Gear Up Girl Wrap

After Gear Up Girl, we had a chat with event ambassador Margaret Boylan. Margaret is a Cycling Australia coach, working with the She Rides programme which is focused on helping women making cycling a part of their lives through building fitness, developing skills & creating a social riding community for women.

Margaret and her team from First Principles Cyclists joined hundreds of other cyclists participating in this years Gear Up Girl. From Margaret’s perspective, here’s a look into Gear Up Girl and what it was like for her cycling group.

Margaret’s Wrap:

“We had around 20 or so participants in Gear Up Girl. Our group was made up of graduates from She Rides programs run since 2015 & included a variety of experience & confidence levels. We had people who had just graduated from the Spring She Rides “Confidence” & “Together” groups the day before Gear Up Girl as well as more experienced riders from earlier programs. For our newer riders the distance was about right at 40 km and the group pictured here completed that distance as a bunch staying together. The 55 km offered enough for our more experienced riders.

The friendly atmosphere of the ride and the good ride support, coupled with the great start & finish spot & the favourable weather conditions made for a great day out on the bike.

We all enjoyed the ride and had a sense of accomplishment on completion. There were some great individual stories of personal achievement in our group, especially for those who had only just graduated from the Spring She Rides programs.

As I have said as Ambassador in the lead up to Gear Up Girl, the ride is about looking out for each other, looking after each other & learning from each other as we ride. Some of my group had the opportunity to put the skills they had learned in our course into helping others including with practical things like assisting another rider to get the chain back on so they could keep going.

The First Principles Cyclists enjoyed the opportunity to meet other riders and I see that the social connections made in the ride is an important aspect of Gear Up Girl.

Overall Gear Up Girl has an important place in the female cycling world of Adelaide and was a very worthwhile & rewarding experience for all involved.

What’s next now that Gear Up Girl is complete?

For those who are fairly new to cycling: The Cycling Australia She Rides team is planning a women’s specific social ride during the Tour Down Under. I’m likely to be leading this ride & will have other local coaches to help out. This ride is aimed at novice and social riders & will roll out from a local city coffee shop. It is FREE. The date is to be fixed still but will be in the week beginning 15th January. Keep an eye on Cycling Australia facebook & website for more info.

For Cyclists who want to up the ante: Bike SA’s Grand Slam is a great way to build up cycling fitness. This ride series follows country and hills routes that new cyclists might not otherwise see and the rides are fully supported, just like Gear Up Girl. The series starts with the option of completing 40 or 80 km and builds up in distance with each ride. Roll on from Gear Up Girl and launch your fitness into the new year with the Grand Slam.

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