Women learn to cycle safely away from the road
A new series of coaching events has been launched for women and girls who want to try cycling but may be worried about road safety.
Organised by Samways Events, the events take place well away from the traffic on the Darley Moor Circuit, near Ashbourne, with coaching activities delivered to riders on bike-handling, core cycling and group riding techniques.
The first event was held on Sunday, March 19, with 11 women taking part.
They learnt how to follow lead and follow, ride in pairs and in groups. They also learnt how to corner, taking the fastest line, ride in contact with another rider and balance and manipulate points of contact on the bike.
Event organiser Kate Samways, a qualified British Cycling Coach, said: "It was a great group to work with, lots of smiles and fun with timed activities and cycling together which made it a very social session to coach. We all had a fantastic time."
The next session will be held on Sunday, May 7.
Participants can also expect to benefit from increased fitness if they attend on a regular basis, with timed Cycle Sport Challenges progressing the skills and cycling experience of each rider.
Sessions will be held on weekends, as well as on Thursday evenings during the longer days of spring and summer, with a total of 10 planned.
"The aim is to teach those who come along how to improve their riding skills and confidence when riding their bike," said Kate.
"Bike-handling techniques, such as how to balance your body on the bike and core cycling techniques such as cornering and braking, will be covered.
"Leading and following, riding next to another rider and riding surrounded by others, will empower women and girls to ride in groups, in a club, Sportives or racing event,"
"There is plenty of space to play with, as the track is 10 meters wide and over one mile in length. It's all about trying to help women get most out of their cycling in a fun, friendly, informative and inclusive environment.
"If you're not part of a club, it's also a great way to get out and meet others who are interested in cycling."
Places are limited to 20 per session. Riders must bring their own bikes, but road, mountain and hybrid bikes are all welcome.
A similar course for children is being planned for the near future.