By: Dave Abrahams

Cape Town – The theme for the eighth annual International Female Ride Day – celebrated by women on motorcycles all round the world on Saturday 3 May - was ‘Just Ride’, and that’s exactly what the 41 ladies who took part in the Cape Town International Female Ride did.

There was no fund-raising effort, no charitable motivation; after a short welcome and route briefing from convenor Linlee Solms of Lady Bikers SA, the bikes, ranging from 125cc commuters to 1800cc cruisers, and including state-of-the-art superbikes as well as two CJ750 rigs from Cape Sidecar Adventures based on a BMW design dating from the 1930s, were decorated with pink balloons so that nobody would think this was a macho thing.

GROUP PHOTO

The ride took them, in beautifully crisp autumn weather, from Northgate Island in Brooklyn to Eden on Big Bay for a group photo that would appear on the International Female Ride Day website, and on to Melbosstrand.

Then they rode back to the Viper Lounge in Blaauwberg for a biker party that would have put most guys to shame, with plenty to eat and drink and live karaoke with a guitarist called Derek who knew all the bikers’ favourite hard-rock numbers and encouraged the ladies to join him on stage!

GOING THEIR OWN WAY

But the theme could just as well have been ‘Freedom’ – freedom from banging heads with macho mainstream riders, freedom to go their own way, at their own speed, to ride clean and smooth, neat and tidy the way girls like it.

One lady confessed this was the first time she had ever taken her Harley-Davidson out of the garage and gone for a ride without her husband, several more said this was the first time they had ridden in a group at all, let alone an all-female group – but that it would not be the last.

‘CONNECTING WOMEN’

International Female Ride Day was started in 2007 by Vicki Gray, founder of the women’s motorcycling association Motoress, as a means of ‘connecting women with motorcycles’ throughout North America. It went global in its very first year and is now celebrated in more than 20 countries around the world.

But it’s not about feminism, or about making a statement; it’s about bringing together a bunch of strong, independent ladies who love to ride their motorcycles – and doing just that.