Frequently asked questions
What is Cycle Sisters?
Cycle Sisters is a registered charity that aims to inspire and enable Muslim women to cycle. We started in 2016 with our first group in Waltham Forest in east London and since then have grown to have multiple groups and hundreds of women on our rides! Read more about our story here
Why is there a need for a Muslim women’s cycling organisation?
Women - and particularly those from minority backgrounds - experience many barriers to cycling. By specifically focusing on Muslim women, we can address inequalities in cycling head on by ensuring our needs are met - this includes halal cafe stops, timings around prayers, providing advice on cycling in modest clothing and our all important role model Ride Leaders! Our participants tell us our Muslim identity is important and part of the reason they were able to start cycling. Our groups are not exclusively for Muslim women and we warmly welcome women from any background on our rides.
When and where do you hold your rides?
We currently have
groups in Walthamstow, Chingford and Redbridge with rides running on various days of the week. Please see our groups pages for more information about how to participate in these rides. If you are from another area and interested in setting up your own Cycle Sisters group, please
Who can come on your rides?
Any women can join our rides however our rides aim to accomodate the specific needs of
Muslim women. Our rides are for age 18+ however you are welcome to bring pre-school age
children in appropriate child seats on your own bike if you are confident doing so. In Waltham Forest we also run rides for
How much do your rides cost?
All our rides are currently free! Before your first ride you just need to complete a one-off membership form (to become an associate member of Cycle Sisters). Our admin team will contact you about this when you book onto your first ride.
Do you need to own a bike to join a ride?
No! We know that not owning a bike is one of the major barriers to starting cycling and so we have made sure that we are able to lend out a limited number of bikes for our rides thanks to partnerships with local councils. Our Ride Leaders can also help with advising you when you are ready to buy your own bike.
Can I cycle in Islamic clothing?
Definitely! We really want to emphasise that you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in to cycle. No lycra is required! Many of our sisters wear full Islamic dress (including some who
wear niqab) on our rides and when cycling independently. Our Trustee Khadijah has written this brilliant
blog full of crowd-sourced tips on the best types of abayas to wear and how to cycle while wearing longer clothing.
I am a beginner - how can I start cycling?
This definitely isn’t a barrier to getting involved with Cycle Sisters! In each of the areas where our Cycle Sisters groups operate, we have a team of qualified female instructors offering free cycle training funded by the council. Find out more about this on our training page. In Walthamstow we also run beginners rides on the first and third Saturday of the month which are a great way for beginners to build their skills and often quickly progress onto our other rides. We hope to be able to offer these in other places in the future.
How can I develop confidence to cycle on the roads?
We would suggest two things: 1) Book a free
training session with one of our qualified female instructors to develop your cycle skills and learn how to cycle safely on the roads 2) Take part in one of our led
rides which is a great way to introduce you to cycling on the roads with trained Ride Leaders at end to facilitate junctions and provide support.
What are the benefits of cycling?
Where we do we start?! Cycling is a great form of exercise, not only good for our physical health but it also gets us outside in the fresh air, into green spaces and discovering our local areas (and often new hidden gems!). This all has huge benefits for our mental well being with many of our sisters saying cycling really helps with anxiety and depression and for many of us it’s a bit of precious time-out of our busy routines as Mums and working women. Cycle Sisters is also all about the sisterhood and many friendships have been made on our rides. Cycling is also a really cheap and green way of getting around, helping to reduce air pollution and do our bit for the environment.