“We ride, then we have tea and cake, and it’s all free!”
After a well attended 2017 season, Hope is putting on another series of Hopetech Women female-only evening rides and events. Here’s what they’re all about.
2018 Hopetech Women Rides
- 13 February: Gisburn Forest
- 7 April: Builth Wells
- 10 April: Gisburn Forest
- 26 May: Wantage, Oxford
- 12 June: Gisburn Forest
- 30 June: Minehead, Exmoor
- 14 August: Gisburn Forest
- 1 September: Hope Valley, Peak District
- 14 October: Hopetech Women Enduro, Gisburn Forest
- Hopetech Women website
The rides are still completely free of charge, but this year Hope are asking you to reserve your spot via Eventbrite.
What’s it all about?
Guided rides around some of the UK’s best riding spots, from Gisburn Forest to the Surrey Hills and everything in-between; Hope lights loaned out to anyone without; friendly coaching from a former downhill World Cup winner; and free tea and cake at the end. It sounds too good to be true but it’s really happening, courtesy of engineering firm Hope Technology.
Hope is putting on a series of women-only evening rides, usually around Gisburn Forest, but stretching down to various locations like the Forest of Dean, and others over the summer months. The idea is to remove all the barriers that stop women riding, like lack of confidence or crappy kit, says brand ambassador Rachael Walker, who runs the programme.
Are Hope’s women-only rides closing the gender gap?
“When we started I just wanted more women to ride with,” Rachael says. “Then we tried to get more women into riding, which is great. We don’t have an agenda; there are no women-specific products.”
It’s successful too, Rachael says: “We were going to stop them over the winter, so I could have a bit of a break. But people kept on coming along and signing up, so we just couldn’t.”
Any success stories?
Plenty, says Rachael: “One lady in particular; she came along on one of the rides having never done any exercise in her life. Two rides later she bought a bike, and now she’s totally hooked on riding. It’s cool seeing people gain knowledge and really get into it.”
Any other acts of kindness?
“We’re starting workshop days at Gisburn and the idea behind it is to teach women about their bikes.” The programme they are planning will run something like this: three hours teaching, some basic repairs, lunch, and then some skills training and a ride.