The inaugural CAMS-Tifosi women’s social ride
CAMS-Tifosi Women’s Pro Cycling team couldn’t have picked a better time to launch their inaugural women’s only social ride. After all, despite the raging pandemic, what a year it has been for cycling!
As the world went into lockdown in late March, taking up a new hobby wasn’t on top of many people’s agenda. However, as days turned into weeks, weeks turned to months, with many on furlough, cycling quickly became one of the most keenly pursued hobbies. Just in April, igures from the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) showed applications to buy bikes via finance hit an all-time high of £60 million.
With more women than ever also taking up cycling, it was no surprise that hundred strong women turned up at Cafe Belge in Beachampton on Saturday, 19 September. From Buckinghamshire, and further afield, solo or in groups, women of all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels came together at the start line, with the option to ride 20 or 40 miles alongside the CAMS-Tifosi riders.
The organisers had gone to great lengths to put Covid-19 safety measures in place, following strict government and British Cycling Guidelines, With social distancing, use of masks at the start line and indoors, hand sanitisers around the venue.
All participants were asked to submit their track and trace forms and have their temperatures taken before the ride. Proof that, with the right measures in place, and following the guidelines, it is possible to pull off a sporting event where everyone feels safe and cared for.
In good ole Blighty, weather is the one thing no event organiser has any control over, but fortunately, it was bright sunshine, blue skies and a bit of a cooling breeze making for the perfect cycling weather.
The participants set out in groups of five or six on an undulating, scenic 40 mile route through the Buckinghamshire and Aylesbury countryside, with a few short, sharp hills thrown in to give the legs a good workout and get the heart rate going.
Once back at camp, nibbles and drinks were the order of the day. Once everyone had the chance to cool down and catch their breath, it was time for a Q&A with the CAMS-Tifosi team led by former racer and Eurosport presenter Rebecca Charlton.
Questions shared on social media in the run up to the event and others from Rebecca were those most commonly asked on women’s cycling forums – tips to build endurance, tackle hills, manage menstruation, and of course avoid those dreaded saddle sores. What followed was an hour of some great girl talk on all thing cycling!
Bikes weren’t all though – there was also the chance to shop for team cycling kits and other cycling accessories as well as the opportunity to donate to World Bicycle Relief, an amazing charity that will change the lives of females around the world through the power of bicycles.
Team principal Simon Howes said: “We are so happy with the way the entire day went. Everyone loved it and the feedback we got was all amazingly positive.
“This year has been tough for so many people and this social ride was a chance for our professional CAMS-Tifosi team riders to not only connect directly with the team fans but also for them to share some of the huge knowledge they have of cycling and racing.”
With a respectable miles on the saddle clocked up, a good day for all out in the sun, getting fresh air and making new friends to share our hobby with. Funnily, the same reasons most of us went into cycling in the first place…
It was great to hear that this is just the first of women’s events the organisers are planning. If this first event is anything to go by, I will be first in line to sign up to the next one.
You can still find out more about and donate World Cycling Relief here.