I received my international drivers licence today, it made the future seem a bit more within reach. I’m swamped with work for my teaching diploma and I sometimes forget that life used to include other things, not only studies. Just another week to go, then I can start planning for the Australian Grand Prix and WIMA rally.
This is my translation of the original article which was published in Kristianstadsbladet on the 24th of July, 2015.
Front page: The motorbiker girls conquered the place
June Douglas and Ann Weir were two of the many motorcycle-borne females who reigned over the Tydingesjöns campsite on Thursday
The headline reads: The womens club breaks the record at the bike café
Picture caption: Friends Carina Breiner and Lotte Stålhammar are not members of WIMA but they are more than happy to ride motorbikes. Carina rides about 15000km a year.
It’s not only hard men with long hair and plaited beards who ride motorbikes. They were noticeably absent this Thursday when it was the biker women who ruled.
TYDINGE. They arrived shortly after 4pm. A parade of 180 female bikers turned in to Tydingesjöns campsite and festival area for a well-earned break. To keep such a large group together during a 100km long ride is a great effort.
More than 200 motorcyclists and at least just as many curious spectators welcomed the group who had ridden from Ljungby down to the café. The mobile cameras documented and people waved happily.
At the end, it seemed that the police had something to say about the parade. They were stopped at Lars Dufva in Osby after refuelling. “They thought we were riding a bit too slow. To keep trailer-speed – that would be good, they thought,” said Carola Palmqvist who is president for the Swedish division of WIMA. They made it down without any mishaps. “It went very well, some broke off from the group but that was due to personal wishes.”
Jan Salihi has come from England to participate in the rally that is called WIMA Sweden Rally 2015. On her back she wears the flag, the Union Jack, so there is no doubt were she is from. “It’s been fine riding here, the traffic was mild and it didn’t rain,” she says and turns her palms and gazes towards the sky. She and her friends started their journey from Britain on the 17th of July to make it to Ljungby by Monday. During the week there has been a mix of activities ranging from shorter rides to games, dinners and entertainment.
At the entrance to the campsite an important group of people lead by Leif Rosberg are positioned. They monitor how many bikes enter. Occasionally it can be a bit hectic for Leif and his friends. Every motorbike is registered on the computer which enables the visitors to see the number on a TV-screen by the café. “It is us in the Chernobyl committee who run this – Sven (B Svensson) donates 1sek per bike to the children of Chernobyl,” says Leif Rosberg. It was Sven B Svensson who took the initiative to the car and bike cafés when he took over the campsite. “The first time there were 8 guests. The second time about 25-30 participants and on the third 175 – and we stood there with some waffles and sandwiches!” Quite soon the decision was taken to separate the meets for cars and bikes. At the moment, they are trying to beat the current record of 890 visitors.
Friends Carina Breier from Näsum and Lotte Stålhammar from Ystad often visit the meets in Tydinge. Neither of them is a member of WIMA. “I had actually not heard about them before,” says Carina Breiner. To talk about specs and horsepower, or compare different brands or models is not in their interest. It is the riding that is the thing. “Men are more interested in walking around, looking and comparing,” says Lotte Stålhammar. Carina Breiner has a good way of killing that kind of talk, “normally I say that I ride a white one.” It says “Real women ride” on her white BMW R1200R from 2012 and on her trouser leg she wears a patch with the message “This bitch rides her own bike”. She took her own licence after many years on her husband’s pillion seat, now she regrets that she did not do it sooner.
So, how did it go with the visitors’ record? Shortly after 7pm the number had reached 1100 bikes which meant a new record. Kristianstadsbladet will get back with the exact number in Saturday’s edition.
They came, they were seen and they conquered the place. When WIMA came to Tydingesjön’s campsite it was life and movement.
The group of around 180 women were given their own plot of grass to park the bikes on. Briskly they walked towards the café.
International bike meet in Ljungby which made a detour to the bike café in Tydinge.
The article, as seen in the pictures, was published in Kristianstadsbladet on the 24th of July 2015. Text by Joel Sannemalm and photos by Fredrik Jalhed. www.kristianstadsbladet.se