Women Challenge Motorcycle Stereotype
Women challenge motorbike-riding stereotype in 10,000-strong international relay pack
Posted on 10.09.2019
Days before an international pilgrimage of female bikers was set to begin a world tour of more than 80 countries, one woman was still to sign on.
But 55-year-old Australian grandmother Colette Tindall Edeling wasted no time in remortgaging her Brisbane home so she could join in.
“I saw it 10 days before it started, and I said to my daughter, ‘You know what? I’m going to try and do the whole thing’,” she said.
After a visit to the bank for the funds, Ms Edeling then needed a motorcycle, so bought one in the UK on her way to joining the group of what would become 10,000 female riders in possibly the largest recorded world-wide motorbike relay.
Women Riders World Relay
The Women Riders World Relay (WRWR) began in February in Scotland, before moving through Europe and Asia, and now they are in Sydney.
Carried along with the group, a baton has so far made it to more than 50 countries, in the hope of encouraging women to take part in motorsports.
Ms Edeling, who has travelled with the relay for seven months now, said it had been an empowering movement to witness.
“After the UK, I then did 39 countries across Europe,” she said.
“I tried to get into Iran but couldn’t get my motorbike across the border, so ended up getting sponsorship to make it to Asia to keep going.”
Feeling sense of belonging
Ms Edeling said, while she had not felt any pressure from stereotypes about riders, teaching other women to feel comfortable on the road with men was important.
“When the girls first come [on the relay], sometimes they’re scared, and I say ‘Follow me’,” she said.
“And then they walk away, and they feel like they belong. They don’t feel like they’re trying to compete with the men on the track.
“We are giving them a place to ride and a place to learn.”
The Women Riders World Relay is due to end in February 2020.
Have a story to tell or news to share?
Let us know by Submitting a News Story