A deluge of torrential rain may well have doused one of the hottest summers on record, but it did little to put off those who braved the extreme elements to be part of the world’s largest all-female meet in Shropshire on Sunday.
From early morning a steady stream of soggy riders rolled into Lynn’s Raven Cafe in Whitchurch and as numbers in the bike park began to swell so did the positive atmosphere until the whole site was buzzing with festival like celebrations.
The intention had been to challenge last year’s gathering when a record breaking 1132 ladies made the journey, however weather conditions were such that numbers fell a little short - that said, the 443 riders who did sign in certainly made up for any deficit with humour, camaraderie and enthusiasm.
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"It’s really cool to be a part of it," global adventurer Steph Jeavons told MCN, "and it’s great to see more and more women getting involved in biking. There’s everything here from superbikes to 125s – it shows the massive growth and potential of this side of the industry."
Cross country rider Sarah Moreau and the founder of Black Girls Ride magazine Porsche Taylor had flown in direct from California to attend. "Everybody’s smiling and the place is so full of life," says Porsche.
"It’s a great example for sisterhood across the world."
Everyone we spoke to couldn’t praise the event enough, but it wouldn’t have happened without the relentless efforts of the organisers, Sherrie Woolf and Nimi Patel.
"We want to show the industry the reality of women bikers," says Sherrie. "We want to be taken seriously as riders and not just as pillions. These are worldwide issues and manufacturers need to be aware that we are here to buy, too."
This inspiring event was well supported by several women only motorcycle clubs. "We’re all about making biking more accessible to women," Curvy Riders' Vanessa Buxton told MCN.
'Friendship is a big part of it'
"Friendship is a big part of it, but we also look at what is available and what might be suitable both in terms of bikes and kit through our web forum and regional Facebook groups.
"We think of our get-togethers as a girls' night out without the heels and make up – life is short so do something with it!"