New Forest Off Road Club
The New Forest Off Road Club has a mission to create community and confidence on two wheels. Driven by principles (and pedals), anyone can participate in accessible group rides in the stunning scenery of the New Forest. Inclusive, accessible, diverse and community-led, members come for the riding and stay for the activism.
The club also believes that every ride is made better by a pitstop, and that there must be a 30:70 ratio of filling to batter for all filled doughnuts 🍩
Please tell us a bit more about the New Forest Off Road Club.
We host inclusive and accessible off-road group rides of varying speed and distance from our beautiful New Forest base. A group of 10 ride leaders all with rich life history and progressive attitudes facilitate our weekly bike rides. We have women who have never ridden a bike, to folks who are training for endurance races join us in the forest.
How many women take part in your sports group?
100 people have attended 21 rides since we established the group in October 2020. Our rides are led by a core hub of FTWN-B folk.
The last few months have been difficult for sport. Have you managed to stay in touch digitally through the lockdowns?
We have monthly digital catch-ups with our ride leaders and monthly IRL catch-ups. Throughout lockdown, we continued to foster a strong community of women who love to ride!
What has your group's greatest success been to date?
On the 23rd of May, we held 5 consecutive group rides with a combined distance of 100 miles. We had over 40 women come out and ride with us. It was an amazing atmosphere.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Mechanics. Folks not knowing how to change a puncture is a big blocker. They don't come out on rides as a result of not knowing what to do if they need to get home again. If we were able to teach a basic puncture fix session every week and at the start of every group ride, we would have so many more women join us. I wish bike shops ran free mechanic classes for women. That would be amazing.
What are your goals and ambitions for your sports group?
We want to set the blueprint for the most inclusive, accessible, diverse and community-led group rides, and to support others in starting their own bike communities at a local level.
We want to link into a network of community-led cycling groups that work together to create a new normal for non-competitive group rides.
If you could summarise your women's sports group in a phrase, what would it be?
Shredding the patriarchy.
Tell us your group's favourite motto or quote 🔥
"We're out here"
Who in women's sports inspires you?
Shuhena. She is a lawyer, a cyclist, inclusive, funny, thoughtful and an all-round boss bitch. We love her.
Evie Richards. Mega strong, has thighs of steel, can climb up just about any hill of any gradient. She’s incredibly honest and down-to-earth in the way she shares her story, and she has an all-round positive vibe!
Brooklyn Bell. An amazing mountain bike rider and all-round shredder. She spends her summers enduro racing, we’d love to show Brooklyn the forest.
Vera Ngosi-Sambrook. A cyclist and engineer and currently shredding the pan celtic race. Total legend.
Ayesha McGowan. The first black female professional cyclist and a massive advocate and activist in improving diversity and inclusivity in cycling. She’s incredibly pow.
How will the Boudavida donation help you?
We would like to buy some demo saddles so women who join our rides can try saddles that will get them out riding for longer. We would also like to invest in tool kits for our ride leaders to carry.
Find out more about The New Forest Off Road Club:
Facebook: The New Forest Off Road Club