Off-the-Grid Adventure has put Newcastle on the map of the Fancy Women Bike Ride this year, and we cannot but support them and participate ourselves!
Fancy Women Bike Ride is an event for women, organised by women, to remember the liberating joy of cycling, and to inspire and empower more women to ride their bikes. The more women cycle, the more women will be encouraged to cycle! It will be held on Sunday, 17th September, from 1pm to 3pm, starting and finishing at Exhibition Park.
FANCY WOMEN BIKE RIDE HISTORY
Fancy Women Bike Ride was held for the first time in 2013 in Izmir, Turkey to draw attention to World Car Free Day. This event was created by Sema Gur as a Facebook event and reached many women by word of mouth; 300 women participated in the ride. Women in beautiful dresses and bikes decorated with flowers and ribbons gathered in the city centre for a short and leisurely bike ride requesting “the smell of perfume in cities instead of the smell of exhaust”. Fast forward and thanks to national and international media coverage, Fancy Women Bike Ride is now hosted in 200+ cities globally and attended by thousands of women asking for safer, healthier, inclusive, and more equal cycling infrastructure and services.
2018: Fancy Women Bike Ride was recognized as a global women’s movement by the EU Commission
2019: Fancy Women Bike Ride took place in 115 cities all around the world and was listed as a success story in the Copehangenize Index 2019
2022: Sema Gur and Pinar Pinzuti, organisers of the Fancy Women Bike Ride, have been
recognised by the United Nations as laureates of the 2022 Annual Special Awards of World Bicycle Day for their leadership and excellence in promoting cycling for all
NEWCASTLE IS JOINING THE MOVEMENT!!!
Community Engagement Coordinator Vanessa (Recyke y’bike) and Comm Engagement Manager Vee (Off The Grid Adventures CIC) are convinced that there are many Fancy Women in our community riding bikes! We want to invite those women and come together to show that you don’t need to wear lycra, highly reflective clothing, or be an athlete, but that it is possible to ride a bike in a fancy dress! We believe too that women’s visibility in urban spaces is key to claiming our right to the city. Cycling is a powerful way for women to demand our space, become more visible in society, and can be a more enjoyable way to interact with our lovely city.
ABOUT THE ROUTE
We will meet you at the fancy Bandstand in Exhibition Park at around 1 pm on Sunday 17th September. Toilet facilities and refreshments are available at Urban Green Cafe or you can bring your own refreshments. At around 1.15 pm Sara Bateman, a highly experienced and qualified bike mechanic and ride leader, will demonstrate an M-check (check that your bike is safe to ride) before setting off at around 1.30 pm on our Fancy Ride! We expect the ride to finish at around 2.30 pm so we can chat a bit afterwards.
The short route (2.8 miles, max 1 hour) will take us out of Exhibition Park and towards Leazes Park where we do a lovely loop around the pond. We will continue via St James’ towards Grey’s Monument and finally onto the fully segregated cycle lanes back to Exhibition Park via Newcastle Civic Centre.
We will be moving slowly, cheerfully, and elegantly, it is not a race! Decorate your bikes, wear something that makes you feel fancy, and don’t forget to wave and smile to our surprised-looking audience! There might even be some women-only tunes on the day!
We will be joined by Lorna MacKay, a Newcastle-based artist and photographer. She will ensure that we have some nice memories to look back to! Lorna’s work is mainly focused on connections between people and place, and her work seeks to engage with human stories of landscape and the
ways in which these are conveyed through cultural narratives. We thought she would be the perfect fit! Let us know if you don’t want your photograph to be shown on our socials and we’ll blur you out.
To participate in this event you must sign up via Eventbrite by clicking here.
We expect this event to fill up quickly and we operate on a first come, first serve basis.
Shout out and many thanks to our volunteers and funders at Cycling UK and the Big Bike Revival programme for helping us to make this happen!