PRide On – Our New LGBTQIA+ Initiative

This year marks 50 years of UK Pride. We’re pleased to share with you all that to celebrate, we’ve been developing our LGBTQIA+ initiative to increase visibility and inclusion within the cycling community. 

Ride On has been delivering a range of cycling services and events for over ten years. This includes our social rides where budding cyclists get together to cycle through the beautiful Devon we get to call home. Now we want to deliver social rides and other activities that are open to the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. 

The Name

We’re naming this LGBTQ+ initiative PRide On. This space is open to members and allies for the LGBTQIA+ whether you are an experienced rider, familiar with bike mechanics, or just looking to try something new. 

The Inspiration

These kinds of rides and social events have been delivered across other parts of the UK, but there is nothing local offering the same.

It is often believed that cycling is a male-dominated activity, but this is only half-true. Women have also reaped the rewards if you take a closer look at the history of the bike. It has been a tool for liberation in a variety of ways and it’s especially good for being a safer and healthier mode of transport compared with both driving and walking.

Willem Tapper, Ride On’s Digital Coordinator, had this to say about the new project:

“Having joined Ride On a year ago, as well joining the Exeter Pride team this year, I’ve wanted to reach out to fellow LGBTQIA+ people who enjoy cycling or would like to get into it. Because cycling is a great activity that can be shared and enjoyed with others as much as it can be alone, it is the perfect chance for our community to get together to be more visible across Exeter and Devon. I also think it’s important that Pride can be celebrated all year around, not just in June. That’s why we want these social rides and activities to offer space to get to know other LGBTQIA+ individuals, be visible out and about in our fantastic county, and help fundraise for other Pride and Ride On activities.”

The Socials

These rides and maintenance courses will be relaxed and slow-paced so that all feel comfortable and able to join in. During the rides, we will stop off for drinks and cake along the routes to refuel and to have a good old natter. It is hoped there will also be other forms of activities available in the future for those that share our love for the power of pedalling. 

Kirsten Berggren is also leading on this project and is one of the mechanics for our highly successful Wom+n’s Workshops. The Wom+n’s Workshops have been running for quite some time and are a fun and friendly space for women and non-binary people to get to grips with bike maintenance and mechanics. These are run on Tuesday evenings 6-8pm from our workshop on Exeter Quay. 

Kirsten shared:

“Cycling has been a huge part of my life, socially, commuting, fitness and exploring. I am keen to support and increase awareness in the sport for it to be more welcoming to people like me. Ride On has been a valuable space where there is no judgement and you truly can be yourself. I am aware of the increased risk of poor mental health for members of LGBTQ+ and believe the cycling community can offer not only the physical benefits through cycling but the valuable space of meeting like minded people as well as learning new hands on skills.”

How You Can Get Involved

This is also an opportunity to find out more about how Ride On can help make cycling more inclusive. We care about making sure that everyone has access to a bike and all the wellbeing and health benefits that comes along with it. So, we would like to hear from you about exactly what you would like these socials to look like.

You can have your say here.

To make these events inclusive and accessible, we will be encouraging participants to donate what you can to support the events and more Ride On and Pride activities throughout the year.

Follow Us




Bike Maintenance Course: Put to the Test

If you don’t know your shifters from your sprockets or your bottom bracket from your barrel adjusters, maybe you need to attend a Ride On Bike Maintenance course? That’s exactly what Ride On Trustee Louise Clarke did, and it was a valuable learning experience and lesson in bicycle safety, as she reports.

As a Ride On Trustee I’m a loyal supporter of the charity’s vision ‘for a clean, healthy and more active Exeter and Devon’. But I’d never actually tried the high-quality bicycle maintenance training and education on offer. So I jumped at the chance to join fellow students Toby and Matilda, and Ride On Workshop Manager Sam White, one Saturday morning in May for the basic Brake and Gear adjustment workshop.

Safety first!

I turned up with my very own 12-year-old Specialised Tri-Cross which I use for daily travel. Fitted with panniers, a rack and a ‘Cycle Whatever the Weather’ yellow squeaky duck, it’s my prize possession. So I was shocked to discover during the brakes section of the training that my bike was at risk of being condemned! Sam used a special instrument (apparently used in dentistry) to measure the thickness of my wheel rims and found them to be well below the safe minimum. As suspected I also needed new tyres. I must admit a couple of people had commented on their baldness!

It was obviously time to pay attention and learn something! We began with the gears and Sam showed us how the High and Low limit screws are used to accurately define the limits of the derailleur and stop the chain going into the spokes or the frame. We were also shown how to master indexing, improve cable tension using the barrel adjuster and achieve crisp shifting every time. We then moved onto brakes and how to replace cables and pads. 

This course is designed to tackle common faults with bikes and is aimed at people who are new to bike maintenance. It was a relaxed pace. Sam explained each element clearly and gave us plenty of time for questions. The classes are limited to four people to ensure everyone is well supported.

Finely tuned machine

Another bike maintenance course attendee was equally impressed:

“Well it was finally time to take some ownership for basic servicing of our family’s bicycle collection. Having watched a whirlwind of videos on YouTube on how easy it was to adjust the rear derailleur and failed miserably, I attended the Ride On introductory bike maintenance session in May to get me over the knowledge hump.  

Sam was running the session and was a fountain of friendly knowledge, providing a great overview of the key components and how to get everything running smoothly.   We worked on our own bicycles during the session, so I now have a finely tuned machine that I enjoy riding again and a list of tasks for the family’s bicycles!”

I also spoke to Sam to find out more about the aims of the course:

”Our basic maintenance courses aim to provide you with the skills needed to tackle some of the most common bike maintenance issues – brakes, gears and puncture repair.

We prefer to use the customer’s own bike as this means the training is most relevant. It is great to see so many customers going on to make use of our Bring Your Own Bike sessions (open workshops where you can rent a workstation to fix your bike) to further build on their skills after the course. ”

Click the links if you are interested in trying one of Ride On’s Training Courses or BYOB and for full details.

Courses on offer include:

  • M Check, Basic Maintenance & Puncture Repair
  • Brake & Gear Adjustments
  • Cycle Touring 101