Back in 2020 I discovered a motorcycling event aimed at encouraging the growing number of women riders. Anything that gets more people riding gets the thumbs up from me so I contacted Lindsay Atkinson, the organiser of ‘The Women in Motorcycling Exhibition’, to find out more. Sadly world events prevented the go-ahead then, but it’s all systems go for this year.
Lindsay has also started to arrange ride outs and meet ups via the event website and social media. When I saw the description of the ‘War of the Roses’ ride, it sounded right up my street and although the idea is to encourage more female riders, all riders were welcome. The ride was from the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge through Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland then cross Yorkshire to Skipton. A quick browse of my map suggested there would be some twisty and unfamiliar roads so we were sold!
With the latest edition of the magazine sent off to the printers, we started to look for digs near the starting point at Hebden Bridge and set off on a very wet Friday to ride just shy of 100 miles. Once we arrived in Yorkshire the weather cheered up for a pleasant evening exploring the town. Saturday morning’s meet up was in the town square and there we joined the other eight riders and a great variety of bikes ranging from Lindsay’s Kawasaki, a sporty Honda, Ducati Scrambler, Royal Enfield, BMW tourers to a Harley Davidson and our Lambrettas.
After a quick ‘ride brief’ we were heading out of Hebden Bridge up some hairpins – great start! We were soon riding through some narrow single track roads, watching out for the sheep mostly snoozing at the side of the roads, to our first stop for a photo at the bewitching Pendle Hill.
Carrying on the winding roads skirting moorland and lakes, next stop was Chatburn for ice-cream – of course – and petrol for our Lambrettas too (most of the bikes have huge tanks!).
More sweeping and narrow roads led us to the next stop at Kirkby Lonsdale’s Devil’s Bridge for refreshments and to check out all the other bikes parked up (and where our two Lambrettas also attracted a fair bit of attention from the bikers who regularly meet there). We’ve passed here lots of times, heading on the A65 to rallies but hadn’t stopped before. I’m starting to think we need to stop more often!
We certainly enjoyed the Red Rose roads, looking out for the red squirrels mentioned on so many road signs, and soon after crossing the border into Yorkshire we heard a roar and the Red Arrows went overhead – nice work Lindsay!
The lunch stop at Hawes, it proved another popular biker destination, but we finally found somewhere to park before grabbing chip butties and coffee to sit around chatting with the other riders. We had to fill our scooters again before heading up and up into the clouds for incredible panoramic views before plunging into a valley, following the rocky river Wharfe almost all the way to Skipton. Before saying our farewells, Lindsay asked which Rose was best and not surprisingly no-one could decide!
The two of us then headed south to check out Saltaire before the road home, tired but happy after a great day’s riding.
Check out the Women in Motorcycling Exhibition website for event details as well as more rides – it’s for all riders, not just for girls!
** ScooterNova is an independent scooter magazine, published bi-monthly in the UK. Written and prduced by scooterists, it is avaialble from all good scoter shops, with annual subscriptions and individual magazines also available to purchase via our secure online shop here.