Four hundred wāhine on motorbikes roar into Taupō

By Herewini Waikato

More than 400 female motorbike riders celebrated International Women's Riding Day in Taupō in the weekend – and promoted cycle safety at the same time.

They rode their Triumphs, Harley Davidsons, Indians and other iron horses on display as they rode around the Taupō district.

The event was organised by Leigh-Ann Crane and Wāhine Riders. Crane says riding is nothing but pure freedom.

“The wind’s in your hair, man, and it's like ‘yeeha let's go’ and fist pump moments '.

There were teachers, lawyers, mothers, women from all walks of life and ages, riding different bike brands. Gina Mohi from Te Arawa who has been riding for more than 30 years says it’s not a men’s sport: “Not anymore. That idea has changed, we are included. Let's celebrate us, the women riders.”

Preventing accidents

Today was also an opportunity for these women riders to highlight road safety for motorcyclists. Hinenui Cooper of Wāhine Riders says they were devastated to hear one of their women riders had been in an accident on her way to the event.

Crane made it very clear for all motorists. ”A lot of the time we end up in the car’s blind spots and they don't see us and sometimes we may be sitting behind the driver and you might see us weaving a little bit so they catch the attention of our headlights.”

 “Look carefully and keep us all safe. If we get into trouble we could be killed,” Mohi says.

Next year Hawke’s Bay women riders will organise Female Riders International Day.