August 2019

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Netherlands Trip including Amsterdam Pride – 1st to 5th August

This long-anticipated weekend trip was finally there. A small group of 5 London Dykes on Bikes met up in Folkestone on Thursday evening for some food and a good night sleep so we were all ready for a very early Shuttle to Calais the next morning and a full day in the saddle. Destination was a large house we rented in a tiny little place called Garderen, centrally located in the Netherlands.

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After a quick shoot underneath the channel we were off! Before we knew it we left those flat fields of Northern France and Flanders

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behind us and already hit the Dutch border. After a lovely lunch of Dutch treats (does somebody say kroketten and kip sate?) we made our way towards the Deltawerken in Zeeland. A piece of extremely impressive engineering put in place to protect the Lowlands from flooding. 

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The views were magnificent, and the roads were smooth as a mirror with zero potholes (this is why the taxes are so high in NL people!) The weather was supposed to get really bad according to several weather apps but we managed to escape most downpours and only had to shelter once for 30 minutes. Our final blast via some motorways was quick and easy and tired but happy we checked into our cottage for the weekend. Time for sleep as tomorrow we have another big adventure – Amsterdam Pride!

Saturday was there and we were going to Amsterdam! Stolk had been in touch with several Amsterdam dykes and agreed on a suitable meeting point to park the bikes but first a quick pitstop at a petrol station at the edge of Amsterdam city centre to decorate our bikes with flags and rainbows. A quick ride later we were received by the amazing Janne and her partner Marian who were waiting for us at the Elandsgracht with a massive rainbow flag – we certainly got the royal treatment!Janne, you are a STAR! We parked up, took some snaps with the Amsterdam grrrlllsss and then Janne brought us to a friend’s house nearby where we could store our gear. After that we made our way to the Prinsengracht where is was already incredibly busy with spectators for the canal parade. Our vertically challenges dykes struggled to see the boats but managed to find some benches to stand on.

It was an intense day and we met so many new people and made good connections with the Amsterdam Dykes on Bikes but we were knackered. Time to shoot off, grab some nice food on the way back home and enjoy some delightful Dutch countryside.

Sunday of course had another full program – several Dutch women bikers were meeting us at our cottage for a ride out.

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After the obligatory koffie met een koekje, getting to know each other, photo shoot and the usual faffing, we were off. The route went through very nice rural areas and even crossed a bit of Germany.

 

 

We invaded Stolk’s parents place for koffie en cake and made our way back to our cottage. Saying goodbye to the great Dutch grrrlllss some of whom we hopefully will meet again on this side of the North Sea.

And then the end of our trip was already approaching. How did that happen? But we are not leaving the Netherlands without some amazing iconic riding along the Lekdijk – fields with cows and gorgeous houses on the left, the river and windmills on the right,

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and the road meandered on and on in between and we were happy!

 

Kenric Talk – 30th August

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Kenric, the longest existing lesbian organisation in the UK, invited our President, Petit Chou and Secretary, Pogs, to give a talk about DoB London, Solo Touring and Pogs first USA mega-tour.  The evening went extremely well, although the numbers were fewer than expected.  We are always very happy to come along and talk about our group, riding and touring so if you would like us to visit your group then do contact us and we can have a chat about it.

July 2019

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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.

 

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Dori G and Lesa from Germany

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Great to see ya!!

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.

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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.

Pride 2019 after party

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.

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We visited Ireland’s oldest pub, Sean’s Bar dating back to AD 900.

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Doc and Petit Chou

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.

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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.

 

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Doc’s bike being inspected by the Clit Police

 

 

Bomber giving it some… go grrrrlllll – sums up July perfectly.

June 2019

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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!

Another fab record.. thanks Pumps

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

May 2019

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Another action packed month….

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1st of May was the last day of Pogs’ WRWR adventures.. to catch up on her travels take a look at her blog www.pogshogs.com

Peak District – Early May Bank Holiday Weekend – 4/5/6thMay 2019

Bank holiday time means riding! A trip to the beautiful Peak District this time. On Saturday morning 7 of us met up for some breakfast at Stolk’s place and from there we picked up the Follies and continued North of course following some scenic country roads and via legendary motorcycle town Matlock Bath to our Airbnb for the weekend in Dronfield, just outside Sheffield and a stone’s throw away from the Peak District. The weather was a bit chilly for this time of year with the occasional drop of rain, but overall we were very lucky as the Peaks are known for its downpours.

Our house was big but very basic, eso basic that even most kitchen tools and necessities were missing… (I feel a bit of feedback coming). The beds were good though and that was the main thing. We found a pub just up the road from our house that served food and had some very friendly staff. The owner of the pub was Irish and so were several of the bar staff….hmm interesting as our Pogs and Doc are Irish as well…would they be related? YES they are! Apparently Pogs and the pub owner are cousins…what are the chances!

Sunday was all about exploring the lovely Peaks and immerse ourselves in those amazing twisties, stunning views, moorland, cute villages and birds of prey. So much to see and never enough time.

Thanks to Pumper, our Videographer

Tired but happy we arrive back at our Airbnb, ordered some pizzas and went in for an early night. Another big riding day planned tomorrow.

Monday started early as we had to make our way down towards London again, but not without going back into the Peaks for some very scenic roads, especially the one from Hathersage to Edale and then up Mam Tor to Castleton. Amazing!

DOBzilla.. enjoying the sights and sounds of the wonderful Peak District

After that we nipped down to Dovedale for a little wander and some photos (such a shame that lovely place turned into such a busy tourist trap!) In the afternoon we commenced our journey home. Again, a wonderful weekend out with Dykes on Bikes London who are never afraid to put those miles on the clock 

London Pride

This month we have continued in our efforts to convince Pride in London and the Metropolitan Police that we should be leading London Pride this year. We have attended some meetings and had ongoing correspondence with PiL, and at last, just before the end of May, they confirmed that Dykes on Bikes London will, for the very first time ever, be riding at the front of London Pride… so proud! Registration is now open, so please do complete a form and come ride with us on this historic occasion.

Bombing the By-Ways

On the 19th May a few of the bigger bikes went on a blast around Cambridgeshire. Time to get the big grrls knickers on… we have lots of rides that are L plate inclusive but sometimes the larger bikes really want to have a blat… so a mixture of motorway and fast A roads for this ride out. Starting at North Weald Airfield for a bacon butty and a cuppa then on the road, bright eyed and bushy tailed for a fast blast up the M11, quick stop and shop at Blackbear Harley Davidson in Newmarket… which was not only shut, but completely closed down!! We managed to find where it has moved to, but still it was closed grrr. As an alternative we paid a visit to Ducati Cambridge and had an enjoyable hour or so looking around. Pumper managed to blag a couple of tee shirts for us to raffle for our nominated charity, well done.

Onwards then towards the wonderfully named Tydd St Giles, turning into the Deepings and calling in at the Iron Horse Ranch House for lunch and a final bomb down the A1 ending around Bedford due to long tailbacks.

A round trip of about 200 miles. It was a real grin-maker

April 2019

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More news re our Pride Events.

Cambridge is now confirmed and Registration will open soon. See our FB page for updates.

London is still under negotiation, however our Pre-Pride Ride is definitely on and Registration will open soon, again have a look at our FB page for details.

This months Ride Out was to Whitstable on the SE Coast, again organised and led by our Navigator Priestess, Stolk…

Whitstable Way

Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster? If you have, you will remember it. Some quirk of the Kentish coastline makes Whitstable natives – as they are properly called – the largest and the juiciest, the savouriest yet the subtlest, oysters in the whole of England.’ (from Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet)

We did not try those famous oysters at this ride, but we did enjoy a great, yet somewhat rainy ride through the Kent Downs to lovely Whitstable where we had some lunch and a seaside stroll.

A perfect way to spend a Saturday in early April!

WRWR – Pogs decided to rejoin the Global WRWR phenomenon and rode the last ‘leg’ in Germany, through Luxembourg into Belgium and finally the first ‘leg’ in the Netherlands. Check out her adventures via her blog at

March 2019

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Another busy month especially since we have had such unseasonal weather.

Firstly a catch up with our negotiations around the possible Pride Events:

Cambridge Pride – we have had ongoing correspondence with the Cambridge Pride organisers and attended a meeting in Cambridge this month.  They seem very keen for us to take part, but how that will look is still under review.

London Pride – we are continuing to negotiate with Pride in London to allow Dykes on Bikes London to launch this years Pride Parade.  Keep an eye on our FB page for updates and indicate whether you would be interested in riding with us.

London Pre Pride Ride – we are organising a Pre-Pride Ride in London on the 30th June.  Again, all the details are under our Events tab on the London Biker Dykes -DoB London FB page.

Charity Raffle – as part of the Pre-Pride Celebrations we will be conducting a raffle of various prizes, the proceeds of which will go to our nominated charity this year, The Outside Project.  Tickets will be on sale nearer the time.

WRWR – the Women Riders World Relay.  This global event kicked off at John O’ Groats and the baton is finally on it’s way around the world.  Our patched members – President Petit-Chou and Secretary Pogs are both taking part in the Relay and rode the final ‘leg’ from Ace Cafe to Boulogne-Sur-Mer via Gillingham in Kent this month.  Pogs then continued through France into Spain and Portugal.

For all the details of this amazing initiative and adventures see Pogs’ blog at

https://www.pogshogs/WRWR*-2019

Charm of the Chilterns – another excellent ride out organised by our patched member Stolk.

On the 24th March Dykes on Bikes London Charmed the Chilterns. This was a popular ride which attracted 13 riders, the most we have ever ridden with. We met up at the Ace Café on the North Circular for a quick brekkie, banter and briefing and off we went. We explored the gorgeous twisty roads and picturesque villages in the Chiltern Hills before we arrived at Wayland Smithy, a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb (by some of our more barbaric riders referred to as a ‘heap of stones’…). Then it was off for lunch at a nearby pub…or so we thought…. Pub number one did not have space for us, ok then, off to pub number 2….nope…kitchen is closed. Out of desperation we ended up in the outskirts of Swindon for a Snack Donalds or a Subway.

Onwards we go though, because we still have a long way back to London. Riding with a bigger group is challenging, especially making good timing and keeping the group together. Despite our best efforts the Follies had to peel off prematurely because they lost the group at a series of roundabouts. Luckily we all have each other’s cell phone numbers and the Follies reported they were fine, but were peeling off. On we went. Not before long Badger, who was sweeping that day, rode up to Stolk, our ride leader, to report that Sheila had a flat rear tyre! We tried to apply a temporary fix, but the puncture was too serious. To the nearest petrol station it is! We found one within a few miles, where Sheila called recovery and found a safe place to wait for them. We all went our separate ways at this point. The end to yet another exciting, adventurous day out with Dykes on Bikes London!

Treasure Hunt – this was organised in conjunction with Kenric and attended by our President Petit-Chou.

February 2019

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The motherclub in San Francisco has now confirmed our official chapter status… woohooo!!

We are in active discussions with Pride in London and Cambridge Pride so watch this space for updates on these events.

An excellent social evening was held at Riley’s Snooker club… an evening of pool and chat… watch out for Slick, she is a bit of a pool shark!!!

We kicked off the new season, (although we generally ride all year round), with a fantastic blat to Lavenham in Suffolk…

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see all our photos on our Facebook page.

January 2019

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Happy New Year!!!  This month we had a great evening ten pin bowling, where we met a few new faces… we hope to see them again soon.

December 2018

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A quiet month… brrrrrrr.  We did however have an excellent evening at the Lyric Pub in Soho for our Christmas get together… highly recommended.

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November 2018

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Another great weekend away… this time to Cheddar Gorge for the inaugural DoB London Butch Games.  More about this soon on Pogs’ Blog.

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