Last Saturday was the 10th annual International Female Ride Day, a worldwide initiative that unites women motorcyclists everywhere under the slogan “Just Ride!”.
And that’s what it’s all about; it’s neither a charity run, nor a contest – although there are big prizes for the best photos submitted to the organisers – and it doesn’t represent any motorcycle brand. International Female Ride Day is all about getting out there, getting together with like-minded women and riding your bike, whether it be a 150cc scooter or a 1500cc cruiser, or anything in between.
What was originally labelled National Female Ride Day was started in Toronto by Dutch/Canadian motorcycle racer and advanced riding instructor Vicki Gray, founder of online women’s motorcycling forum Motoress, and was intended to be run at several locations across Canada on the same day.
But even the very first edition on Friday 4 May 2007 went global with rides in the United States, Europe and Australia and since then it has spread to every corner of the globe, including South Africa since 2010. The date has been moved to the first Saturday in May each year, since many riders found it difficult to get off work on a Friday to go riding, and it has become the biggest ladies-only motorcycling event in the world.
Women riders will gather at Harley-Davidson Cape Town in Somerset Road from 9.30am on Saturday morning for free drinks and snacks, as well as informal group photos, before the run leaves at 10.30 for another ‘photo op’ stop (find out more on the day!) and brunch – or lunch! – at Riebeeck Kasteel. Any female rider on any roadworthy motorcycle is welcome, and you’ll be astonished to find out just how many there are.
At the first International Female Ride Day in Cape Town, in 2010, one rider admitted that it was the first time she had ever taken her bike out of the garage and gone for a ride without her husband in attendance. But, she said with a huge grin, it would not be the last – and that’s what International Female Ride Day is all about.