Supportive online events which encourage women to cycle
JoyRiders London is a Community Interest Company, based in Waltham Forest, which empowers women through introducing them to cycling by organising fun, social bike rides for women of all backgrounds.
The group recruit women from the local community, provide bikes to those who need them, teach them to cycle and take them on a journey from hesitant beginners, to leisure cyclists, to regular utility cyclists.
Some riders have gone on to become Ride Leaders and cycling instructors with Joyriders building a social network of hundreds of women (over 85% from black and ethnic minority backgrounds) over three years.
Women are supported to discover their freedom and increase their autonomy through supportive, social rides which foster a sense of sisterhood that is as inclusive as possible.
This summer, Joyriders were due to increase their offer to include twilight rides for working women and commuter routes into town with a varied programme of women and family rides planned.
“I would never have had the confidence to go out for a ride without the group if it hadn’t been for the encouragement and support of JoyRiders.” Joyriders participant
These were cancelled due to the arrival of covid-19 with all riders suspended on March 16 following the restrictions from government regarding unnecessary social contact.
Unperterbed, Joyriders began an online programme to support women to continue to cycle as their daily exercise during lockdown and offered support for participants mental health.
Funding from Sport England’s Emergency Fund and London Community Response Fund, Joyriders’ programme was adapted with an online event around cycling with children proving particularly popular.
The online content also covered key worker commuter routes to London hospitals and six leisure routes as well as tips and tricks on clothing and rider safety.
Soon, the club’s WhatsApp group was full of pictures of families cycling to beautiful locations while more than 50 women joining weekly online ‘coffee breaks’ in a fun and supportive atmosphere.