International Women’s Day is upon us once again with people across the world joining together in celebrate equality in all things.
In recent years, women’s cycling in Australia and beyond has moved forward in leaps and bounds. From the creation of the inigural womens rider union: The Cyclist’s Alliance, to equal prize money at the Women’s Tour Down Under to the inclusion of a women’s event at the Herald Sun Tour, there’s no doubt steps have been taken to improve pairity within the sport.
However there’s still a long way to go. Findings from the Cyclist’s Alliance revealed a huge gender disparity within the professional ranks of women’s cycling and at a local level statistics from Bicycle Network reveal female cyclists to make up less than one third of the cycling community in Australia.
Statistics aside, this International Women’s Day provides a chance to celebrate success, as well as rekindle that fight for equality and change. In the words of American civil rights campaigner Susan B. Anthony: “I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.”
IWD AlleyCat Race: March 8th
After immense success in last year’s event, the IWD AlleyCat Race race is on again. Last year, the event raised enough money to donate 130 packages of menstrual sanitary items to The Period Project, which then passes them on to the homeless and disadvantaged, and $750 for Safe Steps, a Melbourne based organisation supporting victims of domestic violence. Featuring an all-inclusive vibe, community spirit, and loads of prizes, registration begins at 6pm at the fountain at Carlton gardens! And as if you wern’t already convinced, check out our image gallery above from last year’s event.
For more information, check out the Facebook event.
Bicycle Network series: March 5th-9th
Based in Melbourne, the folk at Bicycling Network have put together a community-based series of presentations aimed towards encouraging more women to take up the two wheels.
Pathways to competitive cycling – 6 March
A presentation by Lisa Byrne (president of Cycling Vic) and Bec Covington and Q&A session about finding pathways to competitive cycling.
Mental health and wellbeing – 7 March
A lunchtime session presented by Naturopath Sandra Villella on how to live a healthy and balanced life.
Mums riding with baby bike seats and trailers – 8 March
A one-hour skills session on learning how to ride with a baby seat or trailer attached to your bike.
The importance of being a female bike activist – 9 March
Currently undertaking her PHD on women’s rights law/international human rights law, Faz Zamani talks about why we should all fight for what we care about, how to stay motivated and why everyone should be invested in the bike debate.
Cities for women – 9 March
A presentation by Katya Crema (2 x Olympian, PwC) & Brighid Sammon (Hansen Partnership & Head of Women’s Planning Network) on how we can improve cities by designing them to be more inclusive of people who ride bikes, through a female lens.
To register for any of these events and for further information, head to bicyclenetwork.com.
Zwift Women’s Week: March 8th-14th
Now in it’s second year, the Zwift Women’s Week runs for seven days over March 8th – 14th — and celebrates our global women’s community. Not only can you ride the brand new Liv Langma, but you can also unlock special Betty Designes jerseys for your avatar. Whether you like to go long, race or take it easy, Zwift Women’s Week has a little something for everyone.
Check it out at zwift.com.
Bicycle NSW Gear Up Girl Ride: March 11th
Although not specifically a IWD event, the annual Bicycle NSW Gear Up Girl ride around Sydney is set just a few days after the big day, and is expected to draw huge numbers. The ride is all about encouraging women and girls to get active and get on their bikes, while raising funds for the Heart Foundation. It shows off some of Sydney’s most spectacular separated cycleways. Starting at Sydney Olympic Park and finishing in a festival atmosphere at Cronulla Beach.
Head to the Gear Up Girl website for more information.
Images courtesy of Brook Walker