|Monique (left) and Amanda, Gear Up Girl SA's latest ambassadors.|
Bike SA's women's only bike ride, "Gear Up Girl SA" has two great ambassadors on board. We decided to ask them a few questions before they cycle with a thousand other like minded women.
Bike SA: What made you sign on as an ambassador for Gear Up Girl?
I think cycling is great but like many other people, often forget to take the bike and instead take the lazy option and drive. Bad for me, bad for the environment, bad for traffic congestion! So, by doing Gear Up Girl I'm forcing myself to take up cycling again.
I love riding my bike. It gets the blood pumping, the wind in your hair, some vitamin D on your face and some extra cash in your wallet that you'd normally spend on petrol and parking.
BSA: Why should girls get involved in cycling? What do you think stops them?
Sometimes we are so busy looking after everybody else that we forget to take care of ourselves. I think people are unaware of how convenient cycling can be. It gets you where you need to be (usually on time) and helps keep you fit.
Girls, it's honestly the best. It only takes about 5 more minutes to get where you're going, you can park right out front, it burns a heck of a lot of calories (*so you can eat more gelati) and the blood flow makes your brain and body work better. Helmet hair can be a worry. And getting sweaty. But, once you learn to braid your hair sweetly and carry your shower in a can - no worries.
BSA: Do you have any funny / interesting / ridiculous cycling stories or memories?
I just remember being a kid and riding my bike EVERYWHERE. It gave me such a taste of freedom and I really loved it. When I got back on my bike (Eunice) 2 years ago all those memories came flooding back. When I cycle, life seems to slow down a notch or two and I really do stop and smell the roses (particularly the ones in Veal gardens!)
You get to take in a lot more of the world when you ride. I can think about my day, or listen to podcasts, or make phone calls as I pedal along. I've been able to stop and push broken-down-cars, help people that are stranded, help little old ladies and men cross the roads, all things you can't do when you're zooming past in a car. Being on the bike gives you flexibility to stop and help people. You feel like the best person in the world, not only are you riding your bike, saving the planet from your carbon emissions, doing the right thing for your body and mind, but you're helping people too? Awesome.
I once saw a bike rider in front of me smoking a durry as he rode, with an ice-coffee in his drink holder, and I thought that was great. It proves you don't have to be a lycra-lad or lady to ride. Just hop on a bike, iced coffee and all.
BSA: Which ride will you be doing on Nov. 24: 15, 40 or 50km?
The shortest one.
I'd really like to do the 50km but that will just about knacker me. I'll have to pack some snacks to take along for that one.
BSA: Where's your favourite spot to cycle in Adelaide?
Through the parklands with the kids.
To work and back. It's the best de-stresser I can think of.
About the Ambassadors
A former WNBL player and seriously talented baker, Monique Bowley is a girl with her finger in a lot of pies. A radio producer, member of the CWA, contestant on The Great Australian Bake Off, owner of one of Adelaide's original food trucks The Little Van that Could and co-creator of Dulcie's Shop of Real Opportunity - she can now add Gear Up Girl ambassador to her list of credentials!
Well-known to Adelaide audiences, Amanda Blair is one of our city's greatest advocates. Never one to shy away from helping a worthy cause, she has involvement in a wide range of campaigns and organisations. In addition to the full-time job of raising her 4 children, Amanda also makes regular contributions to Channel Nine's The Today Show and a monthly column in The Australian Womens' Weekly. She has also teamed up with Centacare and Hutt St Centre to create Dulcie's Shop of Real Opportunity - an Op shop on wheels. Phew. We're just glad she found the time to come on board as Ambassador with Gear Up Girl.