It feels like I haven’t done an update about Breeze and my journey to becoming a champion for Breeze for quite a while now. The last thing I did was my first aid course, which was back in May. Things have just been super busy recently, but I have finally got around to planning my very first cycle ride as a Breeze champion.
A couple of weeks ago my Breeze area coordinator got in touch and we met up to go through all things Breeze. It was good to ask her questions and go through various different points about planning my ride, and refreshing my memory after my ride leader course.
I am very much a beginner when it comes to cycling, but I do really enjoy it. Especially at this time of year, it is so much nicer to get out on my bike than have to head to the gym. So the ride I thought would work well for my first one would be quite an easygoing and relatively short ride. I know from looking at the Breeze website that there doesn’t tend to be too many shorter rides (around where I am anyway). So if there are other people looking that, like me, don’t have several hours spare for a ride out, then I thought it would work well. I have chosen a ride out in Epsom, starting at the racecourse, for a steady ride. Some of it will be traffic free, as I wanted to aim it at beginners, and even for women that wanted to bring younger children with them.
But what else needs to be done once the route has been chosen?
Reece of the Route
I had this area in mind when I was thinking of the route that I wanted to plan, but I had to go and try it out for myself. I needed to check the overall distance, and what would be the best places to ride. I had an idea in my head from the places that I’ve been walking in the area, so just had to trail it out. It was a good idea to know how long it might take too – I learnt on my course that no one wants to get the time wrong and be out for longer than advertised. So having a practice, and surveying the area, so to speak, was really good. It gave me some confidence into the area I would leading others and looking for potential dangers. Which brings me on to the next point…
Route Risk Assessment
As with most things these days, especially those where you are in charge of others, there needs to be a risk assessment. This was touched on in the ride leader course, and how important having a risk assessment is. So when I was out riding the route, I made a mental note of some potential hazards and things to look out for. I then came back and planned out my route using mapmyride.com, and then started on my risk assessment. I found that the Breeze website was really useful. Every register champion has a section on the site, and there are risk assessment templates that you can use, as well as other documents.
The risk assessment itself was pretty straightforward, but was good to go through everything in detail. It makes you look at things differently, for sure.
Advertising the Ride
Next is the important step of advertising the ride. It can all be very well risk assessing and find a route, but if no one turns up, then it will be a bit disappointing (not to mention I won’t get my jersey)! 😉
So my ride is listed on the website, ready for people to sign up. I have also used Twitter as a way to advertise, and will get started with Facebook groups too. My area coordinator let me know about some Surrey Breeze Facebook groups that I am now a member of. So fingers crossed we’ll get some interested parties. Perhaps the local press could be a good route to go down too?
Would love to hear if you’ve ever been on a Breeze cycle ride? Will let you know how my first ride goes in due course! Wish me luck…
My other post on the journey to becoming a Breeze Champion:
*written as part of my ambassadorship with British Cycling & Breeze.