The Yorkshire Lasses Cycling Club epitomises ladies that like to cycle, socialise and have some fun on two wheels. The club was set up by Kate Horsfall and Judith Worrall, two good friends who wanted a club just for women, run by women to encourage ladies to get out on their bikes have fun, get fit, meet new friends, all with a bit of cake indulgence thrown in!
We are not super fit athletes, chasing stats and trying to keep up with each other.
The club was set up in March 2015 with the support of Tony Booth and All Terrain Cycles Wetherby, and within a few months already had 60 members signed up. This was way above any expectations that Kate and Judith originally had, and once again highlighted just how many women are getting back into the sport.
The secret to the club's success is that we are just all normal ladies with busy lives, family and work commitments. We are not super fit athletes, chasing stats and trying to keep up with each other. We are a group of lasses who like to meet up and ride our bikes, stop for a cuppa and some cake and have a giggle along the way. Two years in and the club is going from strength to strength, with 131 members to date.
Our beginner rides are a great option for those who have been off the bike for a few years and want to start building up the miles.
We have different abilities and try to mix our rides so we offer something for everyone, from sportives, club rides to mountain biking. Our beginner rides are a great option for those who have been off the bike for a few years and want to start building up the miles. Our usual Sunday rides offer different route options (by mileage and elevation) and always try to meet at the same cake stop when routes permit.
In 2016, the Yorkshire Lass Cycling Club held their very own ladies only Charity Sportive and raised £14,500 for Women V Cancer - an amazing cause that supports Breast, Ovarian and Cervical Cancer Charities. This year's charity sportive will be taking place on the 20th August at Carlton Lodge Activity Centre, Thirsk, supporting Women V Cancer, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Carlton Lodge Bursary Fund.
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Behind the Scenes at Yorkshire Lass Sportive Weekend 2016
A £14,500 Success for Women V Cancer
The 14th August 2016 saw the very first Yorkshire Lass Charity Sportive take place at Carlton Lodge Activity Centre in Thirsk and what an event it shaped up to be! We could never have predicted, when sat planning the event, how incredible our final fundraising total would be, nor that it would really put our club on the cycling event map!
So how did the event pan out?
Many hands make light work
For a lot of us, the event weekend started on Friday. The anticipation and excitement was already building at the event HQ in Carlton Lodge. It was a hive of activity with lots to organise - deliveries were been made to the site regularly, dropping off everything from cakes, huge recycling bins and portaloos. Our trusty Yorkshire Lads (aka Jude and Kate’s husbands) Ian and Carl were up and off early with plenty of signage to put in place for all three routes.
Saturday arrived and with it so did more cake! Lots of raffle prizes, food and supplies began to arrive and it was all hands to the pump! Registration started to take shape and the hall was being transformed ready for the pasta party that night. The many hands of the Yorkshire Lasses, their friends and family made light work of getting things ready and before we knew it, we had riders starting to arrive on site!
Pasta Party and New Friends
It has to be said that Carlton Lodge was the best location for the event, we were very lucky that Judith’s boss David allowed us to use the site as it really did offer everything. Accommodation on site and a large field meant we could offer a bed for the night for people who may have travelled a bit further or even just fancied making a weekend of it! So we started to fill up the accommodation side of the field and ladies were arriving to check into their rooms for the night and it really did start to get a buzz about the place!
This was exactlty what we had hoped for... bringing ladies together and getting them out on their bikes, no pressure, no competitiveness.
The pasta party that evening was great and something we would definitely be doing again at the next event. The conversations were flowing, and it was so nice to see solo riders making friendship groups and arranging to ride with them the next day. This was exactlty what we had hoped for when we decided to do the sportive - bringing ladies together and getting them out on their bikes, no pressure, no competitiveness, just doing something amazing together for charity.
It was a long day, fuelled by excitement and anticipation but the best was yet to come! We had the photographers on site on Saturday capturing all the brilliant shots of the pre-event party and it was just a great evening!
Sunday morning was an early start. Breakfast was being served in the main hall, volunteers were arriving, feed stations were being manned and stocked, marshals were taking their places, registration was buzzing and signage checks were underway - it was all systems go!
Our fabulous start line - the beautiful long driveway from the main road to the activity centre, lined by trees - was almost ready and looked truly amazing, like any pro event we had been to ourselves. The flags and the All Terrain Cycle inflatable arch made it all the more impressive.
Registration was a hive of activity and the riders began filtering towards the start line for their briefing. Music was about the site the whole day and really gave people a relaxed atmosphere. Jude and I got ourselves and our bikes ready then made our way to the front. We were so excited to be starting the event off, it really was a sight to behold seeing all the hard work everyone had put in come together that morning!
We spent a few moments pinching ourselves and getting overcome with emotion.
Star of Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton, along with the Executive Director of Carlton Lodge opened the event and set us off. Jude and I went to the first roundabout and back on ourselves, we wanted to be back at HQ so didn’t ride the whole route. Interestingly enough this was one of our favourite moments of the day as we got to see all those smiling faces, and were able to cheer all the riders off the start line ourselves, which was just fabulous and quite emotional.
I would go as far as to say the whole day was actually quite emotional, we spent a few moments pinching ourselves and getting overcome with emotion, especially when we took some time out to go to the start/finish line, cheer the ladies back in and present the medals. To see all the smiling faces and hearing how much our riders had enjoyed the whole event was in itself the best feeling and again one that brings me close to tears writing this.
We had great feedback about the routes, the venue and the medals, which was much appreciated as we put a lot of thought into those medals! The vibe at HQ after the last of the riders arrived back was great, we made a concious decision that nothing would get packed away until we had the last rider back safely. It was so nice to see people still milling about the place long after they crossed the line, riders and their families chilling on the benches and bean bags listening to the music and just enjoying the atmosphere, it was great!
I have to say the whole weekend seem to go by in a flash and we found ourselves on Monday ringing each other saying we both felt a bit deflated now it was over! It really was such a fabulous weekend we hope we can make it even better in 2017.
The event itself was a huge success and we raised a massive £14,500 for Women V Cancer, which is phenominal and for our first sportive we couldn’t have been happier. We will continue to show our support for Women V Cancer in our 2017 sportive.
Written by Kate Horsfall. Photographs c/o Yorkshire Lass Cycling club
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