We are so excited to announce that Hornbeam JoyRiders Women’s Cycle Club have been awarded Club of the Year by London Sports!
Well done to Carolyn Axtell and all the volunteers and members of the group! You’re amazing.
The following training is available free of charge for those who want to be a member of the Hornbeam volunteering team – but book your place ASAP!
1. First Aid Training adapted for cyclists: 20/3, 17/4, 16/5 (9.30-16.30)
2. Ride Leader training: 29/3, 27/4 (9.30-17.00)
3. Basic Bike Maintenance: 23/3, 2/5 (9.30-17.00)
4. Further Bike Maintenance: 5/4 (9.30-17.00)
5. Marketing and communications: 22/3, 15/4 (9.30-16.00)
Please send an email to email@example.com with ‘Volunteer’ in the subject line.
Find out about more volunteer opportunities
Hornbeam JoyRiders basked in the media spotlight today, being featured on BBC London News (go to 4 mins 40 secs), ITV London News, and BBC Radio News (go to 1 min 25 secs) as a shining example of one of the 30 local community projects across the capital Transport for London supports through the TfL Cycling Grants London. We were also covered by local media.
Hornbeam JoyRiders has been running since Jan 2017 and has had around 250 participants take part in rides around Waltham Forest (including family bike rides with dads and children), particularly off-road in some of the borough’s most beautiful natural areas. The TfL funding has enabled us to reach out to women and their families in Waltham Forest to help them gain confidence cycling, learn from scratch or brush up their skills and enjoy cycling with a supportive group.
We’ve also recruited and trained 20 Ride Leaders, four women have become instructors and at least at least 50 have been inspired to buy their own bikes. Anyone who doesn’t have access to a bike can hire one of Waltham Forest’s bikes for free on rides and ride with us, including more stable three-wheeler electric-assisted bikes, cargo bikes for carrying children, and specialist bikes for disabled passengers.
TfL is committed to increasing the number of women and diverse groups that cycle, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and people with disabilities. Hornbeam JoyRiders has reached out to Muslim women in particular, but women from all backgrounds are welcome.
Cycling Grants London funding particularly helps groups that are traditionally under-represented among those choosing the healthy and sustainable way of travelling. By breaking down the barriers to cycling and making it safer, TfL aims to diversify cycling and make it accessible to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
The other winning projects stretch across London and range from schemes that train young people in bike maintenance, a project that encourages women working in hospitals to cycle, training for young offenders to become bike mechanics, cycling groups for disabled and homeless people and a cycle training and maintenance project for the Hindu Bengali community.
Carolyn Axtell, Hornbeam JoyRiders Founder and Project Lead explained the backround of the project to the TV crews on a ride today at Jubilee Park, Leyton: “Hornbeam JoyRiders aims to empower women through introducing them to the joys of cycling, which can also help to build their confidence in other areas of life.
“I started taking my three kids to school by bike about three years ago and we found that it liberated us as a family. The school run became a pleasure rather than a stressful experience.
“Two years ago I discovered that at least 90 per cent of the other local mums would love to cycle but hadn’t had the opportunity, or had barriers preventing them, such as lack of confidence and not knowing how to cycle. This is why I started organising informal, social bikes rides once a month for women during school hours, and once a month for families and women-only group training for those who couldn’t cycle.
“The Cycling Grants London funding has enabled me to build a strong, ever-expanding network of participants and volunteers, as previously we didn’t have enough Volunteer Ride Leaders to accommodate all of the demand.”
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner who came to join the JoyRiders today was definitely impressed by our project and explained how he feels projects like these are essential to help broaden the appeal and benefits of cycling: “By giving Londoners of all abilities, ages and backgrounds the confidence to cycle, we can improve their health and quality of life, as well as reducing toxic air pollution, which improves our city for everyone.”
TfL offers free Cycle Skills training to give people of all abilities the chance to improve their confidence on the capital’s roads.
To book free cycle skills training please use this link:You can request Carolyn Axtell by name by clicking the ‘training preferences’ box and stating you preference.For more information about Hornbeam JoyRiders follow them on Facebook:
Through our work with other local initiatives such as Cycle Sisters and Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy’s FECycle Club, we have developed a network of over 80 female cyclists since Spring 2017, most of whom were new to to cycling and are now passionate about cycling!
“Being part of JoyRiders has opened up a large social circle for me, within a community that I would have not otherwise had the opportunity to engage with. It’s benefitted my daughter in her friendships at school, that I’ve been able to understand the culture of their families and engage with their parents. I have meet so many amazing women, that I wouldn’t have been confident to speak with before and I’m grateful to be truly part of the diverse community of Waltham Forest.”
Camilla, volunteer Ride Leader
What we’ve achieved:
We work closely with the award winning Cycle Sisters Muslim women’s cycle group, which rides every Wednesday in term time, usually from Waltham Forest Town Hall. We have supported Cycle Sisters by organising Ride Leader training for some of their regular participants who now regularly lead rides.
We helped to develop Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy’s FECycle Club, which organises regular rides for Muslim parents and families. FECA is a Walthamstow based Islamic Supplementary school.
Waltham Forest Council provides bikes for our cycle training and led rides and through its Cycle Training budget (funding Cycle Skills, Ride Leader and National Standards Instructor an First Aid training) Cycle Confident is our training provider. Training Ride Leaders and Cycling Instructors who are embedded in local communities enables us to reach and recruit people who wouldn’t normally consider cycling or cycle training.
We have teamed up with Carry Me Bikes and Hackney Family Cycling Library, the family cycling experts, who are running outreach sessions in Waltham Forest, loaning out equipment such as trailers, tagalongs and child bike seats and giving advice about how to cycle with young children. They also have some subsidised cargobike loans. Next sessions: Sunday 1st July in Leyton Jubilee Park, Wednesday 25 July in Lloyds Park.
How you can get involved:
“ When the opportunity came to join a ride in August 2017 with Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy, where I am a teacher, I was really excited and put my name down not knowing what to expect. I had not ridden a bike since I was a child.
“I met Carolyn for the first time at the practice session who recruited a volunteer and a cycle confident instructor to help. I was surprised that as soon as I got on the bike I could ride straight away, by the end of two hours I was riding confidently and so were the other ladies. Everyone was so nice and supportive very patient and extremely kind. We all felt felt confident and entered the family bike ride organised by Hornbeam.
On the actual day it was very sunny and there were fifty of us to ride a short and long route. I had opted for the short route. There was a great atmosphere and I felt really happy and excited to be there. Carolyn’s whole family were there and some volunteers to support us during the bike ride. It was nice to see colleagues, parents and children from the school and my son had come too.
“We all started the ride together it felt really fantastic to be part of a team and a great form of encouragement. We rode through places I had never seen before or knew existed in Waltham Forest. There was lovely greenery and a river, I saw horses and people canoeing. As a driver I could see the cyclists point of view now and it felt good. People were really patient as they waited for us to pass and very friendly. I had chosen to ride the short route but my own enthusiasm and the whole atmosphere convinced me to take the long route. We ended up in the park for a lovely picnic. I felt really relaxed and felt great satisfaction that I had cycled this far. I really did not want this day to end, it was perfect. I felt free and joyous on the bike and it brought back good childhood memories.
“I had such a wonderful time and am so happy that I was given this opportunity and took it. I would say to anyone especially women that you can do it too. If you get the chance just try it. I feel really lucky and it has been a great inspiration to myself as a person. I will now continue to ride whenever the opportunity arises. I would like to say a big thank you to Hornbeam and to FEC Academy for making one of my wishes come true. “
Shenaz, who now rides regularly with Cycle Sisters and JoyRiders and has completed her level 2 (on road) cycle skills training. She hopes to get her own bike next.
100 Women in Cycling
We will be celebrating female cycling by profiling the many women riders and supporters of cycling, both within and outside of Cycling UK. The 100 Women in Cycling will be women who inspire others to take up the activity but who may not be well-known by the world at large.