For women cyclists in Sydney, the Festa Della Donna ride presented by the Rapha Cycle Club on Saturday, March 8 is not the only option. Bicycle NSW is hosting its annual Gear Up Girl Ride the following day on Sunday.
A startlist of 1,000 women of all ages and abilities will embark on a 40km journey from Sydney Olympic Park along the scenic Cooks River Cycleway out to Cronulla – and on to Kurnell for those who are keen for the challenge of an extra 20 kilometres.
Gear up Girl is Bicycle NSW’s women’s-only program solely focused on female participation in riding bikes. As part of the of the Women’s Sports Festival, and coinciding with International Women’s Day celebrations, the annual Gear Up Girl Ride promotes the health and social benefits of cycling.
“We established the Gear Up Girl Program in response to evidence that a low, disproportionate number of women cycle,” said Donna Little, Bicycle NSW Events Coordinator. “Confidence on the bike is a factor that contributes to many women’s reluctance to ride, and Gear Up Girl provides an environment that is safe and supportive.”
Gear up Girl and Bicycle NSW announced on Wednesday that Sydney-based columnist and author Elizabeth Farrelly will be participating in the ride with her daughters as the official Gear up Girl Ambassador.
“Cycling is by far the best way to explore Sydney, get to meetings or schlep around the city,” said Farrelly. “It's cheap, fast, energising and green; no parking worries and no traffic jams. Plus, Sydney has the perfect cycling climate."