By Kristy Scrymgeour in Geelong
The inaugural Amy Gillett Foundation ride took place in Geelong, Victoria on Saturday with almost 3000 people turning up on their bikes to celebrate the life of Amy and raise money for road safety awareness and development of women's cycling in Australia. A perfect day greeted the riders, who could choose between a 45km ride, a 120km ride and a couple of mountain bike rides. It was an emotional start to the day for Amy's parents, who after having trained for a few weeks to prepare for the day, led the 3000 people out of the Botanical Gardens to start the ride.
AIS riders, family and friends of Amy, Australian professional riders, cycling enthusiasts and people who had never ridden a bike before joined in the day to support the cause.
Those people brave enough to attempt the 120km ride were subject to the Simon Gillett race pace ride instead of the relaxing place they were expecting. Whilst Simon sat on the front of the bunch most of the way, the enormous bunch dwindled to almost nothing by the time it arrived back in Geelong, with stragglers creeping in behind in dribs and drabs. The ride record stands at 3 hours 19mins setting the tone of the ride for years to come.
Sara Carrigan, who did the ride and went onto win the fourth round of the women's Bay Classic in the evening, told Cyclingnews, "I love racing the Bay Crits, but this year I decided I just wanted to come down for Amy's Ride, and to do a crit either side of the ride. The ride was awesome this morning, there were so many people out, it was great."
As for Simon Gillett, Carrigan recalled that "he did an 80k turn on the front, had 20k rest then did the last 20k home. On the paper we were given last night it said to allow five hours - well we made it in three hours fifteen! It was a great ride and good training as well."
More information: www.amysride.com.au