Becky Cumberworth still remembers the magical moment when she learned to ride a bike. “I was furious with my mother for letting go!” she said. “But then I realised I was riding on my own… it was a wonderful feeling.”
Despite the great start, like many adults in the UK, by the time Becky started high school cycling had been socially engineered out of her life. None of her friends rode to school, there was no safe cycle infrastructure to ride on and being told she was ‘dangerous’ on her cycling proficiency test massively dented her confidence. And that was that… cycling got ‘locked away’ in the childhood memory bank, possibly for good.
But in 2014, the Tour de France Grand Départ came to Yorkshire and, inspired by the event, Becky knew she had to give it another go. Fortunately for her, a recent upgrade to the local canal towpath by CityConnect provided a safe route to regain her confidence and she soon joined lovetoride.net to stay motivated and encourage others at Leeds City Council where she works.
“When Love to Ride came along, people at the council were suddenly talking more about cycling and sharing stories of people winning prizes for riding and encouraging. It’s great to see this happening in the workplace”, said Becky.
Spurred on by her achievements on the canal, Becky decided she wanted to explore the local hills and attended a Mountain Bike Skills Course for beginners with local provider MTB Cycle Yorkshire. “The course really built my confidence and inspired me to ride more”, said Becky. Even better, she’s now encouraged a neighbour to give it a try and they’ll both be heading up to Gisburn Forest on 14th October to take part in the Hopetech Women’s Enduro (there are still a few places available for those inspired to give it a try!).
“I’ve never ridden an Enduro event before, but I’m really looking forward to meeting and learning from all the other women taking part in this grass roots event which is all about having fun and giving the sport a try in a friendly environment.”
Apart from her mountain bike, which Becky bought from her local bike shop Chevin Cycles in Otley, she hasn’t got any special equipment for the event… in fact she was quite proud to report she’ll be riding it in her running gear!
“Taking part in lovetoride.net has encouraged me to take my cycling to the next level. I’m so glad I took that first step to getting back on the bike and I’d encourage other lapsed riders to give it a try – you never know where it might take you!”