The LIV Giant ladies gruppetto met as usual at 7 o’clock on Saturday at Café Racer. But last Saturday was extra special in highlighting the range of people that are now taking to cycling for fun, fitness and general enjoyment of the company of other like minded souls. I personally had a great ride, made so by my meeting Ruth and it being her first group ride. Not only that Ruth hadn’t long before purchased her new road bike, shoes with cleats and was now about to make her first pilgrimage to ‘mecca’ along one of Melbourne’s iconic cycle ways, Beach Road.
After a while in this sport it’s perhaps very easy to start taking little things for granted. Today wasn’t long, only 40 kilometers but that was farther than Ruth had ever ventured. Everything else was new too. For her this was all a big adventure and for so many reasons; using gears, having to click in and out of the pedals, sipping from her bidon while holding a wheel. Even stopping. Trying to absorb so much information can be demanding even at the best of times.
My ride with Ruth highlighted to me just how important groups such as LivGiant are. A subset of Giant Bikes, LivGiant caters specifically for the female market. In Melbourne, regular Saturday rides leaving from St Kilda encourage women of all abilities to participate in an organized group ride to Mordiallic.
A distance of 40km is covered with speed governed by the slowest rider and the group managed by experienced and knowledgeable female riders. This format provides an opportunity for riders of all levels to confidently ask questions and learn the basics from those only too willing to share whilst out on the road. I would certainly encourage anyone new to cycling to come along, feel comfortable in joining a group of female only cyclists and have a bit of fun. The biggest challenge you will have on Saturday morning is setting the alarm clock and just showing up! The rest is taken care of with a welcome smile from each of the LivGiant riders enjoying a day out. And of course, the ride can only be considered complete with a session of coffee and exchange of tales amongst your new group of riding friends.