top of page

Over 100 Cycle Sisters take on RideLondon 

Muslim women cyclists and ride london
Some Cycle Sisters at the start line of RideLondon

This year over 100 women from Cycle Sisters took part in RideLondon thanks to community places through our partnership with London Marathon Events.

Some of the participants fundraised for both Medical Aid for Palestinians and Cycle Sisters and raised over £10,000! 

For many of the riders it was the first time taking part in RideLondon. Jasmin from Tower Hamlets only started cycling a few years ago and recently bought her first bike. This was her first cycling event and she was overjoyed as she rode over Tower Bridge, marking the end of the 30-mile ride. 

“When I was cycling last year with my son in the RideLondon free cycle, I would never have thought that the following year I would be participating in the actual RideLondon! Bikeworks entered me into the event, and so I started training with Cycle Sisters any chance I got, especially after hearing the horror stories about the dreaded hills! 

“It’s true, RideLondon was a horror of hills, but also a fantastic journey of discovery - from finally buying a bicycle for training days (and forever!) to achieving a 30-mile cycle in my home city. I would never have done this without the Cycle Sisters, who supported me all the way until the end.  It was an exhilarating, exhausting and emotional day that I would love to repeat next year (I think)!” 

Both Jasmin and her fellow cycle buddy, Salma who’s also part of the Cycle Sisters Tower Hamlets group, cried as a they crossed the finish line. They spent the run up to the event training together with the help of Cycle Sisters’ training rides. 

“I told myself I would start training straight after Ramadan. 6 weeks would be enough time right? Well I had managed to forget that Alhamdulillah (thank God) being a homeschool mum of 3 meant that I was only realistically ever going to be able to train WEEKLY. Nothing close to 3 times a week per those perfect training plans shared on the group. 

Muslim woman finished Ride London standing next to Tower Bridge
Salma's victory photo

“To my rescue came Nicole and later Salima. Not only did I discover new places and cycle routes with these rides, I also made new friends along the way. I will be indebted to these sisters for the training rides they led as I just don’t have the confidence to go exploring on my own. It was after one of these rides that Strava congratulated me on a ride of 24 miles! At last my heart finally felt like perhaps I could do this!

“On the actual day Allah enabled me to see all those that had supported me along the way. I felt under no pressure to keep up with the crowd. I took things at my own pace and tried to keep renewing my intention along the way. Those hills were tough, the crowds at Tower Bridge overwhelming. The finish line was very welcome. The tears just came… along with the joy of completion. Alhamdulillah (thank God).”

Like Salma, Marian from the Cycle Sisters Ealing group was worried about her training prior to RideLondon. 

“I eagerly registered for the 100-mile ride, motivated by my completion of a 60-mile ride the previous year. However, as the event day drew near, doubts crept in. I hadn't dedicated as much time to training for the hundred miles this year, managing only a few rides without the rigorous preparation I had undertaken before.”

“It was truly inspiring to see my fellow female Cycle Sisters at different points of the ride, wearing branded clothing that made us recognisable as Cycle Sisters. I received encouraging words from other cyclists, such as "Go Cycle Sister, you can do it." At that moment, I felt empowered to keep pushing forward. 

“I was aiming for the 100-mile mark, but when I reached the 100 mile checkpoint, it had closed just a few minutes before I got there. I felt a mix of relief and sadness, but I believe that everything happens for a reason and Allah (SWT) knows that I couldn't manage the 100 miles without training.”

Black Muslim women cyclists
Zulaika and Marian

“Crossing the finish line at Tower Bridge filled me with a profound sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. Since becoming a part of Cycle Sisters, I've undergone a remarkable change in the way I see things. I feel so much more empowered and motivated and I truly believe with Allah's (SWT) help I can accomplish anything I put mind to.”

Marian ended up completing the 60-mile challenge for the second time in a row. We’ll all be praying for you to complete 100 next year, Marian! 

Another Cycle Sister who signed up for the 100 was for Kamar, a Rider Leader from Cycle Sisters Lambeth/Wandsworth who signed up for 100 miles after completing the 60 last year. As usual, she took on the challenge on her trusty Brompton bike and pushed through for 10 hours to achieve her goal! 

My first ever 100 miles on my Brompton. I’m so proud of myself! 100 miles in 10 hours plus a puncture! I went past the 8 hours mark so had to take the alternative route back to Tower Bridge!

“Couldn’t have it done without the amazing cyclists who encouraged me for the last 11 miles.”

For many Cycle Sisters, their love of cycling has led them to take part in other sports too, like friends, Asma, Aisha, Shaveena and Taqiya, who are all part of Cycle Sisters groups in East London. They completed this year’s RideLondon together just one month after their first ever London Marathon!

Now the four are just one event away from completing the London Classics - a sporting challenge to complete the London Marathon, RideLondon and Swim Serpentine.

Muslim women cycling ride London wearing Palestinian outfits
Aisha and Shaveena (Credit: sportograf)

“As a Londoner born and bred taking on these challenges is extra special. Never growing up did I think little old Aisha from Hackney would grow up and run The London Marathon or ride through London and now hope to chase the London Classics by swimming the iconic Serpentine at Hyde Park. All this has been possible because of Cycle Sisters.” - Aisha

Muslim women Ride London
Asma and Taqiya

Having taken part in RideLondon for the past 2 years, I went for the hat-trick this year as it's always such an amazing experience. Riding on enclosed roads across London and into Essex and meeting with so many other cyclists from all walks of life is incredible. Here's to it getting bigger and better every year.” - Asma

Hopefully all four will swim the Serpentine together as well! 

This year was a first for Myra, a Ride Leader from Hounslow, who despite having taken part in Ride London three times now took part for the first time ever wearing performance cycle-wear specifically made for Muslim women! Myra and her Cycle Sisters friends Asma, Zainab and Samira all matched in their customised jerseys made by global performance cycle-wear brand Rapha, in collaboration with Cycle Sisters. 

“This year was my third time completing RideLondon, every year I have completed 100 miles and trust me it does not get any easier! This year we faced all the elements, torrential rain and fierce winds but we persevered and I achieved my personal best both in time and speed. 

Muslim women cyclists wearing Rapha's modest gear
Samira, Zainab, Myra and Asma in their new Rapha kit.

“This is thanks to the training and having Zainab by my side on the day. The atmosphere was fabulous, the local community cheering us along the way, this was heartwarming. Met some beautiful people encouraging one another as we rode. Such a beautiful cycling community we are all part of.  Proud to be representing Cycle Sisters wearing the new Rapha modest jersey which was perfect in fabric, comfort and functionality. Cycle Sisters definitely left their mark yet again and long may it continue as we grow from strength to strength!” - Myra 

This year many Cycle Sisters accomplished goals they would have thought impossible not so long ago. 

Whether it’s Cycle Sisters taking part in national sporting events or working with global brands to make cycling more inclusive, it’s clear to see that Muslim women are making an impression not only on our own communities but on the cycling world as a whole! 

164 views0 comments


bottom of page