Rebel rousing: Women Honda riders take a tour of Wales

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The Rebel 500 Ladies, a Facebook community set up in 2019 to bring together female riders of the popular cruiser model, took their first group outing of the year with a tour of Wales.

The group was set up by author Marina Pascoe as a safe place where like-minded women Honda CMX500 Rebel riders, many returning to or starting their motorcycle adventures later in life, can seek advice or share information on repairs and accessories.

Three years on and the group now has just under 600 members, 30 of which converged on Baskerville Hall in Hay-on-Wye for a two-day tour that, says Marina, had stops at cake shops “planned as mandatory”.

The Rebel 500 Ladies visit Wales

“Our first stop was an hour away at the Owl’s Nest Tearoom at Llandovery where we were made to feel so welcome and met lots of other bikers too,” said Marina.

“Then on to Lakeside Cafe at Llandrindod Wells for lunch – and more cake! We then split up into three smaller groups – some of us returning to our digs, taking the scenic route, some going on to Aberystwyth and the other group took a tour around the Elan Valley.”

Distances ridden varied from 150 miles per day to over 600 for the weekend with a couple of 1100cc Honda Rebel models joining their 500cc middleweight sisters.

Rebel 500 Ladies take a tour

Marina said: “I never imagined when I set up the group that we would see 600 Rebel ladies participating. The Rebel is such a great bike.

“We all have different ideas on how we want them to look and we talk all the time about changes we’ve made and what else can we buy next! I guarantee no two Rebels in the group look alike.

“That’s one reason we love them – along with how stylish they look, a really comfortable ride and no problems keeping up with the ‘bigger bikes.’”

Marina Pascoe on her trusty Rebel

She added: “Everywhere we go, people always stop and admire the Rebel – why wouldn’t they?”

The Wales trip was the first of two planned Rebel Rabble Weekenders planned this year, with regional groups organising other events.

To find out more about the group visit the Rebel 500 Ladies Facebook page.

Rebel with a cause: The author bringing lady Honda Rebel owners together

First published 6 December, 2022, by Stuart Prestidge

The Rebelettes, part of the Rebel 500 Ladies Facebook page, take a pose

Crime fiction author Marina Pascoe is the unlikely founder of a Facebook community that has brought together hundreds of women Honda Rebel owners to wax lyrical about the popular cruiser.

Now 59, Marina owned a Suzuki GT50 in her teens, but “life got in the way” and it wasn’t until a few years ago that she found the passion for motorcycles returning.

“I have found that a lot of ladies are coming to bikes later in life,” Marina told MCN. “When I got my Rebel, I wondered if any other ladies ride this bike, so I set up a group with the idea of getting a few people to join.

“I thought if we could get a dozen that would be good, and three years on we are up to 508. It’s an amazing group.”

The author stresses this is not a motorcycle club, rather a safe place where like-minded Rebel riders can ask for advice or share information on repairs and accessories.

“Sometimes when you want some advice you can be afraid to ask, in case people will think that it’s really stupid,” said Marina. “In my group I have never had to remove a post. You don’t feel stupid, you are made to feel reassured.”

Regional Rebel groups are now forming, and they all meet up during twice-yearly weekend rides, affectionately named the Rebel Rabble Weekenders, that are devised to focus on the journey as much as the destination.

The rebellers have ridden to the Peak District and Scotland and have a trip Wales scheduled for next spring.  

Marina said: “On rides out, and I am not criticising men as everyone has their own skills they can bring, but for me I don’t go out in a mixed group as I don’t feel comfortable trying to keep up with them, and they often have more powerful bikes, and I think this isn’t much fun.

“A couple of times in mixed group riding I have turned around halfway through as I didn’t feel it was safe. It ruins the day. 

“When we go out as a group, we never leave anyone behind, we are always checking that everyone is still there and we always arrive at the destination with the same number that we started with.”

The group rides are, as Marina says, “organised with military precision”, placing experienced riders strategically within the group to keep a careful watch over the less experienced riders.

She added: “The last time we went out we had a lady who had never ridden in a group before, she was in her 60s, maybe 70, and she was a bit nervous at first but by the time we finished, she absolutely loved it.” 

Are you a female Honda Rebel rider? Visit the Rebel 500 Ladies (UK) Facebook page to find out more about the group and their activities.