GETTING INTO CYCLING: Alice Butler and Liz Shires with She Rides program manager Jade Hammer, taking a rest along the Bluewater Trail.
GETTING INTO CYCLING: Alice Butler and Liz Shires with She Rides program manager Jade Hammer, taking a rest along the Bluewater Trail. Chris Lees

She Rides program helps women get into cycling

WOMEN have a new chance to improve their fitness and meet new friends in their community.

Cycling Australia's popular She Rides initiative is set to do just that in Mackay.

Mackay program leader Jade Hammer said he was excited to lead the She Rides Confidence program being run in Mackay for the first time.

"It is an excellent opportunity to develop basic to intermediate skills under the guidance of a Cycling Australia qualified coach," he said.

Mr Hammer said this was something "not readily available without joining a cycling club".

"Riding has been such a positive activity for me over many years, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my passion and help more women in Mackay start their cycling journey with She Rides," he said.

"We have a growing cycling community in Mackay and some excellent bicycle-friendly facilities. This is a great opportunity for interested women to join in and enjoy the physical and social benefits of bicycle riding."

Mackay cyclists Alice Butler and Liz Shires are taking part in the program with very different aims.

Ms Butler decided to take part because she wanted to begin racing her bike.

"This will get me some more confidence," she said.

Ms Butler bought a new bike yesterday which she was excited about using in the program.

Ms Shires has the opposite type of bike to Ms Butler, a vintage cruiser.

"I always wanted a vintage cruiser bike so I went out and bought myself one," she said.

"Then I realised there's a lot that I don't know about cycling and I had a few issues. My crank fell off when I was riding up a hill.

"So when I heard about Jade's program I thought it would be perfect for me."

Ms Shires said her goal was to ride the Bluewater Trail.

"I live in North Mackay so I would have to cross the Forgan Bridge and this program will give me the confidence to ride on the roads."

Mr Hammer said research showed the three top concerns women had about cycling were; they did not know what to if they had a flat tyre, they were not confident in traffic and they had nobody to ride with.

He said the program would help with that.

Cycling Australia chief executive officer Nick Green said the program was a fantastic way for women in Mackay to get fit, make friends and discover their freedom.

"Communities like Mackay can only benefit from a program like this, it's a wonderful way for women to get involved and make positive changes in their lives," he said.

Details

 Registration for the program opened on January 18. The Mackay sessions, running for eight weeks, begin on March 12.

 To join the program visit http://www.sherides.com.au.



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