On Sunday, May 11th, the Rwandan Cycling Federation (FERWACY) in conjunction with Team Rwanda Cycling (TRC) will host the 2nd annual CycloFemme in Rwanda, a Global Women’s Cycling Day. Currently, Rwanda is one of three African countries hosting a ride, which has a goal of 500 rides in 50 countries.
CycloFemme was started by an American, Sarai Snyder to raise awareness of the power of bicycles for women.
“There is great momentum in the women’s empowerment movement, we see the bicycle as a tool for realizing positive social change. We believe that strong communities are built by strong women. As Susan B. Anthony said, about the bicycle, ‘I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.’” said CycloFemme co-founder Sarai Snyder. “The bicycle provides access, connectivity, and mobility, essential tools for economic, community, and personal development. We see CycloFemme as an opportunity to celebrate these ideas and encourage more women to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
With the statement “We Ride Together,” the goal of CycloFemme is to create a unified voice for women’s cycling by building a group of riders who recognize the need to empower one another and build a supportive community.
I spoke with Kimberly Coats of Team Rwanda about the event. It sounds really great… if you have a bike, get involved! If you don’t, consider sponsoring someone who does! You can get your pledge form here: http://www.teamrwandacycling.org/news/pledge-ride
What is CycloFemme?
CycloFemme is a socially-driven grass-roots celebration of women on bikes. We are of a growing community, for a growing community, and 100% volunteer-based.
Our annual Mother’s Day ride unites riders, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or bicycle preference to share in the joy of cycling. Year round, our global community inspires and empowers other women, by making their passion public and the joy in cycling contagious. In our first year, 163 rides were registered in 14 countries with many others joining in to celebrate in their own special way. In our second, we grew to 229 rides in 31 countries. Ride with us as we Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, Empower the Future of Women in Cycling.
Why Ride in Rwanda?
Rwanda has a rapidly growing cycling presence due to the success of the national cycling team, Team Rwanda. Team Rwanda is now trying to encourage women to ride and take up the sport for fitness and health, but also to consider some day having a true national women’s team.
What are the details for the event?
We will have two rides going simultaneously. The Kigali group will start from the Rwandan Cycling Federation at Amahoro Stadium at 9 am Sunday, May 11th. Another group will start from Rwamagana and we will meet about half way where there will be a tent set up with water and bananas. At the half way point all the expat women will give all the Rwanda women tops from Prana. Prana donated over 40 tops for the event.
Why do the Ride?
By riding, you are showing your support for women. A young African woman who has a bike is more likely to stay in school, have better attendance, better grades and hold off marrying and motherhood to complete her education.
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” – Susan B. Anthony
The ride will start in two locations with a meeting point approximately equal distance from Kigali and Rwamagana. The ride from Kigali to Rugende will begin at 9 am at Amahoro Stadium at the Rwandan Cycling Federation. A group from Adrien Niyonshuti’s Cycling Academy in Rwamagana will begin at 8:30 am from ANCA in Rwamagana. At the midpoint between Kigali and Rwamagana the two groups will meet and all Rwandan women cyclists will be given a tank top donated by prAna and a jersey donated by Louis Garneau, both sponsors of Team Rwanda Cycling.
FERWACY will provide refreshments and support for the ride.
The event is open to all cyclists, men and women, and will be a casual ride where all types of bicycles are welcome. FERWACY and TRC encourage the expat community and Rwandans to come together in support of women’s cycling.
Money raised during the event will be used to support the Rwandan women’s cycling team.
Websites: http://www.ferwacy.com / http://www.teamrwandacycling.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rwandacycling / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Rwanda/27990066134
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ferwacy / https://twitter.com/TRwandaCycling