By: Dave Abrahams
Silwerstrand, Robertson – Not even intermittent rain could dampen the spirits of the more than 170 women who turned out at the weekend for the second annual Rally in the Valley motorcycle gathering, held this year at the magnificent Silwerstrand resort in Robertson.
Hardly had the rain stopped, early on Saturday morning, than the riders were up and about, wiping down and polishing their machines, because there was a mass ride to prepare for and townspeople to impress - and muddy motorcycles weren’t going to do that.
For the Rally in the Valley, hosted by Lady Bikers SA, is for women only and, although many of their bikes speak with unquestionable authority, women riders impress not by high-speed antics and frantic revving, but by smooth riding and the twinkle of well cared-for machines.
As one said: “Polishing my bike helps me think.”
Local law enforcement seemed equally impressed; having escorted the mass ride along what seemed like every street big enough to have a stop sign, they closed off four blocks outside the final destination, the Huis le Roux home for the aged, and encouraged the rally-goers to offer rides (in between rain-showers!) to the inmates, and to members of the rally’s designated charity, the Worcester Institute for the Blind, a number of whom had been bussed in for the occasion.
'NOT A PUBLIC HIGHWAY'
They even agreed that the enclosed area was ‘not a public highway’ for the duration of the rides, so nobody was going to get busted for riding without a helmet!
But first there was more important business to take care of as the organisers stood on the tailgate of a Spar truck and called on the riders to form a human chain into the building, to offload R6500 worth of groceries that the rally had donated to Huis le Roux.
After more than an hour of women riding up and down the street with beaming passengers on their pillion seats – and some surreptitious notes made by the judges for the later announcement of the Concours d’Elegance winners - the riders went back to the resort for an afternoon of rally games - mechanical bull-riding, tug of war, hula hoop swinging, and disposing of inordinate amounts of liquid refreshment.
The evening included a charity auction in aid of the Worcester Institute for the Blind, and a live concert with PJ Powers. The party went on late into the night; many of the rallygoers needed to refuel themselves with a fortifying cup of strong coffee the next morning before taking to the road for the long ride home.
And, as always among bikers, there were no goodbyes, just talk of “next year”.