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Today’s biker chick taking the front seat

Christine Chesal, Kris Ash, Joley Baker, Sharon Hall, Greer Stewart, Josee Belanger (and dog Tessie Ash) are ready to roar through the valley on motorcycles this weekend. - courtesy Greer Stewart
Christine Chesal, Kris Ash, Joley Baker, Sharon Hall, Greer Stewart, Josee Belanger (and dog Tessie Ash) are ready to roar through the valley on motorcycles this weekend.
— image credit: courtesy Greer Stewart

It’s time to get a new stereotype regarding your idea of a biker chick. Today, she’s no longer on the back of a Harley, she’s driving it.

Greer Stewart, owner of West Coast Roar women’s motorcycle clothing store, said the women’s motorcycle industry is just exploding.

“The female market is growing incredibly, women cyclists are coming into their own, there’s a growing sense of entitlement,” said the former nurse, who’s been in her current business for three years. “Women are saying, ‘I’ve raised my kids, I’ve got parents to look after, what about me?’”

Greer is hosting the second-annual Women’s Ride Day on Sunday. Last year, about 80 women roared around the Cowichan Valley. This year, about 100 are expected to attend.

The group will be hard to miss. They’ll be the ones with the red-and-white boas trailing behind them. And sorry guys, it’s a women’s only ride.

“The ride’s all about building a bridge to women cyclists in the community, showing them our love of motorcycling and to erase the stereotyping around female bikers,” Stewart said.

Registration costs $25, including a T-shirt, lunch, a silent auction and live music from Pete Mitchell and the Baroness at the Country Grocer in Cobble Hill.

You can register at Stewart’s store in Mill Bay, or the morning of the event at 9 a.m. at the grocery store in Cobble Hill.

Stewart said she got the idea for the Canadian event from American Vicki Gray, who started the International Female Ride Day sometime within the past 10 years. But because the ride was in May, Greer said some Canadians couldn’t participate because parts of Canada were still covered in snow.

The Canadian ride, which sees proceeds go to local charities — this year Victoria’s Women in Need and closer to home Cowichan Women Against Violence —  is catching on, Stewart said.

This Sunday’s ride leaves Country Grocer at 10:30 a.m. and riders will take a leisurely ride through the “B roads,” in the Cowichan Valley before returning for lunch and the silent auction at 1:30 p.m.

Last year they raised $1,000 for charity. This year’s goal is $5,000.

 

Your ticket

What: Canadian Women’s Ride Day, a motorcycle ride through the Cowichan Valley

When: Sunday July 20. Registration, 9 a.m. at Cobble Hill’s Country Grocer. The ride leaves at 10:30 a.m. Lunch, band and silent auction at 1:30 p.m. Visit westcoastroar.com.

Where: Country Grocer. Valleyview Centre

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