Cape Town: More than 100 women riders, on every kind of two-wheeler from 150cc scooters to huge 1800cc custom bikes, turned out on Saturday 6 May for the two Cape Town legs of the 11th annual International Female Ride Day, now the world’s biggest ladies-only motorcycling event.
Started in Canada in 2007 by motorcycle racer and riding instructor Vicki Gray, it’s now celebrated in more than 70 venues in 23 countries, including 11 rides in South Africa.
It’s neither a contest nor a fund-raiser, simply a reason for female bikers to get out there on the road and make some noise, promote the diversity of bikes and women riders – and maybe persuade women who always wanted to ride but never had the gumption, to get their butt on a bike.
International Female Ride Day is organised in South Africa by Lady Bikers SA and supported by Harley-Davidson Africa, although both are at pains to emphasise that it is not a Harley-Davidson event – it’s for all ladies who ride.
Each of the 11 Harley-Davidson dealers across South Africa hosted a ladies-only ride on the day. The two legs of the Cape Town event started at Tyger Valley Harley-Davidson and Cape Town Harley-Davidson respectively, and converged on the Striped Horse in Muizenberg for a loud, laughter-filled celebration brunch.
And there was much to celebrate; some of the riders were newbies who’d never ridden in a large group before, while others had attended every one of the six International Female Ride Days held so far in South Africa.
One lady admitted that her bike wouldn’t start this morning, but she wasn’t about to miss this ride, “So I took my husband’s bike!” But mostly they were celebrating their kinship with the thousands of women riders all around the world who were out on the roads on the day, living the International Female Ride Day slogan, “Just Ride!”.