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.

Celebrating Women Riding Bikes: The Women’s Ride – Sunday 6th March 2016

the womens ride bannerCycling Geelong is proud to sponsor two special club rides for International Women’s Day joining in at least 60 other participating rides in Victoria.

Our two rides both start at 9am on Sunday 6th March at Balyang Sanctuary, Marnock Road, Newtown (see a map on our Ride Calendar).  The rides celebrate women, the advances in equality, and the emancipating effected of cycling for women.  These rides are not exclusive – men and boys are welcome to help us celebrate. 

The Short Ride – The Barwon River Circuit:

  • a clockwise circuit of the Barwon River Path.  This is all on sealed bike paths, with no road crossings.  You’ll pass through bushland, parklands, sporting facilities and the famous rowing precinct, over the Breakwater, past golf courses and playgrounds, under the historic Queen’s Park Bridge, over low level bridges over the Barwon and Moorabool Rivers at Fyansford, with a stop for refreshments.   We’ll pause at ‘The Women’s Park’ to reflect on women who’ve worked so hard over many generations to make our society a better place for women and girls.

Images of the “Women’s Place of Peace” near Queen’s Park Bridge.

  • (Please bring enough money to cover your coffee etc.)  Easy – 20kmrowers
  • Expect to see walkers, jogger, cyclists, dogs (on and off leash), water and other birds, rowers.  You may also see other wildlife – reptiles and, occasionally, wallabies, possums and kangaroos.

Please register for the short ride at http://thewomensride.com.au/event/womens-day-rides/

The Long Ride – Tour of Geelong 

  • This ride takes in a mixture of sealed roads and sealed shared paths.  The course moves from Balyang Sanctuary, through Highton to Wandana Heights, with a circuit of Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus.  A short path takes the ride to the old Princes Highway in Waurn Ponds and up to the newly completed dual highway near Mount Moriac (Pettavel).  Following quiet roads, the route leads back to Highton and Belmont, where we cross the old breakwater into the inner south eastern suburbs.  From Breakwater the route moves past the Geelong Race Course and Showgrounds, past Eastern Park to the waterfront, where there’ll be a coffee stop. 

    nancy nattynickers

    Nancy Nattyknickers – Bollard by Jan Mitchell, waterfront path, Griffin Gully

  • From here the route turns north, along the waterfront to North Shore, before heading inland through Norlane and Bell Park and onto Cowies Creek Path to join the Ted Wilson (Ring Road) Bike Path.  An easy incline follows to Bell Post Hill and Herne Hill.

    13090808 RR bridge at Fyansford web

    Across Moorabool Valley from northern end of Ted Wilson Trail

  • The fast descent of Hyland Street (newly re-sealed for safe cycling) returns the cyclists to the Barwon River with a short section on the Barwon River back to the starting point.  60km with a few hills.  Medium pace (around 20kph)/medium grade160306 women's ride geelong circuitClick the map to see the route in detail on Map My Ride
  • Please register for the ride at http://thewomensride.com.au/event/international-womens-day-ride-60km-in-geelong-area-sunday-march-6th-2016/

Or just turn up on the day, with your roadworthy bike, helmet, puncture repair kit and some money for coffee.