Meet, Mingle and learn to cycle

Published: 26 April 2019

Members of a women’s networking group are set to get back in the saddle and learn – or refresh – their cycle skills during a 13 week course over the summer.

The women of Meet and Mingle will get expert tuition from tutors who can guide cyclists through the different stages of learning to ride a bicycle.

Meet and Mingle was founded by Aksa Marshal in 2013 to help the women of Slough who feel lonely, isolated, depressed or stressed. It now has six groups running in the town and almost 400 members.

The group helps to empower women, support them through difficult stages of life and encourage them in wholesome living whilst building lifelong friendships and having fun.

As part of its programme, and in partnership with Slough Borough Council’s sustainable transport team Better by, members will meet up at Salt Hill Park every Thursday between 10.30am and 12.30pm from May 2 until July 25.

Participants on the course, with tutors from Cycle Experience, will be able to take their own two wheels, use a Cycle Experience bike or hire a bike from Slough Cycle Hire.

Misha Byrne, Access Fund project manager, said it is the second year the Better by team has been able to run the course exclusively for the Meet and Mingle members.

She said: “This is a perfect opportunity for women of the Meet and Mingle groups to learn a new skill or perfect which may have been forgotten.

“Maybe some will gain the confidence and skills needed to swap the car for a bike on more journeys around Slough.

“Meet and Mingle members could take part in some longer, led rides after the lessons so they can put their newly acquired skills to the test.”

Aksa Marshal said: “The cycling was greatly enjoyed last summer as it was a new experience for so many ladies and those who used to ride in their childhood or college time, which was 40 to 50 years ago, but didn’t get the opportunity in their married lives.

“The experience got them out in the fresh air and socialise, which made them happy, healthy and learn new skills, besides building their confidence, self- esteem and friendships.

“I feel very proud in saying that some go out on their bikes on a regular basis now, some have bought their own bikes and encourage others to join them too.

“They are using cycling as their transportation, especially in the spring and summer time to get fresh air and good health.”