Woohoo – I’m now a Breeze Champion!
March 15, 2014
Today is all about cycling – RideLondon, Breeze and some online articles.
A little while ago, I found out that I didn’t get a place in Ride London, which was disappointing. However, I think I’ve already overcommitted myself this year, so I’m not too upset!
Breeze Ride Leader course
Anyway, as I said I’ve been trying to cut back on my commitments. However, I love to make the most of the opportunities that I am presented with in life. When I received an email from Southampton City Council advertising free places on a Breeze Ride Leader course, I jumped at the chance. After filling in some application forms, I was accepted. Today I went on the course.
I had to choose which of my two bikes to use – my road bike or my hybrid. My hybrid seemed like the most appropriate choice, but it won’t go on the roof rack of the car. The consequence of using my hybrid would be that I would have to cycle to the venue, ride around all day and then cycle home. My road bike could go on the roof of the car, so I would only need to do the day’s cycling. In the end, I chose the latter option as I’m still feeling tired. I didn’t want to wear myself out ahead of tomorrow’s duathlon.
My choice of bike meant that I also needed to decide which clothes to wear. I opted for my Wiggle Honda kit combined with my Pearl Izumi jacket. Each of the women I spoke to made a comment about me looking professional when I arrived, which told me that I had made a bit of a mistake.
There was a wide range of women on the course from some serious cyclists to some ladies who haven’t been cycling very long themselves. This meant that there was also a range of bikes to look at. The one that caught my attention most was a three-wheeler Nihola from Denmark.
How the course was structured
The course was a mix of theory in the classroom and practical sessions outside. I’ve never ridden two-abreast in a tight group before, so that was an interesting new experience. I can see how it is safer for all of the cyclists in the group. Unfortunately, many car drivers don’t realise that it’s legal. I was relieved to learn that as a Ride Leader, I’m not expected to be able to deal with everyone else’s technical malfunctions.
In the afternoon, we split into two groups and took it in turns to lead. The main leader is at the back, which can be challenging, especially when the group is quite large.
Overall, I learned some useful skills on the course and will now try to get myself onto a first aid course so that I can lead rides on my own. I would also like to meet up with some other Breeze champions, so that I can pair up with someone else to lead rides.
I also love this old Pathe video about safety when cycling:
Some images to inspire you
Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image is on the theme of ‘Nourish’ – I think my healthy fridge goes with that topic:
Finally, here’s some motivation from Erin: