Women’s Day Rides- The River Circuit: Sunday 6th March, 2016

Thanks to Rosemary for this report.

Women’s Rides Sunday 6 March commemorating International Women’s Day

We had a wonderful turn up at Balyang Sanctuary of 22 people, a combination of members and visitors, who looked forward to participating in this special event.

Before the two rides commenced, Helen Lyth outlined its aim: to acknowledge not only the contribution of women in all walks of life over the years, but also the obstacles overcome during that time and the need to persevere in order to improve aspects of women’s lives in the future.

Women assemble at Balyang Sanctuary for International Women's Day rides

Women assemble at Balyang Sanctuary for International Women’s Day rides

Stella and Rosemary led a short ride around the river at a leisurely pace, taking particular care to manoeuvre the bikes when sharing the track with excited rowing carnival participants.

It was pleasing to see riders of varying ages and abilities, but all enjoying themselves. We were particularly delighted that young Emily and her mother, Amanda, rode with us, with Emily displaying very good riding skills and setting a cracking pace!

We dismounted to read the plaques, admire the mosaics and explore the attractive Women’s Place of Peace Garden, an area near the Queens Park Bridge.  The Reclaim the Night Collective has partnered with several organisations over a number of years to create this small site as a contemplative, peaceful picnic area dedicated to honouring the survivors of sexual assault and family violence, along with women who have fought for the rights of women and children, particularly their right to be safe.

Sprigs of lavender were distributed to the riders and watermelon from Stella was eagerly devoured.  Riders remarked on the sense of tranquility and serenity at the site, while also praising the efforts of the collective, particularly Nancy Donkers who has spearheaded the group. It was noted that at the Women in Community Life event held on 3 March, Nancy won the award for her valuable contribution to the Geelong community, particularly in relation to awareness of women’s issues.

The final part of the ride concluded with coffee and happy chatter at Barwon Edge Café.  It was deemed by all to have been a very successful ride, and one which we hope to hold annually.

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