Sidbury woman trades typing for cycling in mission to get more on their bikes
- Credit: Archant
After three decades working behind a desk a Sidbury woman has traded typing for cycling in a mission to get more people out on their bikes.
Cathy Debenham will mark the launch of her new business Bike Guide Devon with two guided mountain bike rides for women that coincide with Heath Week.
Cathy, whose previous business was a prize-winning renewable energy website, has worked in an office for more than 30 years.
She said sitting in front of a computer all day felt increasingly unhealthy, so she decided to train as a mountain bike leader with British Cycling.
She added: “This wasn’t as a big a step change as it might seem, as Cathy has been a keen cyclist and mountain biker for a long time. She also worked as a ski leader for the Ski Club of Great Britain for several seasons in the late 80s and early 90s.
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“The most satisfying days were when I was able to help people build their confidence and believe that they could ski things they had previously avoided. It’s the same on a mountain bike, and I look forward to helping people grow in confidence.”
Cathy said mountain biking tended to be quite male dominated and she had found women could be wary of trying it, worrying they would hold others up, which is why she would be offering women-only rides as well as ones open to all.
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“Another concern people have is that it is dangerous. I’d say it’s as dangerous as you make it. I find it liberating to ride off-road. You can enjoy East Devon’s beautiful countryside without worrying about cars.
“You can choose how much you want to challenge yourself, and once you’ve built up more skills you can try out steeper or more technical trails if you want - but it’s not compulsory.”
Cathy will lead a gentle women’s mountain bike ride on Woodbury Common at 10am on Sunday, July 30 and a faster ride, for those more comfortable, on Tuesday, July 25 at 6.30pm. Both rides are £7 per person.
Those wanting to join will need a well-maintained mountain bike, helmet, cycling gloves and a water bottle.
Call 07786 440129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.