At Bikeworks our vision is, “everyone, everywhere has access to cycling”. To achieve this we rely on a fantastic network of great people and partners.
We’re using the month of March to highlight women who challenge our expectations of who can cycle, and as a platform for inspiring others to create the change they want to see.
Sarah Javaid is a shining example, as founder of the award-winning Cycle Sisters established back in 2016 as a Muslim women’s community cycle group in Waltham Forest.
Sarah, identified the need for Muslim women’s cycle groups that offer supportive, inclusive and sociable rides, and this has fast become a network of connected women using cycling as a tool for good, supporting Muslim women to cycle.
We asked Area Coordinator, Sab Miah (pictured below) “what does inclusive cycling mean to you?”
Like Bikeworks, we believe cycling is for everyone.
We have a fantastic community of Muslim Women cyclists across London who enjoy our free weekly led rides.
Our rides enable women to experience cycling in a supportive and encouraging environment.
All our led rides put the needs of Muslin Women at the heart of the experience. For example, we stop at local halal cafes, work around prayer times, operate at times suitable for mums. We are also a welcoming space that includes all women too. Quite often this is the first time Women have been able to feel that cycling is for them.
What’s your vision for inclusive cycling?
Our ethos at Cycle Sisters is to use cycling to create new friendships and stronger, more supportive communities, who ultimately are happier and healthier.
We want to encourage the sustainable take up of cycling and in the most inclusive way possible. Demonstrating to Muslim Women that they can be part of this community, it’s not just men clad in lycra.
By supporting our more experienced riders to become ride leaders, they become exemplary role models – they are the real stars of the show! Encouraging new sisters to cycle. By talking about their own experiences, Women become inspired and aspire to cycle more.
Can we tell everyone about our new partnership?
Oh yes! Now is a great time to talk about our new Somali Cycle Sisters Project We’re leading on in partnership with Bikeworks, the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group and Tower Hamlets Council.
Our new project will engage our Somali sisters by minimising as many barriers as possible. Supported by our Somali speaking Cycle Champion, Shankaron, who will be doing lots of outreach in the community.
Shankaron will be facilitating a Cycle Sisters WhatsApp group, so she can organise and coordinate free Bikeability lessons delivered by Bikeworks’ female cycle instructors from the hub in Victoria Park.
Thanks to funding from the Tower Hamlets GP Care Group and Tower Hamlets Council.
If you’d like to know more about the Somali Cycle Sisters Project head to our webpage.