TG Newsletter: INTERNATIONAL FEMALE RIDE DAY
International Female Ride Day
(7 May 2022)
For one day a year the world focuses on SUSSIES ON CYCLES! Women all over the world meet up and ride in their happy-go-lucky groups through narrow city alleys, round neighbourhoods with curious kids, and even over fields beyond our urban boundaries.
Skinny’s Ride For The Day:
I have never been one for a voluminous bike. Soon as it reaches the size of a horse, I feel compelled to hook a plough to its tail.
My eyebrows automatically rose 4mm when I saw the size of this bike in real life. It was a broad broad and it would be tricky to get it through the kitchen door (the bikes on the farm sleep indoors).
And it had too much clothes on. I’m sure I saw a vessy, a shirt, a pull-over, and a bomber jacket. Too much plastic for a bike I would probably drop within meters of my first dirt road. And before you say anything, crash bars would probably make it as wide as it is tall!
So, my final verdict was that I HATED the bike…! I hated it because… I LOVED IT! I am not supposed to like big expensive machines. Na-ah!
The bike was smooth, easy over the rocks, sailed through water crossings. The seat was comfortable, the wind protection splendid. The buttons easy to reach (women have small hands and we don’t always get to the levers and buttons without taking our hands off the grips). The side stand was solid, the tires gripped well on tar AND in the short sandy/muddy sections. Wait for it… the seat had height settings! As in – clickclickclick! ShortMildLofty…
It also had a whole control panel that looked more complicated than my laptop, but Thomas helped me to change all the settings to emulate DR-mode. Meaning it had nothing – no anti-wheelie stuff; no traction control, only a little peak power and minor throttle response.
The Norden was on the back wheel straight out of the stables. But it was a little daunting lifting that barge because it felt like a whole building was rising up and about to donner over on top of me.
Morag, “A whole building?!?”
Skinny, “In the same class as Ponte!!!”
I would have one tomorrow, I would ride one tomorrow, tomorrow never comes!
Chikita’s Ride For The Day:
I started my dual sport riding career fourteen years ago on a little NXR125 so getting to play with Honda's big dog felt a bit like my life had come full circle. The 'Twin just about costs what I paid for my first house too, which is ironic because I was right on the verge of stuffing a few things into a pillow case, and heading halfway around the world!
But that day, thanks to Biker’s Warehouse, I was blissfully unaware of maintenance costs and insurance excesses and the unadulterated fun I was having, was priceless! This Honda has plenty of brawn and (a little too much) brains for someone who likes the simple things in life, like accidental wheelies and brake slides, but also stunning good looks which it does have heaps of! More is more! And this guy has it all! A definite head turner, with its pearlescent paint and dreamy headlights that stare deep down into your soul…
I had always thought my 701 had superpowers, but this thing feels totally stable at entirely legal highway speeds and makes you want to try the kinds of things that maybe it wasn’t built for...
Its playful nature might get a person with my particular strain of common sense into certain kinds of trouble, but it does remain a keen accomplice. I enjoyed the silky smooth motor, the sexy long gears, narrow waist, hairy chest and nimble stance, zipping through traffic and zig-zagging some single-track. Perhaps one day I could also pop the front wheel whilst waving at the photographer, but for now I just like to go somewhat sideways and get moderately airborne.
As someone who has always avoided big bikes and clung to the middle-class for the type of riding I enjoy, this was simultaneously an eye-opening as well as humbling experience, and I’m eternally grateful. X
BACK TO THE IFRD:
With burly cruisers, sleek superbikes and dusty adventure bikes, the Jo’burg ladies assembled at one of four starting points and ended their respective rides at the Prison Break Market in Kyalami.
The theme for 2022 was ‘Denim and Diamonds’ and the ladies went balls to the wall dressing up.
We joined the off-road group at BMW Motorrad Fourways, and were mighty surprized by the number of ladies already queuing for a coffee. There were 35 women on all cc’s of dirt bikes. A few guys also pulled up their panties and joined the ladies.
Morag Campbell organized the adventure ride and split us into smaller groups of 7 to 8 bikes, each with a fearless leaderess. We followed the dust of Annemien van der Linde who took us on a loop just north of Johannesburg through some farm roads, veld two-trails dotted with water crossings here and there.
Riding with Elsebie Olivier (PikiPiki Overland) our group naturally got into a massive splash competition. Chikita baptized Elsebie’s brand new riding gear at the first puddle, but nearly lost it in the deep end. Luckily all ended well, giggling, dripping and unscathed.
Somewhere down the line we encountered a farmer that had his panties in a knot. He locked his gate and refused us throughway – obviously pink was not his colour.
So, we just back tracked our route and wallowed through the same puddles in reverse.
At the end venue we were rewarded with a denim gift bag filled with goodies and a Krispy Kreme. A pleasure in itself is unrewardable, but if you want to throw us a Kreme, who are we to refuse?
There was lunch, there was dop, there was music, there were lipsticks, there were feathers, there were lace, there were stalls, there were fumes, there were prizes, there were smiles, there were old friends, there were new friends.
And so it was and so it will be next year.
…the day can only be described in the words of a hero lady – AMELIA EARHART
Please know that I a aware of the hazards.
I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others.
Biker’s Warehouse (https://bikerswarehouse.co.za/)
Morag Campbell (and her crew) (http://www.openrider.co.za/)
Think Bike marshals (https://thinkbike.co.za/marshalling/)
Daniel Mulder Distributors (https://www.dmd.co.za/)
Denver Dablingking Biggs (https://blingkingbikes.co.za/)
BMW Motorrad Fourways (https://www.bmw-motorrad.co.za/cedar-isle/en/home.html)
In ONE week we’ve lost a Husqvarna 701 to some sticky fingers, and another DR650 to some bearings without balls. Honestly – we are seriously short on wheels!
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I ride like a girl – try and keep up!!!
www.pinterest.com/skinny400 YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk