ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher launched the 2014 Dirt de Femme on Wednesday, 16th October – a series of mountain biking events for women and girls at Stromlo Forest Park, to encourage women and girls to ‘have a go’ at mountain biking in a fun, competitive environment.
Dirt de Femme distances are between 20 and 25 kilometres and are open to all female cyclists aged 10 years and above, with three mountain biking events taking place on 16 February, 30 March and 4 May.
“Canberra has the highest rates of female mountain bike participation in Australia and with some fantastic mountain biking trails, this event is a great opportunity to get involved in the sport,” the Chief Minister said.
“While many female cyclists enjoy being challenged in a competitive atmosphere, an official race can be intimidating for some people, and the Dirt de Femme provides a fun and supportive environment in which to participate.
“Over 250 women and girls took part in the 2013 Dirt de Femme – more than double the participants in 2012. This shows the growing enthusiasm for mountain biking amongst women in Canberra.
“The support and presence of past winners and other cycling role models is a vital ingredient for nurturing a passion for the sport in young girls and there’s no greater motivator than aspiring to be a champion and being able to follow the path of your hero.
“Cycling is great for health and fitness and with thousands of Canberrans today donning their helmets for ‘Ride 2 Work’ day, it is great to see targeted events like the Dirt de Femme see even more Canberrans – young and old – develop a passion for physical activities like this,” the Chief Minister concluded.
The 2014 Dirt de Femme is organised by Canberra-based company Cycle Education. For more information or to register for the Dirt de Femme, visit www.cycleducation.com.au