A VERY Busy Month!!!
Meet & Greet with our German Sistas – 5th July
On Friday 5th July our German sistas Dori G and Lesa were arriving with the ferry in Dover to join our London Pride weekend. A few of us rode down to Dover to meet and greet them and escort them back through the hustle and bustle of Friday evening London traffic.
It was great to see the grrrlllssss and feel the shared excitement of the Pride weekend ahead of us. Our German sistas were pretty knackered after a long long day in the saddle and after a lovely Italian meal at one of our President’s locals we deliver them safely to their accommodation for the weekend in Battersea (thank you Sylvie!).
London Pride 2019 – 6th July
So the big day dawns… yes we are leading off the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall and London Pride Parade. We couldn’t be prouder. It’s been an amazing year for the club, and this is the culmination of that year. A lot of work has gone into getting us into the parade and we fully intend to make the most of it.
Gathering in Camden we decorated our bikes and then made the short journey down to our assembly point on Margaret Street to await permission to ride on to the Parade route itself. We didn’t wait quietly I can tell you, revving our engines and dancing in the street.
At the signal we roared onto the parade route, making a complete U-turn and then riding along Regents Street down towards Piccadilly Circus, our first stopping point. Another opportunity to engage with the crowds.
Back on the bikes down to our next stopping point at Trafalgar Square, more dancing was enjoyed by all here. (Huge thanks to Dori G for the fantastic video)
Before you know it, it was all over.. pulling into Whitehall we parked up, replacing our helmets to make sure we were road legal. Most of the riders then made our way to the Pico Restaurant in Vauxhall where we had booked a table for our post-pride party. Highly recommended.
Did you miss riding with us this year? Do not fret, we are going to be doing it all again next year.. bigger and better so make sure you register with us as soon as it opens again in the new year.
Rattle, Rumble and Roll – 7th July
Of course, it would not be a complete weekend for our German visitors without a little taste of what our gorgeous English countryside has on offer. Sylvie and Stolk picked up our German sista Dori G from her flat (unfortunately Lesa was really suffering with back issues and decided not to ride this day). The three of us rode via some iconic London roads and viewpoints to the legendary Ace Café where we met several of the other grrrlllsss for some coffee, breakfast and a browse at the goodies that the Ace has for sale. After that we went westwards into the beautiful Chiltern Hills. The ride did not disappoint – gorgeous twisties, hills, picturesque villages and then the sun even came out and was there to stay. A perfect way to end an amazing weekend with Dykes on Bikes London. Launching the Pride Parade for the very first time and stealing the hearts of all spectators – we were loud and proud and here to stay!
Croydon Pride – 13th July
After meetings and negotiations it was agreed that we would ride at the front of Croydon Pride this year. Unfortunately, due to a change in parade order, whereby the Met Police insisted we ride at the rear with the fire engine, we had to pull out at the last minute. Dykes on Bikes do not ride at the back, it is too slow to ride at walking pace and could present a very serious risk of accidents. This was very disappointing for us, we hope we can re-negotiate to lead next year.
Ireland and LFest – 14th to 19th July
Doc, Sheila & Petit Chou went over to Women’s Camp in Galway, Ireland for a few days. Every year, a group of women find land and set up for a three-week summer camp in Ireland. The camp is mainly lesbian but open to all who identify as women. It’s run by everyone who is there in a spirit of autonomy and self-sufficiency. Everyone pitches in to help with chores like cooking, chopping wood, getting water, and it’s a chance to live without the usual routines, in the company of women.
While they were there, we went out for a few rides around the countryside
One day we went to Athlone, a town in County Westmeath. The name comes from Atha Luain – the Ford of Luain, named after the innkeeper Luain, who guided travellers across the River Shannon.
Athlone Castle, a 12th Century stone castle was built for King John by Bishop John de Grey of Norwich and designed to defend the crossing point in the river.
We visited Ireland’s oldest pub, Sean’s Bar dating back to AD 900.
In 2004 the Guinness Book of Records listed it as the oldest pub in Europe. During renovations in 1970, the walls of the bar were found to be made of wattle and wicker, dating back to the 10th Century. Old coins, made by various landlords for use by their customers were also found.
Then after Women’s Camp we loaded our camping gear and teddy onto our bikes and crossed over to Holyhead and made our way to LFest to catch up with some KENRIC members for the lesbian arts festival in Llandudno.