Ladies, if you want to keep fit this Ramadan, get on a bike!

Ramadan is a time of the year where many women eat more and move less. But, eating healthy and exercising over Ramadan, is an excellent opportunity to lose weight and detox the body. If you want to exercise but don’t know where to start, I recommend cycling.

I have always been a massive health and fitness advocate. Over the years I have tried different sports, and I have seen different fitness crazes come and go in Bahrain. Cycling is the only sport, with a supportive community, that I have seen grow from strength to strength.

When I decided to take up cycling I didn’t know where to start, so I joined Cycling Bees in March 2018. I was nervous about my first ride and worried that I might not keep up. When I arrived the girls where very warm, welcoming and supportive. I was greeted by the founder Sarah Al Sammak (Sarah Cyclist) and the co-captain Dana Zubari.

Majority of the ladies in the group where local, along with the founders, with a few expats including myself. The group consisted of all ages and fitness levels, which really put my mind at ease. Even busy working mums made it to the ride.

After the ride, the group met for coffee and a chat. The social aspect is something I really loved. So, if you’re new to cycling like I was, don’t worry! When you join, you have the option to rent a bike and helmet before committing to buying your own. All you need is your water bottle, and padded shorts to stop your bum hurting, and you’re good to go.

Safety is priority. The Bees van drives behind the group to protect the ladies from oncoming traffic, if you get a flat tire, run out of water or get too tired and need a rest. Usually the group meet on Friday mornings or Wednesday evenings. However, over the month of Ramadan the Bees will be catering for those who are fasting, changing their timings to evening rides.

A few months back, Sarah opened the Cycling Bees home in Budaiya, where girls can use the indoor bike turbo trainers, and take classes in cycling. She has continued to encourage ladies to get involved in sport, while also helping the community by inviting local instructors and sports coaches to help give the girls professional advice. Last year, the first ladies Iron Man triathlon group was created to encourage women (beginners) to learn to run, swim and cycle.

This Ramadan try something new. At Cycling Bees, you’re not just joining a cycling club, you are joining a community of amazing women who support and impower each other. The energy from the girls is addictive.

Jemma Lilburn is a Health & Fitness professional from Ireland, a cyclist and Cycling Bees member. Mob +973 66300955, @jlfitness.bh or @cyclingbees.