Oz to join Women Riders World Relay
Hand to hand, rider to rider, country to country — female motorcycle riders around the world are uniting to carry out a truly unique relay.
The Women Riders World Relay was sparked by a UK-based motorcyclist Haley Bell, who felt women just weren’t being properly catered to by the motorcycle industry.
“Going into motorcycle stores and seeing a lack of choice, combined with stereotypical pink and being told ‘there just isn’t the market for women’, highlighted to me just one small element of a much bigger picture around women in motorsports… Our aim is to wow the industry into realising the global market for women in motorsports and to inspire women worldwide,” said Ms Bell in a statement on the Women Riders World Relay Facebook page that has garnered the support of thousands of women all over the world.
The relay began in Scotland and will finish in the United Arab Emirates in December. Already, hundreds of ‘guardians’ — women who have signed up to deliver the baton on their chosen leg — have carried it through the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. It will make its way through Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Indonesia, and then into Perth later this month.
Orange Local Orranette McGuire has signed up to be a guardian of the baton for four legs of its journey later this month; riding from Wagga Wagga to Cowra, Cowra to Dubbo, Dubbo to Tamworth and Tamworth to Glen Innes.
“It's women bike riders getting together, handing a baton from hand to hand, bike to bike all the way around the world — It’s exciting!,” said Orranette, better known as ‘Oz’.
Oz has been riding motorcycles since she was a child and stumbled across the relay thanks to a few motorcycle Facebook groups in which she’s a member.
She said it has been inspirational to follow the journey being undertaken by women riders around the world, which is why she just had to take part.
“It's a buzz to be able to see this on Facebook. You are following it daily, and you're seeing how it impacts women in their daily life as well,” said Oz.
“For a lot of women, especially through places like Indonesia, Cambodia, regions of Bangladesh and Russia… for women to get on motorbikes and be able to ride through the country together is a very empowering thing for them as individuals and for their Community to see. It literally is lifting women up, it’s huge.”
On the Dubbo to Tamworth Leg, Oz will be joined by more than 60 other women riders.
“For me it’s also that opportunity to actually ride with a large group of women! I mean, you just don't get to ride with women in those sorts of numbers —that's pretty cool!” said Oz.
“The motorsport industry needs to understand that women riders are out there and and the numbers are growing!”
Oz will join the relay in Wagga Wagga for its journey through to Cowra and Dubbo on 31 August.
For more information on the Women Riders World Relay search on Facebook, Instagram or visit womenridersworldrelay.com