Woman in red jacket and cycle helmet.


January's Belle is Sam, who bought her first bike during lockdown.

Hi, my name is Samantha Hunter.

I got interested in cycling around July last year. 

I was part of a running group for a couple of years but two knee operations in 16 months rendered me useless for running. 

My surgeon suggested cycling but unfortunately, I couldn’t ride a bike nor did I have one.

I bit the bullet in July 2020 and bought my first bike in lockdown. 

I signed up for bikeability lessons where I did level 2 and 3 over three lessons. I took myself off to the Spen Valley Greenway every week on my own to practise and get more confidence.

I found the Bingley Belles by researching for weeks, where I could join something to improve my cycling but not a group that was too serious. I came across the Bingley Belles and it sounded exactly what I needed.

I went along for a beginner’s group ride and I knew straight away it would be great for me as they were such a friendly bunch of girls.

Being a member of Bingley Belles has kept me sane and interested in my newfound hobby.

Unfortunately, I only got to two group rides before lockdowns but have managed at least 10 one-to-one buddy rides with various people.

My favourite ride is a bit of allsorts but because I’m still in knee rehab I haven’t been able to push myself as much as I want to but that’s my goal. 

I want to work on distance and hill training in the hope of a cycling challenge later this year.

A ride I would like to share with new members is a buddy ride I did with Judy. 

We started in Saltaire and cycled along the canal towards Leeds and back. 

It was perfect, a gentle flat ride to gain confidence, whilst being able to chat as we cycled along. 

There were lots of people on the towpath so quite a bit of navigating was required!

Sam's favourite ride

Heron on towpath.

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