A new women’s only, Breeze Mountain Bike Hub has been established at Coed Y Brenin, Gwynedd

Tuesday August 2nd, 2016

Breeze heads for the Mountains in North Wales!

A new women’s only, Breeze Mountain Bike Hub has been established at Coed Y Brenin, Gwynedd, in conjunction with Beics Brenin, The Outdoor Partnership and National Resources Wales.

After 6 months of careful negotiations, planning and training, 8 local women have successfully qualified as L1 Mountain Bike Leaders and Breeze Champions. These women are now able to offer women only, mountain bike rides, on pre-accredited blue routes at Coed Y Brenin, as part of the expanding Breeze programme in North Wales.

Saturday 25th June saw the inaugural L1 Breeze mountain bike ride, which was run in conjunction with Ladies only mountain bike coaching day. 9 ladies headed off to explore the Minotaur in the afternoon, after enjoying a morning of mountain bike coaching at Coed Y Brenin.

Gaynor Davis (Women’s and Girls Cycling Development Officer for Welsh Cycling) commented “We are really excited about this new Hub and I am delighted to be one of the women mountain bike leaders. In North Wales, it is difficult to find safe off road cycling routes, so I undertook a 6 month project to develop other cycling opportunities in this area. Mountain biking is key to North Wales, due to the mountain terrain, it was also clear to me that many beginner women would not venture to a mountain biking centre alone!”

Gaynor added “We have worked extremely hard with our partners, Beics Brenin and The Outdoor Partnership to make this project successful. Beics Brenin have been extremely supportive, with Shop Manager, Steve Beech undertaking all the necessary paperwork for the British Cycling L1 centre accreditation. Beics Brenin are also covering the insurance aspects for our leaders and are keen to help more women to enjoy riding the trails. We also were very fortunate to have funding support from The Outdoor Partnership, without this, it is unlikely we would have been able to train these leaders”.

Talking to Steve Beech at Beics Brenin, he commented “It has been a pleasure to work with Gaynor from Welsh Cycling on this hub development and we are delighted to have women only rides running from this centre. Riding the trails here is not only for experienced riders, the centre has so much more to offer with The Minotaur and Yr Afon routes, which are suitable for all abilities. We are hoping we can add to the accredited routes later this year, with part of the legendary Sarn Helen route and a longer route heading off around Moel Hafod Owen, which offers spectacular view of Snowdonia”.

Beics Brenin at Coed Y Brenin, is the first dedicated Trail Centre to be awarded with the British Cycling L1 mountain bike accreditation. This award, in the past, has only been suitable for outdoor education centres but with a few modifications and paperwork processes, the centre passed the accreditation in June.

The Outdoor Partnership, based at Plas Y Brenin in North Wales have been a key supporter of the Breeze Project since 2015. Currently Breeze Champions who train in North Wales, can access reduced price First Aid training, with course being run just for Breeze. When the mountain bike project was in its early stages, The Outdoor Partnership were keen to be involved and offered to part fund the women only training places/accreditation process. This meant women could access the course at a minimal fee with Welsh Cycling match funding the remainder and also providing the leaders with well stocked kit bags! Marian Lloyd Roberts (Outdoor Partnership) commented “When we were approached by Gaynor from Welsh Cycling back in December 2015 – it was clear to see that there was a real passion for developing this Women’s Hub and we were extremely delighted to be included as a partner. This will give so many opportunities for women to get involved in social cycling, whilst enjoying the natural beauty of this area”