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Love cycling? You’ll love these free events to celebrate Women’s Health Week

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Women’s Health Week is back from 7–11 September and this year, Canberra women are being encouraged once more to Spoke Up

Spoke Up is an initiative of the Active Travel Office, supporting Women’s Health Week to encourage more women to experience the multiple health benefits of riding a bike.

While riding a bike is sometimes eschewed by women for other forms of travel, women make more short trips within their local area than men, but half as many make those journeys on a bike.

Spoke Up encourages women to embrace the health benefits of riding a bike, while providing a framework for women who haven’t ridden in a while to get back in the saddle.

Is that you? Check out these tips on things like choosing a bike, finding safe routes, and combining the bike with the car or public transport.

There are also plenty of free community events for riders who are keen to meet and connect with like-minded women.

Here’s what you can look forward to.

Where to start with a new cycling habit (online webinar and discussion)

This is a session for women who want to get into a cycling habit for transport, sport or recreation.

A diverse panel who ride in different regions of Canberra and come from different age groups, backgrounds, and experience will answer your questions on things like:

  • Clothing and helmet hair
  • Finding safe routes to get where you are going
  • Choosing a bike (including e-bikes), negotiating bike shops and simple maintenance
  • Learning to ride or increasing your confidence with the bike.
  • Bring your questions and your experiences to share.

Tuesday 8 September, 7 pm – 8.30 pm | Webinar and discussion held via Microsoft Teams—register here and you will receive a Microsoft Teams link | Contact the Active Travel Office or see for Facebook more information.

New parents meet-up, Belconnen Learn to Ride Centre

Interested in finding out more about riding around your community with your kids? This is an event for young and old to:

  • Practice bike skills
  • Check out the cargo bikes from the Canberra Electric Bike Library
  • Take a 20-minute guided ride on nearby paths with Pedal Power
  • Chat to Pedal Power about their programs and activities
  • Have a chat to a bike mechanic and get a free tune-up
  • Explore our cycling maps and talk about how Canberra is a great place to cycle
  • Grab a free coffee or babychino

Friday 11 September, 9.30 am – 12 pm | Belconnen Learn to Ride Centre, Lake Ginninderra near the car park off MacDermott Place | RSVP via Facebook or contact the Active Travel Office for more information.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Social ride – Introductory Saturday Social Ride

Introductory bunch ride for women and non-binary riders in the ACT. 27km loop ridden at a very social pace for women with road bikes with drop handlebars.

If you’re looking for others to ride with or a gentle introductory bunch ride, come along and join a wonderful community of social riders.

Vikings Cycling Club | Saturday 5 September, 9 am | ANU North Road Bridge | Contact Vikings for more information.

Guided ride—Coached novice and flat (handle)bar cycling skills sessionAnnual return of group riding in spring

Interested participants should check the FIT website or Facebook page for details.

Organised by Females in Training (FIT) | Friday 4 and 11 September, 6 am – 7.15 am | Departing Treasury Carpark, Parkes | Contact FIT to register your interest.

Novice program

An 8-week program will offer a safe introduction to bunch riding. Vikings Cycling Club will teach you about safety and bunch riding skills while also helping to motivate you to improve your fitness.

The focus is on catering to the different abilities and interests of each group member with an option to focus on race skills if you wish.

Vikings also hosts the regular Women’s Social Ride on the first Tuesday of the Month (1 September, 6 October).

Hosted by Vikings Cycling Club | Starting Tuesday 8 September and Thursday 10 September—participants pick a group on Tuesday or Thursday at the Stromlo Forest Park criterium circuit, 6 am – 7.15 am | Register online, contact Vikings for more information.

Monthly social ride for migrant and refugee women to connect

Girls on Bikes hosts a monthly ride for women who have learned to ride through the program.

Come along early to talk to former participants about what it has meant for them or join the ride if you are ready to go.

Hosted by Girls on Bikes | Sunday 6 September | Contact Girls on Bikes or visit their website for more information.

Bike maintenance for women

A hands-on, practical bike maintenance session led by female mechanic Cath Spratley.

This session will help you get to know your way around your bike to keep it running smoothly, troubleshoot when things go wrong and talk to bike shops with confidence.

Hosted by 99 Bikes | Wednesday 9 September, 5.30 pm – 8.30 pm | 99 Bikes, 157 Flemington Road, Mitchell | Numbers will be limited to 8 | Register here | Contact 99 Bikes for more information.

Starting a new cycling habit: cycling for women over 50

A workshop for women who are over 50 to help them get started. A panel will discuss:

  • The health benefits of cycling for older women
  • Heath considerations in starting a new routine
  • Learning or re-learning to ride
  • Choosing a bike, trike or e-bike

Bring your questions and your experiences to share.

Hosted by More than Medicine | Wednesday 9 September, 7 – 8 pm | Contact More than Medicine or visit their website for more information.

Road cycle race

ACT Veterans Cycling Club holds regular road and track cycle races in the Canberra region.

Racing is open to women (and men) 30 years and older. Come and try racing or just come and see what it is all about.

New riders may utilise two trial rides before joining the club.

Hosted by ACT Veterans Cycling Club | Saturday 5 September, 1:30 pm race start | Stromlo Forest Park – western car park | See the race calendar for details.

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