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Durban women riders racing their way to the top

Bikes
Durban -  Women around the country are taking up motorcycling in increasing numbers, and many are now being selected for racing teams.

The growing interest is being prompted by organisations such as Durban-based bikers group the Shredbettys, which promotes women’s riding and other extreme sports.

Shredbettys now has more than 400 members, and many will be in action at the South Coast Bike Fest in Margate from 27-30 April.

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The Shredbettys are, back row, from left, Pamela de Heer, Sarah and Kirsten Mingay and Nicole Salt. Front row, from left, Nicola Strauss, Roxanne Baney and Lanza van der Mescht.Picture: Shredbettys

The Shredbettys’ seven-strong team, who compete in enduro, off-road and motocross racing, will be at the South Coast Bike Fest to showcase various skills, hold “Learn to Ride” sessions and answer questions about riding.

Nicole Salt, who heads the organisation, said: “The Shredbettys started as a small group of women reaching out to fellow-riders who experienced difficulties with competing in and getting started in a male-dominated sport."

“We quickly received an overwhelming response to be a voice for women in motorsport.”

Bike Fest

The Shredbettys have been getting women the attention they deserve since 2013, and are now the leading interactive social media avenue for women’s off-road racing in South Africa.

Meanwhile, plans are well advanced in Margate for the South Coast Bike Fest, which has replaced Africa Bike Week, which moved to East London. Organiser Vicky Wentzel, managing director of Wozani Africa, said a survey by Tourism KZN showed the event was worth R246 million.

More than 500 local people would be employed during the Bike Fest, Wentzel said, which will also include three festival stages, eight bars, “and a great music festival”.

Entrance is free, but online pre-registration at www.quicket.co.za is essential.

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