CYCLING groups are urging women to dig out their wheels for a female-friendly bike festival.

Launching today, Glasgow Women on Wheels Cycle Festival (G-WOW) marks the start of the second stage of the first-ever Women’s Tour of Scotland.

Initiatives will include free weekly led rides by experienced and enthusiastic leaders, as well as introductory sessions to track cycling, mountain biking, and BMX.

Mel Toner, Participation Officer with Scottish Cycling, said: "We’re really excited to be part of this partnership to promote and support women and girls cycling in Glasgow.

"We want more women and girls involved in cycling at all levels and the Glasgow Women on Wheels festival brings together local and national organisations who share this aim, to celebrate and showcase women’s cycling and the variety that cycling has to offer.

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"The Women’s Tour of Scotland is the perfect launchpad; shining a light on elite women’s racing, inspiring the next generation of female athletes and women and girls to ride a bike."

Other events include a speaking evening of three well-known and inspirational female cyclists hosted by the Glasgow Women’s Library, bike maintenance classes, yoga for cyclists, film nights and a finale event – as well as some other surprise events along the way.

Glasgow Life, bike charity Bike For Good, Scottish Cycling and Breeze, Cycling UK (Belles on Bikes) and the Glasgow Gals Cycling Club are behind G-WOW.

Funded by Glasgow City Council’s Smarter Choices – Smarter Places fund, British Cycling, the Tampon Tax Community Fund, and Cycling UK, the organisations will partner up to deliver a series of events and initiatives over the coming months.

A cross-section of community groups will be involved, as well as the existing and successful women only Glasgow Gals, Belles on Bikes and HSBC UK Breeze rides.

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Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to keep fit –physically and mentally.

"I’m delighted to support the G-WOW festival in encouraging more women and girls across the city to get on their bikes and develop an appreciation of cycling.

"Events like the Women’s Tour of Scotland are a perfect platform to promote that cycling is for everyone.”

Victoria Leiper, Head of Projects at Bike for Good, said: "In Glasgow, just 32 per cent of those who choose to cycle as their regular mode of transport are women.

"The aim of this festival is to inspire and support more women to dig their bikes out and try cycling again."

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