 18,078, cycling 65,344 miles, —more than 2.5 times around the world?!

The number 10 has been the theme of our celebrations; we met 10 Breeze Champions, discovered 10 favourite routes, recalled 10 favourite past rides and delighted in 10 favourite views from the saddle. Breeze Champion Laura Nisbet also reflected on her cycling adventures and experiences with Breeze for this month’s BlogHer post.

Many of our Breeze Champions have organised Breeze birthday rides and events, including the Big Breeze Weekender in the Scottish Borders with Saturday taster rides and a Sunday gathering. In Edinburgh, we participated in the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling and enjoyed a ride to the famous Colinton Tunnel. We have eaten cake, unfurled banners, and blown up balloons. We have had so many Breeze birthday rides we cannot list them all here, but our stats for June tell their own story.

During this birthday month the last edition of the Midsummer Breeze Sportive rolled out from Hawick on the 23rd. The sun shone, and the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside had never looked lovelier.

Thanks to the hard work of the organizers, support from the community, and the enthusiasm of all the inspirational women who participated, this year’s event exceeded all expectations, with a fantastic turnout and glowing feedback. The route change was a hit, and the perfect weather made the day even better.

Seventy-nine women joined the sportive, bringing together new faces and returning participants to create a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. Generous donations from participants and supporters helped raise funds for local charities, Marie Curie, and the MS Borders Group.

Image: Mark Hogarth

We send a huge congratulations to the Midsummer Breeze Sportive team, especially Breeze Champions Lizzie Mitchell and Tracey Sharp, and well done to everyone who took part. While we were sad to hear this was the final edition of this wonderful event, we agree the organisers have certainly earned a well-deserved rest since establishing it in 2019.

In June, we also welcomed seven new volunteers who earned a Ride Leader Level 1 qualification at our Breeze Champion training course in Tayport on the 29th. Despite the elusive sunny weather this summer, we were grateful for a dry and pleasant day, which allowed us to complete the practical elements of the course – practicing and assessing our ride leading skills.

Happy birthday Breeze! We are grateful to everyone who has been part of Breeze over the past ten years, shaping the opportunities and cycling adventures we now cherish. Thank you to everyone who organised a birthday ride or event, contributed to our birthday articles, and been involved in the final Midsummer Breeze Sportive. As we look to the future, we hope for ten more (and beyond!) brilliant years of Breeze in Scotland.

We could not do this without our wonderful Breeze Champion volunteers, who commit their time, energy, knowledge, and skills to delivering the best routes, views, café stops, and friendly chatter. If you love cycling and want to join this fantastic team of women bringing the joy of cycling to more women, we would love to have you. If you enjoy riding with others and know how to ride a bike, you’re already well-qualified! You don’t need to be an elite cyclist or wear fancy gear; just bring your enthusiasm and willingness to share the joy of cycling. You can express your interest here and we will let you know when the next training course is delivered in your area.

We also want more women to join us on our rides. Pop in your postcode here to search for a ride in your area. If you already participate in our rides, help us spread the word by following us on Facebook and Twitter, liking and sharing our posts, and telling your friends and family about us.

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