How to start from a woman in motion and end up with a women’s movement?
Every two years, I embark on a bicycle trip to explore different places and to meet women along the way. I want to share how biking helps me on a daily basis.
For me, biking is a means of transport, a way of liberation, that gives me a sense of freedom.
It is about women taking up public space and connecting together.
They also provide an opportunity for introspective journeys, a time to be with myself, and a moment to slow down in my always hectic life.
I’m a woman on the go, meeting women along the way.
The kindness, the hospitality, the help and especially the sisterhood that I find in women are what mark me the most. One of my goaIs in life is to return the favor in my own way, I received from women to the women I will be meeting.
I’ve been living in Montreal for seven years now. I’ve always had an attraction to discover the environment that surrounds me, I’ve visited several regions of Quebec. Among those places, I’ve always wanted to explore the Gaspé Peninsula.
The Gaspé Peninsula is not a place just around the corner, so it was a destination I had to plan for. It is located 900 km from Montreal, it is along the south shore of the St Lawrence River. Before being stolen territories, First Nations Mi’kmaq were established there, the name Gaspé comes from the Mi’kmaq word “gespe’g”, meaning “end”, referring to the end of the land.
Here, I draw the portrait of 12 French Canadian women, of all generations I met during my bike trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in the summer of 2022. These women, in motion, each found themselves on my path at special moments in time.
I want to share my gratitude for these encounters, the thoughtful exchanges and the different meals I shared with these women in motion I met in various times of my journey.
After spending 11 days with these fantastic women, I feel full of hope, kindness and solidarity amongst women, which I’d like to pass on and share with other women. In this way, I’d like to get a sisterhood wheel spinning.
I feel enriched for future adventures.
I’ve noticed that the women I meet are often isolated, with a need and a desire to connect with other women.
I’d like us to be able to meet up on the same road, women on bikes, and share a stretch of the road together, an episode in our lives.
A women’s cycling movement!
I want women who read my piece to find inspiration to take up public space, to gain self-confidence by surpassing herself and be proud of themselves for their achievements.
Next year, I’m planning another biking trip in South Korea, from Seoul to Busan along the eastern coastline. To discover Korean food and meet some South Korean women.
And who knows what else life will bring? Maybe I’ll meet you on the road too !
Estelle is a member of Asian Women for Equality and an activist with la Concertation des luttes contre l'exploitation sexuelle (CLES). As the daughter of immigrants, as well as a witness to and victim of sexism, racism, and classism, her understanding of intersectionality and her sense of justice has led her to work with several feminist organizations.
She shares with us her last bike trip, how she takes up public space and how she connects with women around the world.