One Woman, One Bike 'onna' mission to inspire her city
CityConnect are starting to see a real increase in women’s cycling as it becomes more popular with big events such as the Women’s Tour in June and the Women and Cycling conference 2017 coming to Bradford on May 4th. There’s now a women’s stage in the Tour de Yorkshire this year which is proving that women up and down the country are taking cycling just as seriously as men.
However, here’s where our real story starts. We’d like to introduce you to Mumtaz Khan, who has in just under 3 years become one of the most well regarded and influential cyclists in Bradford for both women and men alike.
It all started back in the summer of 2014 when Tour de France Grand Depart came to Yorkshire.
Whilst waiting in her car stuck behind a bus in busy Bradford traffic, Mumtaz saw an advertisement that subsequently changed her life. The advertisement was for adult cycle training funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s go:cycling project. Mumtaz booked herself onto some beginners training and, with the support of a female cycle instructor, she was soon cycling regularly. In fact, Mumtaz was learning so much about safe cycling practice that she started to pass on tips and advice to friends.
In January 2015 Cycling UK in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority offered training for cyclists to become cycle instructors, Mumtaz saw this as a perfect opportunity to encourage more people in her community to take up cycling and before long was a qualified cycling instructor.
By April of the same year Mumtaz was picking up paid work as a cycle instructor and had successfully applied for grants to source a small fleet of 6 bikes.
As a Ju-Jitsu coach Mumtaz took to the coaching side of cycle instructing very well and throughout the next year made partnerships with Bradford schools and local women’s groups, supporting many people to access cycling for the first time. The coaching followed the Bikeability framework and through setting up a Cycling UK Community Cycling Club funded by CityConnect, Mumtaz was able to train new cyclists.
Her club, “Onna Bike” (a spin off from her Onna Ju-Jitsu club), allowed members to develop their skills, in turn giving them independence to cycle outside of the club.
In February 2016 Mumtaz was invited to present at the Women in Sport conference focusing on Influences and Influencers, where she shared her experience in engaging women in Ju-Jitsu and in cycling.
Cycling UK later awarded Onna Bike with the title “Best Community Project” at their annual conference in October 2016.
The club continues to go from strength to strength, challenging stereotypes, and breaking down barriers to cycling.
Mumtaz will be presenting at the third annual “Women in Cycling” conference on 4th May 2017. She will also be coordinating a women’s ride as part of the Tour de Yorkshire stage 3 that comes to Bradford on 30th April 2017. Mumtaz is looking for 200 women to ride with her. She’s offering bikes, helmets and free cycle training running up to the event, if you would like to take part contact her by phone: 07877466818 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mumtaz has also achieved significant personal achievements in her cycling. She has recreationally ridden various routes around the British Isles, and in April 2017, will take part in a ride from Bradford to Roubaix.
It is impressive to see how much can be achieved in just under 3 years. Mumtaz’s driving inspiration is what’s behind so many people getting in to cycling or staying involved in cycling, whether it be for socialising, fitness or commuting. With a bit of determination, passion and support from the likes of Cycling UK and CityConnect, you too could achieve and inspire just like Mumtaz.