Pier to Point Ride championing for more women to take up cycling
Liz Hardie was desk-bound completing a PhD in 2016 when she decided it was time to rekindle her love of cycling, and work on her health and fitness.
The 46-year-old Kelvin Grove local was frustrated with how easily her life had become sedentary since studying abroad in Shanghai 25 years ago, where cycling was her main form of transport.
Ms Hardie said she was a little intimidated about taking up the activity again after such a long break, until she came across a She Rides eight-week program.
“I discovered there was a whole community of women in Brisbane who were eager to build confidence to get out there on bikes,” she said.
“All of us had such different backgrounds – but we all wanted to meet other women to ride with.
“We quickly formed a group of regular riders and since 2016 we’ve conquered events as big as Brisbane to Gold Coast.”
On Sunday, May 6, Ms Hardie and her riding group will take part in the annual Pier to Point Women’s ride along the scenic Sandgate and Redcliffe foreshore in celebration of Bike Week 2018.
“Since we’ve all rediscovered our love of cycling, we want to inspire other women to get out on bikes and the Pier to Point event is the perfect opportunity to do that,” she said.
“Riding gives us the opportunity to exercise, explore Brisbane, get outdoors and meet fabulous people while we are at it.
“I hope that our involvement will encourage more women to come together at Pier to Point to discover all of the benefits cycling has to offer.
“There is a huge, supportive community of women in Brisbane who want to share the joys of bike riding.”
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said the annual Bike Week event aimed to increase female participation in everyday cycling.
“Only 12 per cent of Queensland women ride bicycles on a weekly basis, compared to 21 per cent of Queensland men – I’m on a mission to change that,” Ms Savage said.
“The Pier to Point Ride is an opportunity for female riders of all ages and abilities to give cycling a go, with the support of others.
“We have a 25km distance for those who are new to cycling, and a 40km ride for women who are more experienced and enjoy riding longer distances.
“In a time-honoured tradition, we’ll be finishing with a morning coffee and a bite to eat along the water, celebrating the change of seasons with friends.
“Ultimately, the Pier to Point is about empowering women of all ages and abilities to get into cycling – it’s a fabulous way to make friends and have fun.”
Bike Week 2018 includes a great line up of events for women from all walks of life.
“We’d love to see more women get involved to help inspire a fast and fit travel future for Queensland,” Ms Savage said.
“From juniors, beginners and experienced riders, to those who are curious about taking up the sport – Bike Week has something for everyone.”
Bike Week runs from April 28 to May 7. To register or find out more go to bikeweekqld.com.au or call 3844 1144.
Photo: Tracey Wilson, Liz Hardie and Kerryn Whiteside will be taking part in the Pier to Point Women’s Ride to increase female participation in everyday cycling.
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Please call Kim Ryan from BQ on 0459 395 875.