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Amy’s Big Bike Ride: pedalling for change

Ashleigh Went

Cyclist safety is a huge issue in Canberra. Like many Canberrans, one of my loved ones is a cyclist, and every time I see an accident in the paper my heart skips a beat and then immediately goes out to those involved and their families. While the specific solution remains a contentious issue, I think we can all agree that any Canberran should be able to hop on their bike and enjoy one of the city’s favourite sports without having to fear for their lives.

The Amy Gillett Foundation is a charity that sets out to do just that – to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders. The Foundation was started in honour of Amy Gillett, who was killed when a car tragically crashed into a group of Australian cyclists in Germany.

This Sunday, 1 March, the Amy Gillett Foundation and Pedal Power ACT present Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride 2015, a premier mass cycling event that will see thousands of cyclists pedalling to support the work of the Foundation. This year is set to be better than ever, with participants able to ride shoulder to shoulder with dual Olympic gold medallist, ten-time world champion and five-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anna Meares.

“It’s going to be a great day” says Anna. “The courses will take riders through beautiful parts of Canberra in a safe and social setting, and the Event Village will be buzzing all day long for family and friends so soak up the atmosphere.”

Anna counts the family friendly feel as one of the elements she most looks forward to. “I love nothing more than seeing the excitement on kids’ faces when they ride their bike and experience the sense of freedom that only a bike can provide.”

“I encourage all Canberran’s to join me in taking part in the 2015 Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride in support of the Amy Gillett Foundation and Pedal Power’s push to create a safer cycling environment.”

With distances ranging from 5 kilometres to 120 kilometres, the event is perfect for the kids, the budding cyclist, the weekend rider or the endurance athlete.

Pedal Power ACT Executive Officer John Armstrong noted the diversity in last year’s event. “It was wonderful to see the huge numbers of people who turned out for the previous event and it was especially gratifying to see the range of bike riders who took part”

“This is a wonderful flagship event, not just for Pedal Power but for cycling in Canberra, and it truly demonstrates the ACT’s position as the capital of cycling.”

In an event first, roads in the heart of the city will be closed for the shorter rides so participants will feel safely distanced from the traffic.

Registrations will be taken right up until 4pm on Saturday so there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Celebrate our cycling community, get your weekend cardio out of the way and show your support for a strong safety message this Sunday.

the essentials

What: Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride 2015
Where: Rond Terrace
When: Sunday 1 March 2015
How much: The 5km ride is free for adults and children of any age (those 6 years and over must register), the 20km or 35km rides are $18 for children or $45 for adults, the 68km or 120km rides are $25 for children 13 and over, $90 for adults
Register: Jump online to register.




Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author