Girls on Bikes is a free learn to ride course for migrant and refugee women in Canberra.
The program uses bike riding to mobilise and empower migrant and refugee women to develop their fitness, strength, independence and sense of community. Girls on Bikes provides a safe and supportive space for women from diverse backgrounds to come together, meet new people and connect with the Canberra community while learning a new skill to improve their health and wellbeing – cycling!
Now in its second year, the five-week course is modelled on Pedal Power’s successful Cycle Well Learn to Ride program which teaches basic bike skills to adults who have never ridden a bike or want to refresh their beginner skills. In the Girls on Bikes program, participants are provided with a free bicycle and helmet to help them continue on their cycling journey at the end of the course.
The program is run by a team of passionate volunteers, including previous Girls on Bikes participants who have now been trained as cycle instructors.
The program is auspiced by Pedal Power ACT with support from an ACT Government grant. Helmets for participants are kindly donated by Trek Bicycles, and bikes have been provided with support from the Canberra Environment Centre, Goodspeed Bicycle Company and members of the Canberra community.
When: Commencing Sunday 26 August at 1 pm
Where: St Michael’s Primary School, 2 Tyrrell Circuit, Kaleen
Lessons take place in a non-traffic environment, so participants can learn safely at their own pace. The lessons are one hour long and are held over five consecutive Sundays. The course is divided into two groups, with sessions commencing at either 1 pm or 2.15 pm.
“Girls on Bikes has taught me to conquer a fear – a fear of falling obviously! I thought I was the only woman out there who didn’t know how to cycle but I’ve realised there are many of us out there and it’s never too late to learn.”
“This is such a good experience, they take you right from the basics and you’re all in it together. When I first started riding, it felt like a miracle.”
“Having a child, it is wonderful to show an example to her. Mum can do it so anything is possible, even at this age! ”
“When I first enrolled I was determined to learn how to cycle so that I could enjoy the Canberra outdoors with my family. This was something I wanted to do before I hit 40! Through the support of the trainers and the incredible generosity of the Canberra community who donated their bikes, I realised that Girls on Bikes were well equipped to not only teach us but also get us riding in the community. Now I ride my bike with my family around our community, and best of all, I get to train other women who were just like me to learn this new skill and get mobilised and empowered”
Girls on Bikes are calling on Canberrans to donate their good quality disused bikes to help support program participants. To donate a bike, find out about volunteering or to enrol as a participant please visit the Girls on Bikes website.