Although she has been a keen cyclist from the age of 17 and was a member of East Bradford Cycling Club and then Ellis Briggs CC, most of Ann-Marie Bathmaker’s cycling life has been spent in Birmingham since moving to the city in 1990.
She has been a member of Solihull Cycling Club for nearly 30 years and regularly rides with the club, goes cycle touring, and enjoys mountain biking.
However, Ann-Marie’s real impact in the local community started in 2017 when she became involved with Community Cycle Clubs as a volunteer.
Since then she has worked particularly closely with the women of ACP Community Cycling Club in Sparkbrook, inspiring them to take to their bikes. As well as leading rides that bring together women from ACP and Calthorpe Community Cycling Clubs, she has also taken on the role of teaching non-cycling women how to ride.
Ann-Marie said: “I wanted to share my love of the bike particularly with women who would not have ready access to other women with cycling experience.
“I first offered to lead rides, but I soon learned that without offering learn-to-ride sessions, there would be no-one to go on a led ride. So in 2019 I started teaching women to ride bikes. I have not had so much fun, or laughed so much in ages."
Watching women develop their cycling skill, enjoy riding, and increasing their confidence on and off the bike makes my day.
“The women in ACP Community Cycling Club are mainly from the local Muslim community and they are feisty and determined. We have gone from making the local park unsafe, to riding safely on Birmingham's busy roads,” Ann-Marie said.
“I am particularly proud that women from the group have featured on recent TV coverage of community cycling, they were pictured for the Festival of Cycling, and one of them is the main picture advertising the new A38 cycle route in Birmingham.
“Watching women develop their cycling skill, enjoy riding, and increasing their confidence on and off the bike makes my day. I am now working to encourage some of the women to start taking the lead, using me as a back-up and support.”
Ann-Marie was nominated for 100 Women in Cycling by several people including Vanessa Morris, Cycling UK’s Cycling Development Officer for Birmingham. Vanessa said: “Ann-Marie is a very knowledgeable cyclist but also great with ladies and very enthusiastic when she is teaching them.
“She has bought so much knowledge and experience to the club and has been a fantastic asset, not only for the members and ride leaders in this club, but others too across Birmingham.
“She brings a very different dynamic to some of our clubs.”
What is 100 Women in Cycling?
Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling is an annual list celebrating inspirational women who are encouraging others to cycle.