A WOMEN’S cycling group has teamed up with a charity to boot out breast cancer, with a cycling event at Goodwood.
The women’s only cycling event will raise money for Boot Out Breast Cancer, and was set up by Biking Belles founder Val Harper.
The Chichester-based cycling enthusiast wanted to start an event which would get more women into cycling, for a good cause.
“About 12 months ago, I thought of the idea for the Biking Belles Grand Prix which I felt was the next step forward for the club,” said Val.
“I contacted British Cycling to see if they would be interested in supporting the event and I’m pleased to say they were very keen.
“The reason behind the grand prix event is to take that original aim of the Biking Belles club further by reaching out to more women in the area.
“The aim is to introduce more women to cycling, to improve their fitness, their confidence and their wellbeing. This is the theme of the grand prix.
“By hiring the Goodwood Motor Circuit, which is a fabulous venue, we can reach out to more local women especially those who haven’t cycled for some time or indeed have just started to cycle. Representatives from the Breeze network will be there to help and offer advice if needed. Breeze is the women’s section of British Cycling.
“We want to make this an important women’s cycling event and an important fundraising event for women’s charities.”
Now she is gearing up for the Biking Belles Grand Prix at Goodwood Motor Circuit on Sunday, August 31, in the hope it will become an annual event. There will be three sportives from 8am, with cyclists departing to complete their chosen route around the area.
From 10am until 1pm, the circuit opens to women over 18 to ride around at their leisure, and it’s a perfect opportunity for beginners to have a go at cycling in a safe environment.
At 2pm, the elite women’s races begin, and the first race is named after Biking Belles’ patron – the Lady March Grand Prix race.
The event is open to the general public and all are welcome, however only women over 18 will be able to enter the various cycling events.
There will be plenty of stalls, with vintage goodies, chocolate and nail-painting. A raffle will also raise funds for Boot Out Breast Cancer.
“Throughout July we have been chosen by the Chichester branch of Waitrose as one of its Community Matters, its way of helping the local community, and we are thrilled to have been chosen,” said Val.
For more on the event and how to get involved, visit www.bikingbelles.co.uk
See next week’s Observer for a competition to win a Biking Belles goodie bag with everything a cyclist needs (August 14).