Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand joins cycle group for ride
A popular cycle group was joined by a double Olympic gold medallist..
Joanna Rowsell Shand joined Newport's Breeze group to hear for herself what British Cycling’s women’s cycling programme has meant to them.
The all-female group is part of a national push to get one million more women on their bikes by 2020.
British Cycling invited Breeze groups nationally to say why Joanna should take part in one of their rides. The Newport Breeze team found out that they had been successful earlier this month and on Saturday the Olympian joined a ride through the local countryside, taking in refreshments at the Red Lion Ice Cream Farm in Haughton.
“The amazing women on the Great British Cycling team are an inspiration to all of us,” a spokeswoman for the group said.
“We told British Cycling that we’d love to have Joanna join us. We wanted to show her the results of that inspiration by introducing her to women whose lives have been changed by cycling.
“It meant a huge amount that Joanna wanted to cycle with us. None of us ever thought we would be riding with an Olympian. She said that she had chosen our ride because she wanted to hear more about our cycling journeys. We were very excited to meet her and delighted to show her one of our favourite routes.”
Riding with Joanna in Newport was a woman who said that the friendship and encouragement she had found through Breeze rides had helped her cope with the death of her partner. Another said she had turned to cycling to combat depression, beginning with a Breeze ride and going on to ride across Britain. Joanna talked to a Breeze Champion who cycled throughout treatment for cancer and a rider who overcame overwhelming fear of riding on the roads to tackle her first sportive.
The ride last weekend was filmed by British Cycling, which also recorded interviews with some of the riders.
Breeze rides from Newport take place throughout the year and are free, friendly and non-competitive.
Information about upcoming rides can be found at letsride.co.uk/breeze