Cycle Sisters is a thriving Muslim women’s cycling group based in Waltham Forest in London and is affliated to Cycling UK. It was formed in October 2016 and now has over 50 members and volunteer ride leaders. Founder Sarah Javaid explains why they have become so successful in such a short space of time and how Cycle Sisters is enabling women from a group not normally represented in cycling to enjoy the activity.
Cycle Sisters was established in October 2016 by Sarah Javaid, one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling 2018. Sarah took her own passion and cycling experience and began leading weekly social rides for a small group of her friends and family.
“I identified the importance of having a group specifically for Muslim women to provide a safe and culturally appropriate space to develop their cycling skills. Since then, Cycle Sisters has grown organically into a hugely successful group with over 50 active members and now has a team of trained volunteer ride leaders, who all started out as participants themselves, leading the rides every week.
“Members are mainly based in Walthamstow and Leyton but also come from other parts of Waltham Forest and neighbouring boroughs such as Hackney and Haringey to join the rides.”
In 2018, Cycle Sisters won Waltham Forest’s Love Your Borough Award for ‘Best Community or Business Cycling Initiative’.
At the end of 2018, Cycle Sisters surveyed their members and discovered:
- 93% of people said that participating in Cycle Sisters rides has ‘greatly’ improved their cycling confidence
- 70% of people who have a bike got it after participating in Cycle Sisters rides
- 77% of people cycle independently more after participating in Cycle Sisters rides
- 97% of people said that family / friends have been motivated to cycle or cycle more