She Rides is a new initiative by Cycling Australia (CA) to get more women riding bikes recreationally around the country.
According a CA women's stakeholder report, conducted in October and November of 2013; 52% of respondents to the Women on Bikes survey said they want to be more confident to ride on the road and in traffic. The survey also said, of the women who are riding, the majority ride alone, but would like to ride with others.
“The results of the survey shows that there is a need in the community for a program like this; for women to connect with others to improve their riding skills and confidence when riding in traffic”, Alexandra Bright from Cycling Australia told BikeRadar.
As part of the program participants will learn basic maintenance skills, like how to change a flat tyre
Following a successful pilot program, She Rides is an eight to ten week hands on course that helps women to improve their confidence on the bike; as well as teach things like basic maintenance, how to ride around other people, and eventually riding in a group.
“We want to teach the participants the right skills to make them independent on the road. Each session allows for them to ride their bike, to get used to riding continuously, and riding around other people - not necessarily with other people but just riding,” Bright explained. “As the sessions progress they will be introduced into a low traffic environment; first in an off road environment, then shared path riding, low traffic on road riding and lastly riding in a group.
The goal of the program is not only to get more women onto bikes, but to help them make the social connections and encourage them to keep riding once the program is finished.
She Rides wants to get more women out riding bikes
She Rides is offering both road and mountain bike programs, all run by accredited Cycling Australia and Mountain Bike Australia instructors.
For the spring/summer session of She Rides there will be 30 locations (25 road and 5 mountain bike) across six states. Registration for sessions beginning in October is open now, and She Rides is offering discounted early bird registration for $149 until 8 September, when the cost goes up to $169. The program cost includes face-to-face delivery of the program with accredited coaches/teachers, a hi-vis vest, a 3 month recreational membership to Cycling Australia and a participant pack.
For more information, or to request a She Rides program in your area visit www.sherides.com.au