A very busy month. We started with a beautiful ride to the Suffolk hills. Very busy trying to get everything ready for our Pride celebrations including our Pre-Pride Ride on the 30th and planning our inaugural lead out for London Pride 2019 next month.
Stolk’s Favourite Lanes – Part 3 – 2ndJune 2019
Time for another one of Stolk’s favourite lanes. This time the area to explore was Thetford Forest and the Suffolk hills. We met up for breakfast and a natter at the Silver Ball Café just south of Royston. It promised to be a lovely sunny warm day and we were not disappointed. As well as riding, today was of course also educational (as all Stolk’s rides) and had a stop incorporated at pre-historic flint mine Grime’s Graves.
The ride towards Grime’s Graves was nice and quick via faster roads A10, A505 and the A11, something which made the grrrlllss on the big engine bikes very happy. Good old Flipper impressed us all with hitting nearly 70 miles an hour on the A11…well done Flip!
We pulled up at Grime’s Graves around 11 for a chill, coffee and look around. Some of us went down the old flint mine to have an explore – fascinating! The site is also famous for its natural beauty and you can see a lot of skylarks flying up and down from the grassland. After this visit we rode to West Stow for some lovely lunch at the West Stow Anglo Saxon village café. The remainder of the day we enjoyed riding along the beautiful lush Suffolk countryside and ended our ride at the familiar BP petrol station in Harlow.
Cambridge Pride – 8th June 2019
For the first time ever Cambridge had its own Pride and Dykes on Bikes London were there! The weather was absolutely atrocious, but we did not let that stop us. The grrrrllllsss met up at Stolk’s place for breakfast and to decorate the bikes, a good practice round ahead of London Pride. This dry (very wet) run was very useful as we learned that the flag poles we ordered were not strong enough to carry our DOBL custom-made flags, certainly not when the flags get wet and even heavier. We had to stop several times on our ride into Cambridge to re-attach flags and this caused a few tricky situations. Several lessons were learned there.
Finally we made it to the agreed stopping point along the river Cam, just in time, to see off the punt parade. The crowds gave us a massive welcome and we revved our engines in return.
After this we made a little ride through Cambridge City centre and ended at the Pride festival terrain on Jesus Green. There we had an allocated spot where we could line up our bikes. To raise some funds we had planned to offer a sit-on-a-bike opportunity for Pride visitors. This was a huge success. Especially our Slick showed her smooth talking skills and managed to convince dozens and dozens of mainly women and girls to have a go at sitting on a bike. Well done Slick and all the other grrrllllsss for this amazing fundraiser!
Despite the weather we had a very good time at Cambridge Pride. We will be there again next year and hopefully see the sun.
Dyke Pride Ride – Pre-Pride Event – 30th June 2019
At the end of the month we began our own unique Pride Celebrations with this ride around London starting at the famous Ace Cafe in north london then taking the north circular road round towards Hampstead. A quick stop off at Bolton House, the former home of ‘Gluck’ (Hannah Gluckstein) the famous lesbian painter from the early 1900’s… more information here:
Back on the bikes with our Dyke and Pride flags flying we were loud and proud through north London to Kensal Green Cemetery where we hoped to find the gravesite of Dorothy (Dolly) Wilde, lesbian niece of gay Oscar Wilde who is buried there.
Despite lots of research we were not able to find her resting place; we will find it eventually.
Next stop was Cartwright Gardens where we enjoyed a picnic in the lovely sunshine and were joined by some wimmin who came along to meet us. A few grrrls went to Tavistock Square to view the bust of another famous lesbian, Virginia Woolf. In addition, we found a statue of Louisa Aldrich-Blake a pioneer for women surgeons, she was formerly the first female surgeon registrar and went on to encourage women to take up medicine as a career at a time when there were very few.
Having looked her up we decided we would claim her as an honorary Dyke, (we couldn’t find any confirmatory evidence, but so many of us are hidden from herstory).
A short hop to Gays the Word, the bookshop that has been openly selling LGBT+ literature for over 30 years. We take the opportunity for a quick look around and to take some photos then back on the road to our final destination, The Apple Tree pub – one of our sponsors – where we had a very enjoyable few hours fundraising for our nominated charity this year, The Outside Project. With a raffle and selling the opportunity to sit on one of our bikes we managed to collect over £270 for the Project. Well done everyone and huge thanks to all our raffle prize contributors.