WIMA in the Local Newspaper “Smålänningen”: Freedom on Two Wheels

My translation of the original article which was printed in Smålänningen on the 24th of July 2015

Smålänningen 24 juli 2015
Smålänningen 24 juli 2015

Headline: Freedom on two wheels
Internationall rally brought two hundred to Sundet.
Caption large picture: “Two hundred motorcyclists gets ready for the parade to the car show in Tydinge in Skåne

SUNDET Two hundred motorcyclists have gathered in Sundet outside Vittaryd for a week. Apart from the interest in motorcycles, they have something else in common: they are all women.

“It is such an amazing feeling to look around when we ride in a row. All you see in front of you and in your rear mirror is women. It is such a cool feeling, real power.”
Smålänningen is sitting together with Inger Sjölander-Eson on a field in Sundet, between Vittaryd and Dörarp. Shiny black motorbikes are parked in a row in front of us, in between colourful tents. Two hundred women – and a few men – have gathered here for Women International Motorcycle Association’s annual rally.
“The official rally is actually in Australia but since it is so far from Europe – not everyone can afford to travel there – we can meet here for a week instead.
We meet and have fun together. During the days we ride motorbikes and the evenings are filled with dance and games. Among other things, we have a lottery where all the money goes to the Cancerfund. First, we thought that we would donate to the Breastcancer fund, since we all know someone that has been affected, but since we have our husbands with us here and they can also be affected by cancer, we decided on simply donating to the Cancerfund.”

Women International Motorcycle Association, WIMA, was founded in the USA in the 50’s and is unique since it is an international motorcycle association. The association has existed in Sweden since the 1960’s and today it has between 75 and 100 members. Inger Sjölander-Eson has been a member since 1981 and she says the thrill of riding a motorbike is not just the obvious feeling of freedom but so much more.
“You can feel the wind and the smell. You are not shut in a car, so if it rains it is extra fantastic when the sun comes out. It is such an incredible joy.” On the question if you need to have mechanical skills, she answers with a laugh.
Power and freedom
“I don’t know anything, I just fill up and ride.”
Smålänningen takes its farewell from Inger just as two hundred motorcyclists – and almost as many women – leaves Sundet in formation to ride to the car show in Tydinge in Skåne. When the riders swoosh past in between cheers and fumes, you can not but feel anything else than – yeah, right – power.

Left photo caption: Violetta Ivanora from Bulgaria has ridden 4 days and 2500k to take part in the Sweden rally 2015.
Right photo caption: Michiko Hitomi and Hitomi Kamiya from Japan flew to Stockholm and rode from there on rented bikes to the international rally in Sundet.

The original article, as seen in the picture, was published in Smålänningen, Lungbys local newspaper, on the 24th of July 2015. Text & photos by Tanu Mehta. www.smalanningen.se