The first FTW cycle ride took place from 16th to the 23rd April 2004. Approximately 270 women took part with ages ranging from 19 years to 60. Mothers rode with daughters, friends rode with strangers, and by the end of the eight days, all the women were united in one cause. Together they called for an end to violence and the success of peace throughout the Middle East.
The cyclists covered a distance of almost 300 kilometres in total as they rode around Beirut, from the Syrian border into Damascus, out into the Syrian desert to Busra, then over the Jordanian border and on into Amman. The ride was physically demanding but emotionally fulfilling. Along the way the participants had the opportunity meet women from many different countries and share their thoughts, beliefs, experiences and lives. Many good and lasting friendships were formed built on respect and affection.
Many of the local people in the three countries were grateful that the women had made such an effort to leave homes, work, families and commitments to travel to their lands to learn and show support. The host countries, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan welcomed the riders of FTW with warm hospitality and generous appreciation. There were many banquets, much dancing and plenty of speeches.
At the end of the ride, there was a two-day women’s conference, where the participants discussed how to take the aims of FTW forward and create an international movement for peace. Several projects, such as youth exchanges with various themes around women, were planned and implemented in the following year. Some of the country teams contributed to funding a youth counseling center in Ramallah, Palestine.