Early risers get the wheels turning on International Women's Day

Large swathes of riders kicked off International Women's Day in style, braving an overcast and chilly Melbourne morning to take part in inclusive rides across the city.  

Riders turned up to the Yarra Boulevard in huge numbers for a 7am roll-out, arriving in colorful kits, and on bikes of all makes and models, for a leisurely 26-km jaunt up and down the scenic riverside route.  

From Olympian Sarah Gigante to the up-and-coming roadies she's undoubtedly inspired, there were riders of all experience levels in the mix, coming together from all parts of Melbourne.  

Meanwhile, another contingent descended on the Docklands for a celebration of their own, pedalling along bike paths, lanes and quiet roads to complete a 15-km inner-city adventure. 

Both rides then came together to continue the festivities at A Thousand Blessings cafe in Richmond, allowing all finishers to rest their legs, enjoy a hot beverage and share tales from the road.  

The morning's rides followed an International Women's Day Workshop the previous evening, with around 70 participants involved across the three events. 

"There was lots of coffee, lots of friendly chatter and lots of story swapping about why people ride," said Bicycle Network CEO Alison McCormack.  

"It was just fabulous to see so many women coming together and getting into the spirit of the day, all sharing a passion for bikes." 

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