Easyriders, the project which encourages more women in the Scottish Borders to get on their bikes, has joined forces with a bike supplier to ensure there are no barriers to saddling up.
The group returned earlier this year with sessions in Selkirk, Peebles and Galashiels, and the next tranche of courses take place in Hawick, Kelso and Jedburgh from August 21.
And now, you don’t even need a bike to take part, as organisers Hillside Outside Ltd is now offering participants that wish to take part, but don’t have their own bike, the chance to borrow one for free.
Event director Neil Dalgleish said: “We had some women get in touch that were super keen to take part, but who didn’t have their own bike.
“So, we chatted to the team over at Just Cycle in Galashiels and are now able to offer the chance to borrow a bike, for free, to take part in the course.
“This addition makes the courses even more accessible and offer even more women the opportunity to experience the benefits of cycling.”
The programme, which is completely free itself, promises to improve cycling confidence, skills and fitness in a social, relaxed atmosphere. There are a number of different sessions in each area scheduled to work around day-to-day life and working hours. All sessions last for four weeks and are for women only.
Funded by Paths For All and Transport Scotland’s ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ initiative, the programme also sets out to promote a healthier lifestyle and demonstrate the ease of cycling as an alternative mode of transport, particularly for shorter, more local journeys.
In 2018, the project was a great success, with more than 200 women across the Borders participating, 90% of whom said they would now opt for the bike over the car for shorter journeys.
Now, with the opportunity to borrow a bike, 2019 is set to encourage even more women to try out cycling.
The courses begin on August 21 in Kelso and Jedburgh. Full details of all locations and dates can be found on the Easyriders website (www.easyriders.cc)
There are only eight places available at each session, to ensure a more beneficial experience to all participants, so places are limited.