Bike challenge seeks women riders

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The organisers of the KM Big Bike Ride hope to use this year’s event to encourage more women to take up cycling.

Britain has experienced something of a cycling boom over recent years – with stunning success in the Olympics and the iconic road races such as the Tour de France transferring to a surge in the number of people cycling for pleasure and leisure.

But participation remains low among women: according to the Department for Transport, women account for only 21 per cent of cycling miles in this country.

And that is despite the existence of strong role models such as British Olympians Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton and Nicole Cook.

So to encourage more women to give cycling a go, a special discount has been made available to boost female participation in this year’s KM Big Bike Ride.

Any woman who books using the code ThisGirlCan will get £5 off the cost of entry.

Event organiser Hannah Hawksworth said: “With obesity and its related side effects affecting an increasing number of people across society, it’s really important that everybody tries to lead more active lifestyles.

“All too often, however, women are put off from doing exercise because of a lack of confidence.

“But besides being great exercise, cycling is such an easy and stress-free activity. You don’t have to be a young – or not so young – man to enjoy it.

“And if you’re feeling guilty about not spending more time with your children, it’s a really excellent family activity, too.

“So, here at the KM Charity Team we’re really keen to see more women sign up for the KM Big Ride, and all women who do sign up will be eligible for a £5 discount.”

Sponsored by Vattenfall, Herbert’s Cycles, Benenden Hospital Trust, the Co-op and SE Medical, the KM Big Bike Ride takes place on Sunday April 28

Riders can take part just for fun, or to raise money for their favourite good causes.

Any individual raising £200 or more for charity will go into a draw to win a pair of Eurostar tickets.

There is a choice between a 50km route designed with leisure riders in mind, and a more challenging 100km course ‑ with both heading out from Betteshanger Country Park near Deal.

There will be electronic chip timing, mid-ride refreshments for all riders, hot and cold food and drink available for purchase at the venue, and each participant will have a sportive photograph taken during the event.

70 per cent of sponsorship money will go to the participants’ chosen charities, with the rest helping to fund the KMY Charity Team’s child road safety work in Kent.

Due to insurance criteria, the ride is not open to anyone under the age of 12. And riders aged 12-17 must have a parental consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian and be accompanied by a responsible adult.

See kmbigbikeride.co.uk.

And watch a video about last year’s event here:

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