A CHESTER cyclist has been named regional Volunteer of the Year by national cycling organisation CTC.
Sue Booth from Hoole picked up the accolade after fellow Cyclist’s Touring Club members nominated her in recognition of her work encouraging more women into the pastime.
A governance officer for the NHS, Sue single-handedly set up the leisure cycling group Chester’s Fabulous Ladies, attracting nearly 60 women to sign up for monthly cycle rides around Chester and North Wales.
Sue said: “Obviously I was delighted to be nominated and it is a real honour, but I think the award reflects all the hard work done by cycling volunteers in Chester and the effort that has gone into trying to improve cycling provision in the city.”
The 40-year-old mother of two founded Chester’s Fabulous Ladies after organising a series of guided charity cycle rides for work.
“It was really good fun seeing managers and people who you would normally come across in a more formal setting having a good time cycling,” she said.
“So I decided that if I could get people from work out on their bikes, why not see if I could establish a group for ladies?”
Sue then organised the inaugural ride of the CTC national Five Miles to Fabulous initiative aimed at reintroducing women to the benefits of cycling, and went on to establish the permanent ladies club in 2008.
“Not all the ladies who are part of the group come out for every ride. There are normally 10 to 15 each time and we concentrate on it being a fun, relaxing experience rather than a race.
“A lot of the time new ladies who come along worry for the first couple of miles that they won’t keep up, but we go at a pace that is suitable for everyone.
“We focus on enjoying the wonderful scenery here that you normally wouldn’t see by car, and visiting the super cafés and tea shops in the area.”
A life long cycling enthusiast and campaigner, Sue was also instrumental in bringing the CTC AGM to Chester in 2009 to coincide with the launch of Chester as a Cycling Demonstration City.
She will receive her award at this year’s AGM on May 15 in Loughborough.
The CTC Wednesday evening rides start again in early May with easy paced social rides for men and women.
The group meets at 7pm outside Chester Town Hall and will run a dedicated ladies ride in Bike Week along with a selection on Wednesday, June 23.
For more information on Chester’s Fabulous Ladies and dates of upcoming rides visit Sue’s blog at http://chesterfabulousladies.blogspot.com/