MORE than 900 women have taken part in a city cycling project since it was set up two years ago.

“We thought we’d be working with around 150,” says an amazed Shgufta Anwar, of Women on Wheels.

“It shows the demand for our services is there.”

Women on Wheels is one of 29 Glasgow groups who received funding through Go Cycle Glasgow.

The fund, created by Glasgow Life during the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, delivered “significant, wide-ranging benefits” according to an independent evaluation published on March 27.

Glasgow Times: Women on Wheels cycling project

Conducted by Glasgow Centre for Population Health, the evaluation collected feedback from 26 out of the 29 funded organisations.

It found that 94% of participants agreed that Go Cycle was well delivered, and that at least 1454 people were engaged in activities through a Go Cycle funded project, with positive engagement from several under-represented groups such as asylum seekers and ethnic minorities.

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Bailie Annette Christie, chairperson of Glasgow Life said: “Go Cycle Glasgow is a wonderful Championship legacy project, set up to support local participation in cycling for recreation, sport and active travel.

“The enthusiasm and commitment of these local groups and everything they achieved, by creating and delivering a variety of ways to get on a bike, was impressive.

“It is reassuring to learn 94% of participants agreed the Go Cycle fund was well delivered and, that by working with these organisations, we were able to encourage more young people and those from under-represented groups to try cycling and experience the joy it offers.”

Since the delivery of this first round of funding, Go Cycle Glasgow has partnered with Buchanan Galleries owner Landsec to provide an additional £50,000 to support further development of projects across the city.

Gregor Yates, public health research specialist at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, said: “This evaluation highlights the important role of community organisations in ensuring access to cycling for different population groups.

“The findings demonstrate wide-ranging and multiple benefits, but most commonly through increased confidence and empowerment. Further investment in this type of approach is needed to ensure continued diversification of Glasgow’s cycling population.”

Women on Wheels received around £6000 towards developing its programme of cycling lessons, led rides and social events.

Shgufta adds: “We talk to women about the joy and increased confidence you can get from cycling. The majority of women who come to us have never cycled, or have not been on a bike since they were children.

“The additional funding from the Go Cycle Glasgow Fund has been invaluable. It has helped us work with hard-to-reach groups such as Daisy Chain, who support women who have experienced domestic abuse.”

She adds: “These women have children, they have financial barriers, health barriers – they are not used to focussing on themselves.

“I’ve seen the joy and impact that cycling has made to their lives.”