City cycling champions praised for saddling up - The Worcester Observer

City cycling champions praised for saddling up

Worcester Editorial 1st Dec, 2023   0

COMMUNITY cycling champions from Worcester have been named among the UK’s 100 most inspirational women in cycling for 2023.

Campaigner Katie Collier and the founder of Worcester’s Cycle Sistas Georgina Tucker were named in Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling list, celebrating women who inspire others to get on their bikes.

Each year, the UK’s cycling charity recognises women from all corners of the cycling world who have had a positive impact by inspiring others to cycle and thus helping make cycling a more inclusive space.

Despite the 2021 census showing there are more women than men in the UK, men are much more likely to cycle regularly than women.

Active travel champion Katie only picked up cycling in lockdown when she needed a way to get to work in London, but shortly afterwards moved to Worcester and bought a cargo bike.

A life-changing tool, Katie now cycles everywhere with her children, helping other parents and children ride to school and using it for everyday errands too.

Katie said:

“Cycling has completely changed how I connect with my local area, and that’s why I’m so passionate about encouraging other ‘normal’, non-sporty people like me to cycle, and it’s what drives me to run events like our weekly Bike Bus, Kidical Mass and women’s confidence events.”

“It’s such an honour to have been nominated and recognised in this list of women in cycling.

“When we set up our bike bus, I was so passionate to encourage other women on the school run to feel able to join in the cycling community.

“Lots of that is gentle encouragement, celebrating their achievements, pointing them in the direction of practical advice and more than anything, just turning up every day on my bike as a very ordinary, non-sporty, busy mum of two children.

“I also want girls and young women to see cycling as an option for them too- to see they deserve to feel they have the right to choose to cycling and deserve to feel safe on the roads.

“The cycling infrastructure in Worcester isn’t good enough- there aren’t enough safe ways to cycle around the city, and that needs to change.”

Georgina hadn’t been on a bike since her early teens when she signed up to a local 25-mile cycle event in 2019. She became hooked and set up the Cycle Sistas group, organising a range of women’s cycle rides.

Her positive outlook, support and passionate enthusiasm for cycling has encouraged women of all abilities enjoy the benefits of cycling together.

Georgina said: “These rides are aimed at new/returning cyclists who want a relaxed, fun and informal group, it’s a great way to meet like-minded women, get outdoors and get active.”

“To be given this award means the world to me. Cycling has become a huge part of my life now and hopefully this will also create more awareness for the group and encourage more women to join us on rides.

“We honestly have so much fun and always finish the ride absolutely buzzing and smiling from ear to ear!’

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said: “A great way to encourage more women to cycle is to share the stories of these amazing women – whether they’re chronicling their adventures on social media, advocating for better infrastructure in their neighbourhoods, inspiring their communities to join them for a ride or winning medals around the world.

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