The calendar has ticked over to March 2016 – and questions remain around the proposed ‘positive’ impact the new cycling laws will have on the safety of cyclists. Bicycle NSW will continue to advocate for a better and safer environment for cyclists and encourage more people to ride. On Sunday 13 March we will empower more women and girls to get on their bike through – the Heart Foundation Gear Up Girl event.
Gear Up Girl is the biggest women’s cycling initiative in NSW and offers three ride distances to choose from on safe, mostly off-road cycle paths. The program helps women and girls of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes through the annual Gear Up Girl Ride, regular workshops and events, and monthly Gear Up Girl Discovery Rides with local councils to showcase the local bike infrastructure. The Gear Up Girl program has been designed to encourage women to lead an active and healthy lifestyle while promoting the benefits of cycling as a fun and environmentally sustainable mode of transport.
Gear Up Girl was founded in 2008 by Bicycle NSW as a response to the fact that more men than women are riding their bicycle for recreation and transport. Bicycle NSW CEO, Ray Rice said “Males are more likely to participate in cycling than females with 22% of males and 13% of females having ridden in the past week, and only 7% of Australian women use a bicycle for transport.”
The Heart Foundation joined with Bicycle NSW in 2014 in a partnership to encourage more women to be active through bike riding and help reduce the impact of heart disease. Chief Executive of the Heart Foundation NSW, Kerry Doyle believes getting more women active for sport, travel and leisure will help in turning the tide around on a number of women dying unnecessarily from heart disease.
“Heart disease claims the lives of 24 women every single day. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death for women here in Australia killing three times as many women as breast cancer. By partnering with Bicycle NSW for the Gear Up Girl event it’s our hope that we can encourage more women to choose physical activities, such as riding a bike, more often,” Ms Doyle said.
Over 1,000 women and girls are expected to ride in Gear Up Girl on Sunday 13 March, with the Heart Foundation team, led by Julie Anne Mitchell – Cardiovascular Health Director, riding the 40 km Classic route.
Date: Sunday 13 March
Ride Distances: 20 km Beach Ride | 40 km Classic Ride | 60 km Coast Ride
Finish Festival: Don Lucas Reserve, Cronulla