Belles on Bikes are cycling to success

The Belles on Bikes from Cumbernauld and Falkirk receive their well deserved medals at the end of their 40-mile cycle through the Forth Valley. Pic: Andy Catlin
The Belles on Bikes from Cumbernauld and Falkirk receive their well deserved medals at the end of their 40-mile cycle through the Forth Valley. Pic: Andy Catlin

Around 50 women took part in the Belles Big Ride, a 40-mile social bike ride organised by volunteers from the Cumbernauld and Falkirk groups of the Belles on Bikes network.

The ride, a picturesque loop through the Forth Valley, welcomed women of differing abilities and ages – with the youngest participant in her 20s and the oldest in her 70s.

The ride was organised as part of the UK-wide Women’s Festival of Cycling run by national charity Cycling UK to encourage and inspire women to cycle.

The ride started from Helix Park in Falkirk where Recyke-a-bike was on hand to provide free pre-ride bike checks and ongoing maintenance support throughout the ride.

The event was also supported by Falkirk and Stirling Active Travel Hubs, Love to Ride and the Cycling Scientist.

Each group of riders was supported by volunteer ride leaders from Belles on Bikes.

Belles on Bikes is a network of women’s cycling groups in Scotland developed and supported by Cycling UK. The groups are run by volunteers who support other women to get cycling in a supportive, inclusive and friendly environment.

The cyclists followed a planned route passing Plane Castle to reach Stirling for a lunch break at The Peak. The route then took them over the River Forth and past the Alloa Tower to Clackmannan.

Following that was a highlight of the day – fantastic views on the road back down to the River Forth.

The ride ended with a celebration at the Great Lawn in the Helix Park with each woman presented with a unique medal made from recycled bicycle parts and materials.

Morag Prach from Belles on Bikes Cumbernauld said: “The task of organising a big event seemed at times daunting, but we worked as a team supporting each other.

“Although stressful, I think our passion on the day shone through to create a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I applaud the fabulous women I had the honour to work with.”