Confidence, or rather the lack of it, is one of the main reasons keeping women in the Borders off their bikes.
However, Project Easyriders – launched to great success in 2018 – is back to change all that.
The series of four free women-only social sessions aims to improve cycling confidence, skills and fitness, all in a relaxed atmosphere.
Each session is limited to eight riders and they will be held in various locations around the region – Peebles, Galashiels, Selkirk, Hawick, Kelso and Jedburgh – and are all timed to work around day-to-day responsibilities and working hours.
Peebles based Hillside Outside Ltd, organisers of Tour o’ the Borders and TweedLove’s Transcend Bike Festival, are leading the project, alongside award-winning cycling tuition providers Ridelines.
Both are keen to not only provide improved cycling skills but also promote a healthier lifestyle, encourage cycling as an alternative mode of transport for shorter, local journeys, and provide a means for aiding with mental health.
“We were delighted to get nearly 200 women across the Borders on their bikes last year,” said Neil Dalgleish, director of Hillside Outside.
“The feedback and the continued progress after the course has just been phenomenal.
“90% of participants now opt for the bike over the car for shorter journeys and over 50% said both their physical and mental health had improved.
“We are proud to be involved again for 2019 and provide this for even more women across the Borders.”
The project is funded by Paths For All and Transport Scotland’s ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ initiative, through Scottish Borders Council.
The courses begin this Saturday, May 25, in the Selkirk area.