Women invited to join Big Breeze Bike Ride in Hull's East Park
WOMEN are being invited to take to two wheels at a huge cycling event in Hull.
Tomorrow, women from across the city will descend on East Park to enjoy a traffic-free route and join in family activities.
Big Breeze Bike Ride will aim to clock up 2,012 laps to mark the sporting year.
And if anyone knows about taking up biking, after leaving cycles in her childhood, it is Sam Geall.
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Sam was a self-confessed "bike-a-phobe" up until last year.
She said: "I turned 40 in October and started a university course.
"I don't drive and needed to get between home, work and university. It was almost impossible.
"I bought myself a bike and ended up pushing it until I found a cycle path.
"When I first got on it, my legs were shaking and I was really nervous."
At first, Sam refused to ride on roads and was a very nervous cyclist.
When she did finally progress to cycling alongside traffic, she would try to plan routes with no right turns or roundabouts – a difficult feat for someone who lives in Bransholme, works in Holderness Road and studies in Cottingham Road.
But now Sam is a confident cyclist who would urge anyone to take up the sport.
She said: "Cycling had never occurred to me as a mode of transport before. But often it can be a lot quicker than the bus.
"Now I've built up my confidence, I don't give it a second thought.
"I go on bike rides with friends and cycle out for lunch.
"I'm very girly, though. I have a lovely wicket basket on the front and I hate wearing all that proper cycling gear.
"I'll wear the high-vis stuff though. You can't be invisible to motorists."
Sam is one of dozens of women expected to descend on East Park tomorrow.
From 10am to 2pm there will be family activities, and cycling circuits.
Events include giant games, spinning bikes from Woodford Leisure Centre, Nordic walking, picnic areas, a pamper zone, bike maintenance demonstrations and cycling confidence training.
Breeze ambassador Reka Pataky, 38, of west Hull, will be attending.
The mother-of-two is battling bowel cancer and is preparing her own monster biking challenge – The Ride – where she will take in the five capital cities of the UK and Ireland in July.
She said: "Events like these are a really lovely opportunity to get out and enjoy the social side of cycling. It is really enjoyable and a form of exercise at the same time.
"Hopefully, this will give women the confidence to take up cycling."
• The Big Breeze Bike Ride runs from 10am-2pm on Sunday in East Park, Holderness Road, east Hull.