The first global motorcycle relay has crossed Canada!
The Women Riders World Relay (WRWR) made its Canadian debut on Saturday, September 14, 2019 in Vancouver. Over 11 days women guardians have carried a hand-carved baton across seven provinces.
The relay has brought women from all walks of life together over a common passion – motorcycling. Some are new riders while others have travelled thousands of kilometers.
The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) sponsored a welcome reception in Hamilton as part of the relay, and had an opportunity to meet many inspiring women participating in this unique ride.
Ashley Smit came all the way from the Netherlands to ride in this relay. She has put several thousand kilometres on her motorcycle travelling from Thunder Bay to Hamilton. The highlight of this relay for her is getting to know the other women riders. “I have never met these people before and it’s like one big family. We are all helping each other out,” says Ashley. She admits it has been challenging getting used to driving on Canadian roads, but participating in this relay has also allowed her to get to know herself better.
Angel Scott from Brampton said she had an amazing experience riding with other women. She started motorcycling after a life-changing event happened. ”I donated my liver to my husband six years ago. Then we did bucket lists, so on my bucket list I wanted to get my motorcycle license,” explains Angel. “I just got my full M last year. Then I found out about this [relay] and I had to be a part of it.”
Colette Tindall Edeling is from Australia. She has been riding motorcycles for 35 years, and was among the first to participate in the relay when it began in February. To date she has travelled over 50,000 km across over 40 countries!
She saw the relay online about 10 days before it started, then decided to buy a motorcycle online in London. She doesn’t even buy shoes online! Colette has been away from home for over 200 days and is looking forward to travelling the rest of the relay. Next stop is the United States then South America and Africa. She is on a tight budget, but has been securing sponsorships along the way, and is even looking at mortgaging her house so she can continue her journey.
Colette has never travelled this extensively before, and has been impressed with the amazing sights Canada has to offer. “Canada rocks!” exclaims Colette. “I’ve been to a lot of beautiful countries out there. I rode in the Rockies, I went through the prairies, then I went through forests and lakes in the north shores. Amazing!”
The Women Riders World Relay is a year-long motorcycle relay that started in Scotland on February 27, 2019 and will visit almost 100 countries. Relay founder Hayley Bell is from the UK. She was motivated to promote women in motorsport. “I wanted to ignite a global sisterhood of inspirational women to promote courage, adventure, unity and passion for biking from all corners of the world and do something that’s never been done before to this scale. My aim is to WOW the industry into realizing the global market for women in Motorsports and to inspire women worldwide.” For more details about the WRWR visit womenridersworldrelay.com.
The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is proud to support the Women Riders World Relay. More women are participating in motorcycling, and more are buying and riding their own motorcycles. In fact, women currently comprise between 18 and 20 per cent of new motorcycle sales in Canada. “MCC recognizes that women riders deal with challenging issues including stereotypes, availability of properly fitting clothing and safety gear, and affordable skills training,” says Kellee Irwin, MCC Past Chair. “This relay will help to demonstrate that women motorcycle riders are a strong, united demographic globally.”