THE fourth instalment of the Girls Only Ride Day at the Broadford State Motorcycle Sports Complex on Friday, July 13 was a runaway success.
The day had been delt a fortunate hand with the weather even though it had started looking gloomy and rainy which was still no deterrent for the 29 ladies that attended. With 13 riders and 16 sidecar passengers not even the lack of sunshine could hide the smiles that were all round.
For some this was a chance for their first time ever on a race track, returning ladies to hone in on their speed and skills, and for others it was about getting back on the bike after a sabbatical.
Wayne Maxwell ASBK rider and Tracey Davis were the instructors for the day providing the ladies with instruction and advice on body positioning, track etiquette, racing lines and got out there with the girls to help improve.
“I have been involved in all of the Girls Only Track Days so far and really look forward to and enjoy them. They offer a safe and non-threatening track riding experience for ladies of all skill levels on a wide variety of motorcycles,” Carolyn, a participant at the day, reflected.
“These track days provide a great opportunity for me to retain and focus my riding skills and enjoyment in a very safe environment,” Carolyn continued.
“Riding coaches included local racers Darren and Lisa Scibberas, and Wayne Maxwell. To get people of this calibre, who are all down to earth and friendly, to help out in a volunteer capacity, as well as the marshals and officials, proves that there is a great level of interest in these events,” Carolyn said.
The improvements were noticeable on track throughout the day with confidence climbing and track conditions being more ideal after a bout of sunshine at lunch time.
For the first time half price entry to have a try at swinging on a sidecar was offered for those who didn’t have bikes but still wanted to be involved in the day.
With almost every lady on the day including those who had their own bikes keen to have a try the sidecars were on high demand. Brian March from the HMRAV (Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria) organised six sidecars and drivers to come out for the day.
Brian and his team gave a great information session on the basics of how to manoeuvre on both front and rear exit sidecars. This session had everyone enthralled, some were a little apprehensive, but everyone got out there and had a go. On hand to give pointers and a show of how it is really done were the Australian Sidecar Championships all girls Formula 2 side car team of Chrissie Clancy- Ingpen and Leanne March.
“It was the best day I have had in years, just what I needed,” Michelle reflected on the day.
“I had some great help from Wayne and Tracey as I had no idea how to go round some of those corners. I especially loved the sidecars!”
Motorcycling Victoria and Girl Rider is now assisting in the organisation and delivery of the day after Jessica Watkins and Tracey Davies established the day last year. The Girls Only Ride Day gives a unique opportunity to get out on a race track without feeling threatened or intimidated sharing the track with males. This has been a contributing factor to a lot of women and girls not getting involved in the sport.
“Thank you MV for a day I’ll never forget,” reflected Sally, another Girls Only Day participant.
“I used to consider “girls only” days as sexist, but have come to realise that the way women approach motorcycling is different. Despite being a seasoned track rider, this was my first Girls Only Ride Day, and I loved every minute of it!
“It has reminded me that motorcycles and tarmac do not care about gender, so there is nothing holding me back from going full throttle and experiencing all that I want to – both on and off the track,” Sally added.
“This is a great opportunity to tie the day in with our VicHealth funded Female Participation Program, which aims to create a safe and welcoming environments for women,” Manager of the Female Participation Program, Ms Peta Thomas said.
“With many women not knowing where to start to get involved in the sport this is a great chance to have a go without any pressure,” Peta added.
The next Girls Only Track Day will be held at Broadford State Motorcycle Sports Complex on Friday, September 21. For any information please contact Peta Thomas at Motorcycling Victoria on email@example.com
View incredible photos from the day here: MV Women & Girls on Facebook.
What others said about said about the 4th Girls Only Ride Day:
Naomi: “My goal was to have fun firstly, and secondly to become a more confident, better rider. I started the day taking corners at 30-40km, and by the end of the day it was closer to 60-70km - and had heaps of fun all day!
Everyone was really encouraging and friendly - this made such a difference,” Naomi said.
Mel: “I came along to the day to accompany Naomi, with no licence, and no idea what I was in for!
“I was initially 50:50 on the sidecar riding - and that was when I thought it was a joy ride on the side, safely and securely!
“Imagine my shock when I learnt I'd be hanging on and manoeuvring for my life! It was the encouraging words and broad smiles of the staff that made the decision for me, and that's why I spent the day “Evil Knevil'ing” it on the sidecars.
“100kms an hour of fun, I was sad and sore when the day was over. I've been raving about it ever since, and riding a high even now. I feel like I dared to face my fears and feel braver and open to even crazier adventures.
“The riders really made the day, with lots of encouragement and excitement egging me on. Thank you so much for guiding me into the world of sidecar riding. I feel alive!” added Mel.