Have a Hairy Mary ride!
GYMPIE is set to host Queensland's first ever all-female mountain bike ride this weekend, with more than 50 women to compete in the inaugural 'Hairy Mary' event.
Held at the Victory Heights trail complex, the ride will begin at 9am on Sunday, with participants aiming to complete as many laps of the 6km course as they can in the allocated three hours.
But as organiser Jan Leverton says, it can be as serious or as relaxed as you want it to be.
"It's a very relaxed atmosphere, so while there'll be some riders pushing themselves to the limit to get the most laps they can, others will be taking it very casually," she said.
"We encourage riders of all ages and abilities to come along and have a good time, with different classes to suit different levels of riders."
Leverton said about 55 people had nominated for the ride, including about 20 Gympie women.
And anyone interested is more than welcome to register on the day.
"Some women don't think they can tackle events like this, but the emphasis is on participation and just taking it at your own pace," she said.
Victory Heights Trails is an initiative of the local not for profit organisation, Cooloola Trail Care Alliance, and is designed to provide a safe trail area for bike riders, walkers, runners and horse riders.
"While the track has a few minor challenges, there's no really steep climbs or anything dangerous so it really does suit all riders from beginner to advanced," Leverton said.
"The Cooloola Trail Care Alliance has done such a great job with the track, and it's the big reason we chose to hold the first ever Hairy Mary in Gympie."
Leverton is part of Noosa-based organisation Tri-Adventure, which runs several swimming, running, kayaking and mountain biking events throughout the year.
The Hairy Mary is a focus event for the Cycling Australia initiative 'She Rides', which aims to increase female participation in mountain biking.
"If it goes well, we're hoping to make it an annual event, and possibly hold it in Gympie every year," Leverton said.
The Victory Heights trail complex is found between the Victory Hotel and Gympie North Railway Station on Bath Terrace.