Written by Shahrzad Shahnia
A bit over three years ago, I joined the crew from the Rapha Sydney Club House for their weekly Ladies Ride held on ever Friday. The ride takes picturesque twists and turns through some of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs iconic locations as a way of celebrating women’s cycling.
The Rapha Rides have since become one of my favourite rides of the week. Being a clothing brand, Rapha is taking some encouraging initiatives to grow women’s cycling scene locally and internationally.
At first I was a little uncertain and anxious as to what to expect from the Friday rides. As most of us have experienced, women’s cycling activities sometimes are really motivating and cheerful, but at times could be daunting. Luckily for me this was definitely the first type. Through years of riding/leading with the women’s bunch, I have gained so much confidence in riding on the road and more importantly in a group.
There are a growing number of initiatives for beginner female riders these days. As much as this is uplifting, you often face a challenge to find organised activities/rides for ladies in the midfield; that being female riders who are reasonably fit and skilled on a bike and who could do with some challenges and structured mentoring of their own.
Becoming more aware of the scene, I’m actively on the hunt for initiatives that are putting the effort into bridging this gap, and the Rapha Friday Rides certainly live up to the expectation.
Women’s cycling community is changing rapidly now, so if you’re part of this transformation no matter how big or small, enjoy it, celebrate it and keep up the amazing work. Thanks to the ladies who are instrumental in making these rides such a happy thing to be part of.