I’ve had a very busy summer and have wanted to catch up my blog for quite some time…. so….
At the world record ride in I met some women from the Dykes on Bikes Sussex UK motorcycle club. DoB was first founded in San Francisco in the mid ’70s and, although I have heard of it, I didn’t think it was for me… too many rules. Having now met a couple of the grrls I really felt at home talking with them and they invited me to ride with them at the front of the Hastings Pride march in August…. wow, how great is that!!
Sussex chapter is the only one in the UK but there are many chapters around the world. I joined the Facebook page and saw there was a ride out coming up so met up with them in Sevenoaks for a ride to Loomies Cafe, a famous biker meeting point in Sussex. Even though it was drizzly and chilly I really enjoyed the ride and meeting a few more of the members. So now I am an official prospect, (potential club member), and as such I have to plan and lead a ride out.
Now, I hate leading and have never led a group ride so am a bit nervous about it. The world famous ACE Cafe in London has its Ladies Day on the 6th August so that is the day I will lead the ride. I decide to plan a circular ride from/to the ACE riding to the Deep Mill biker friendly cafe near Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire and back to the ACE via mostly twisty roads. I must avoid motorways as some riders may be on 125cc so not allowed to ride on them.
Here is a link to the proposed route…
In the meantime, I drop in to Lakeside Harley stealership one afternoon, I am passing on the M25 after work so want to check out the clothing sales…. now you know me, pop in for wheel bearings and leave with a Sportster… so there’s this v-rod….
Of course I am offered a test ride and make arrangements to return on Monday.
As I said, I’m nervous about leading so I ride the planned route a couple of times to make sure I know where I am going 🤔😎. Some of the roads are pretty hairy, narrow, gravelly and twisty with high hedgerows, so I look for better alternatives, all seems good and am happy with the final route.
On Monday I return to the stealership and am very excited to try out the Muscle… she is quite a bike and I have fallen in love… again. The test bike is denim black, not my colour so I opt of the only other one in the shop which is a sparkly white, again not really my colour but I prefer it to the black one. So… guess I need a price on the Sporty. We do a deal and all is in order so I am due to collect the bike the day before the ride out.
… and here she is…
She is quite the beast…
Bibi wee sporty.. sob!
I want to use the Rod on the ride out so take it for a spin on the proposed route. The bars need moving up and back slightly and I will definitely change the exhausts as at the moment it sounds like a sewing maching on steroids, but unfortunately all that will have to wait.
All too soon the day comes for the ride out and there is quite a large group, about 15 of us. The weather is good and all goes according to plan, (well apart from a couple of turn arounds… sheesh!!)
All is now focused on Hastings Pride and I must say I am very excited to be involved.
I am travelling down with Pricila and a couple of other women from Lezbikes who I have not met before. We are staying in a static mobile home near Hastings, the property is provided at a nominal rate for Emergency service workers so, as P is a paramedic, we are getting it at a fantastic rate.
I meet Priscila, Titta and Fiona at P’s house and we make our way down to Hastings. What a great group of grrls.. and here we are at the property.
It is actually rather palatial, very well equipped and an absolute bargain.
We have a great day in Hastings, the sun is shining and many people are out and about lining the streets to watch the Pride procession pass by… an awesome day and we will be doing it all again next year.
So, next up it’s the official DoB camping weekend in Alfriston, near Brighton… eek, camping, so not my thing. I do however have camping equipment, although my tent is too big for the bike… I manage to pick up a smaller, compact tent in ASDA for just £10, yay!!
In an effort to contribute to the collective I bring along some marshmallows, apparantly they are great toasted.
As you can see, I take the FatGrrl with me as I can’t get all this equipment on the Muscle… she needs a good run anyway. Do you think I might have overpacked… again??
Had a really good time and met some new friends in the process… and morris dancing no less… DoB style that is
Am looking forward to next year.
So that’s the summer over… have managed to make some changes to the Muscle – pipes, license plate position, handbars moved. Have a few more touches planned but am happy with it for the moment.
Ahhh that’s more like it…. so am proud to present Matánach Máire a very fitting name indeed*
Looks like New Zealand is on hold… Next June/July 2018 Dykes on Bikes Queensland are organising a tour in the USA starting with riding at the front of San Francisco Pride, then a ride up Route 66 to Chicago… all DoB members are welcome to join in so I have already booked my flight to SF… Will definitely be riding in SF Pride and probably some of Route 66 with the grrls, after that… watch this space!