An initiative from Bicycle NSW, Gear Up Girl aims to get women experiencing the joys of cycling. Founded in 2008, the organisation hosts workshops and events around the country, with a series of bike rides scheduled to take place in Sydney on Sunday March 3. There will also be Park Festival at Sydney Olympic Park and a River Festival in Parramatta for everyone who participates.
The most difficult ride of the Gear Up Girl cycling event will be the Challenge Ride, a 45 kilometre course that will begin at Sydney Olympic Park and pass through the River Festival in Parramatta before returning to Wentworth Common for the Park Festival. This ride includes two optional rest stops and will begin at 7.30am. Registration costs $60.00 for adults and $10.00 for children.
One of two shorter rides, the River Ride only covers part of the Challenge Ride course, starting at the River Festival in Parramatta and ending at the Park Festival at Sydney Olympic Park. The route is 20 kilometres long and includes one rest stop. The ride will start at 9.30am and costs $30.00 for adults and $10.00 for children.
Another shorter ride, at 20 kilometres, the Park Ride will see riders remain in Sydney Olympic Park, beginning and ending at the Park Festival. It will begin at 8.00am, costing $30.00 for adults and $10.00 for children.
Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Anyone who completes these rides will have the chance to celebrate their achievement with family and friends at the Park Festival, which will be taking place at Wentworth Common at Sydney Olympic Park. The festival will include pamper and yoga tents, live music, stalls and entertainment for the kids, as well as a Bicycle NSW Information Tent, bike mechanics, free bike parking and BBQ facilities.
The River Festival is a smaller event to be held in Parramatta for those doing the River Ride and anyone on the Challenge Ride who wants to take a rest along the way. It too will have market and foods stalls, information tents, bike mechanics and free bike parking.
You can register for any of the Gear Up Girl rides by clicking here. The online cut-off is Monday February 25, and it's best to get your registration in before then because any on-the-day entries will have to pay a late free. If you're a member of Bicycle NSW, you will only be required to pay half-price for each event.
In addition to the cycling, you can also take part on the Gear Up Girl event as a volunteer. Roles include site assistants, route marshals and water stop assistants. Many positions require quite an early start (often between 6.00am to 7.30am) but all volunteers will be rewarded for their time with food, water, a Bicycle NSW volunteer t-shirt, a hat, a bag and sun cream. You can your interest in volunteering here.