In 2015, Sydney Cycling Sisters was set up to create an inclusive environment for Muslim women to ride a bike. This week, the group will join thousands of other riders at United Energy Around the Bay.
Sakinah Ahmad and Yusra Metwally will make the trip from Sydney to Melbourne with their families to tackle the 135 kilometre Geelong to Melbourne ride.
Sakinah and Yusra are ride leaders at Sydney Cycling Sisters, which now has more than 100 members who regularly join community rides and participate in events such as Gear up Girl, MS Sydney to the Gong and Spring Cycle.
"This is our first year doing the Around the Bay ride in order to branch out into new territory with new challenges," said Sakinah.
"We are making the most of the Labour Day NSW public holiday and going on a road trip with our families to get to Melbourne by car from Sydney. Our families will be at the finish line to cheer us on and be inspired by our accomplishment."
Inspiration and encouragement is the aim of Sydney Cycling Sisters which was established at a time when Sakinah says Muslim women felt they had to modify their activities in light of the growing number of harassment incidents and attacks.
"Four years on, with the support of community leaders, organisations and numerous cycling bodies, Sydney Cycling Sisters has grown immensely, comprising of women from diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions, professions and lifestyles, with the aim to provide an environment for women to get together for regular rides around Sydney in a safe and supportive environment," said Sakinah.
While Sydney Cycling Sisters only operates in Sydney at the moment, Sakinah would like to see similar groups operate in Melbourne and other areas and for more Muslim women who would like to ride a bike to give it a go.
"I would encourage them to attend a beginners group ride. You learn so much from other riders and get motivated to keep cycling on a regular basis."
"You can hire bikes from many places and ride with your family as well. Cycling is such a great sport and it is so beneficial to your physical and mental well-being to be out in the great outdoors on a bike."
For those in Sydney who would like to join the group they can get in touch on Facebook and keep up to date with upcoming rides.
You can also donate to Sydney Cycling Sisters fundraising page. They are aiming to raise $1,000 for official charity partner The Smith Family to help disadvantaged children with their education.
It's also not too late to join Sakinah, Yusra and more than 8,000 other people at United Energy Around the Bay on Sunday 6 October. Entries are still available at aroundthebay.com.au, including free tickets for children under 15.Follow Sydney Cycling Sisters