Women set the stage at the 6 Hours of Gibraltar Mountain Bike Relay.
Pedalpushers Cycling is a company dedicated to promoting women on bikes. They run all women road and mountain bike clinics and have been in the business of educating and supporting women’s cycling since 2009. Based in Collingwood, Ontario, this area is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast.
One Pedalpushers event has become quite popular for mountain bikers and those wanting to give back to their community. It is called the 6 Hours of Gibraltar.
Organized by a 13 person volunteer board, this successful mountain bike relay event has raised over $400,000 for My Friend’s House in Collingwood. $100,000 was raised in 2016 alone. 100% of the profit goes directly to support women and children who are fleeing violence.
Professionally built, this exclusive course is unique. Located on a private wooded property in Gibraltar, it has varying terrain and difficulty levels that allow for a challenging, yet fun and family friendly atmosphere. It is professionally timed, has Medical Staff on site and ends with a medal presentation for top teams and top fundraisers. Festival-like with music, an emcee, race swag and prizes, 6 Hours of Gibraltar has created a mountain bike relay for all ages that truly gives back to the community.
Two years ago, Pedalpushers owner and Canadian Rep for Terry Bicycles, Noelle Wansbrough decided it was time to step up the female presence at this event.
Given that it is a fundraiser for women facing domestic violence, it seemed appropriate to send the message to all women that they can be just as strong as men… if not stronger. The first few years of the event showed a strong male presence. There were some women participating and some co-ed teams but the men seemed to take centre stage. This all changed two years ago.
Pedalpushers fielded three all female teams. They called their teams “Pinkstrong” and within a few hours of the event starting spectators and participants started to realize these women meant business.
Kitted out in all pink the females started dominating the event. Males were being passed by females on the course on a regular basis. The solo rider Steph Martinek was leading the entire solo field including men. The senior women’s team was dominating the female category with a strong lead, but also leading in the male category as well. The junior riders were leading the junior female category and holding 2nd place overall with all the boys. The result was infectious – to the point that some of the males started showing their support by throwing on Pedalpushers jerseys for their laps.
At the end of the day all the females were on top of the podium, not only in the female category but the entire field!
First place solo (men & women), first place 4 person female team (men & women), 2nd place junior females (men & women). This was a very special day for women racing at an event supporting women, children and domestic violence.
One of the women at the event who had been abused and lived for a time at My Friends House approached us with tears in her eyes. “Seeing all these strong girls is so inspiring – I never thought this would be possible!”
Last year Pinkstrong was back, stronger than ever, with three all female teams and was again on the podium for the overall categories. Solo female first place, 4 person team (3rd overall men & women), the 2nd place overall for the junior team and third place for overall fundraiser.
Pinkstrong proved that women can not only ride with the males but sometimes they can even beat them! What a great message to send to all the women out their suffering from domestic violence!
For more info about the 6 Hours of Gibraltar go to www.6hrsofgibraltar.com. For more info about Pedalpushers Cycling go to www.pedal-pushers.ca.
Contributed by Noelle Wansbrough, Owner, Pedalpushers, and Canadian Rep for Terry Bicycles
Sharp-eyed readers may have spotted some of the Pedalpushers sporting our bike skorts – see more Terry cycling skorts here.
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