CAMP VC x HONDA - RUBY LE GALLE - 1997 HONDA REBEL

P// ALEX GRANT

P// ALEX GRANT

Next up for our Honda rider features for CAMP VC we've got the lovely Ruby LeGalle & her  1997 Honda rebel! Ruby will be at Camp VC this summer so make sure you say hi when she gets to site :) 

 

 

 - Ruby Le Galle -

24 , from Jersey - Channel Islands

 

So how long have you been riding? 

On and off since I was about 17. As soon as I could get a licence I got a cheap bike and just rode around Jersey, stalling a lot if I remember rightly. It's a pretty quiet place with smalls roads and a VERY low speed limit over most of the island so ideal to learn.

 

What first made you want to learn to ride? 

My dad was a wheeler dealer so there were always different cars and bikes around the place when I was growing up, he would usually let me 'test drive' whatever was there which got me interested. He also used to take me out on the back of his bikes - the earliest one I remember was a really funny custom Honda chopper and he moved onto sports bikes after that. I guess it made me want to have one myself!

 

How long have you owned your Honda?      

My bike is a 97 Honda Rebel 125 & Ive owned it for about a year and a half. It had been sat in a garage for quite a while when i bought it and has done almost no miles from new - so it was great to actually get her out on the road where she belongs! 

 

Have you done any custom work to your bike?  

   I took the mirrors of so I could cut around London traffic better - haha. 

 

What made you choose your bike?    

 I'd just decided to get another bike and my dad gave me a bunch of old 90's Honda brochures he'd found in his garage. I saw the CA 125's and thought they looked like fun and I hadn't seen many of them about on the road, so set about finding one. 

 

P// ALEX GRANT

P// ALEX GRANT

Whats the best moto trip you've ever been on on your Honda?

      I camped in Snowdonia last summer and it was amazing - beautiful roads and scenery. I love being out with just my bike and a tent and spending all day outdoors -when you don't have a route so just take whichever roads look interesting. Some local bikers were pretty impressed that my 125 Honda had come all the way up from London- it loved the trip too! 

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to start riding?        

Just do it - don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do it (especially because you're a girl) or that it's dangerous.Get a small bike and head out on some quiets roads for as long as it takes till you feel confident - I've loved having a 125 so I think they're a good place to start. Having a bike gives you a lot of independence and freedom to travel around. If you like solo travelling like me I think its the perfect way to do it, and its cool to ride with friends and meet new people as well.

 

What are you looking forward to most at CAMP VC?     

Waterfalll swimming, and beer! 

DIRT CAMP WEEKENDER

Can't wait till CAMP VC for a dirt fix? The lovely people over at the DTRA & GREENFIELD DIRT TRACK are running another LADIES DIRT CAMP weekender at @greenfielddirttrack on the 22nd/ 23rd July! .


Dirtcamp is a ladies Dirt Track Experience weekend run by the DTRA  in conjunction with GREENFIELD DIRT TRACK, VC LONDON  & VCC! They supply the bikes, instructors and track for a weekend of dirt track lessons & camping you just bring the good times & your tent ⛺️ 


Last years event was awesome so you won't wanna miss this one. We have options for a full weekend or single day training. These events have very limited spots & sell out fast so if you think you're interested get over to the webshop and book in over at http://dtra.bigcartel.com 

CAMP VC x HONDA - RACHAEL SHERLOCK - 1983 CB100

Next up in our coming to Camp VC we've got Rachael Sherlock of Nefarious skate crew & her rad little CB100.  One of the most friendly lovely ladies we know Rachael has been skateboarding for years & is involved with some incredible Skateboarding charities & organisations such as Skate Pal teaching skateboarding to all genders & age groups everywhere from London to Palestine to skate.  We're stoked to have her with us all weekend teaching on the VANS skate ramp with the other Nefarious girls so go say hi when you get to site!

 

 

 

Name: Rachael Sherlock

Where are you from & where do you live now?

Grew up in the West Country (Clevedon to be exact) and now living in London

 

Whats your profession?

I'm a Senior Studio Technician at ITV Daytime (not sure why they call it daytime because it's definitely the morning shows!)

 

When did you get involved with Nefarious?

This summer will be three years since I joined Nefarious. I decided to start skating again and went to a girls night by myself and met a few of them that had just decided to start a group for girls wanting to hang out and learn to skate.

 

Skating has taken you to some pretty incredible places, wheres the most amazing place you've ever skated?

I really love Palestine and all the work that SkatePAL and Charlie (the founder) does out there. Being able to volunteer and skate with the kids has changed my outlook on life. I'm repeatedly inspired by the resilience and positive attitude of all the kids and families I've met out in Palestine, despite the challenging circumstances they live under due to military occupation.

 

 You seem to really love teaching skating as you've been involved with so many rad projects & initiatives teaching all over the place. Which projects have you been involved with? 

As well as being involved with SkatePAL I run a monthly 'skate dates' every second Sunday of the month in Victoria Park. It's promoted through a friends company called Urban Hippie Collective and is a community project aimed at getting more people (all ages and gender) involved in skateboarding. I also like to keep in touch with the Women in Board and Action Sports as they host some fantastic events with inspirational women speakers.

 

Do you have any good advice for anyone wanting to start learning how to skate?

Social media is so big these days. Check out videos on Instagram and Youtube and follow the things you like, watch tutorials and just get a board and give it a go! If you're lacking in confidence start near your house, up and down your drive way or find some friends to go to the skatepark with. Lots of indoor parks like House of Vans even run mini Skate Schools now, on the weekends and school holidays. If you're in London and feeling too old for Skate School then come along to Skate Dates at Victoria Park! More info at www.UrbanHippieCollective.com

 

So you just started riding motorcycles in the last year! What made you want to start riding?

When I was younger we had a BMX track near our house and I'd often wish my BMX was a motocross bike- sad I know! But my mum hated the idea so the closest I ever got was riding a friends mini moto or chicken chaser around a field. Then a couple of years ago I went to Thailand and managed to hire a little 125cc to take me through the winding rainforest roads that lead to a place called Pai. I was pretty hooked after this trip and got my geared CBT the minute I got back and started saving for a Mutt Motorcycle. After almost a year of saving I was almost ready to buy when I saw a Honda CB100 on the VC or The Bike Shop instagram page and fell in love. I think I bombarded them with lots of messages so they'd know that when they're ready to sell I was serious about buying and had the money already saved!

 

What made you go for a Honda CB? 

I really like the cafe racer style to it. It's also a good size for me (a tiny person). When I went to collect it, a few people had commented on how I was the perfect size for it and I didn't really realise until my friend escorted me home alongside his massive Triumph just how tiny me and my bike are. I think if the bike was any bigger then I'd struggle. I'm not really keen on bigger bikes but I have passed my theory and will take my full test this year, but I'm only really looking forward to taking off my L plates that cramp my style, not get a bigger bike!

 

How long have you owned your Honda?  

A year this summer ?!? (I should probably check this because my insurance will run out...)

 

What the best and worst thing about riding in London? Any tips for anyone who is apprehensive to ride in such a busy city? 

The traffic is horrendous and for the first few months I was a bit afraid to weave through it (although my bike is so small it's perfect for sneaking through gaps of stationary cars!) That's now the best thing about riding through London, that rush hour doesn't really apply to you if you're sneaky enough. But you also have to be so careful. Lots of cars have almost hit me by pulling out and into my lane and I once even got right up next to a woman's window and she still was oblivious. If someone is pulling out of a junction I often slow down a bit and assume they've not seen me, and even if I get solid eye contact with the driver I'm still cautious. 

 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out riding or wanting to?

The monthly meetings at The Bike Shed in London are good. Lots of friendly women and faces to give advice about places to take your CBT and get you hyped. They can also recommend good starter bikes and ensure you don't get ripped off.

 

So you'll be one of the ladies we've got lined up to teach on the Vans X Nefarious mini ramp at Camp VC!  What have you guys got lined up for us?

Get ready for leg day because if you're new to skateboarding then we'll most likely start with some simple pumping in the ramp! Would be cool to get some people dropping in for the first time too!

 

What are you looking forward to most at CAMP VC?  

Skating, drinking and having a go on some different bikes if people trust me enough! (before beer is consumed obviously) haha 

CAMP VC X HONDA - NATASHA FARRAR - 1980 XL250

Only a month & half to go until CAMP VC !! We're very proud to be hooking up with HONDA this year to support the event & beyond.

We know so many bad ass women who are ripping Hondas in every shape & size (we've even got a couple ourselves) so we thought we'd introduce you to a some of these ladies & their wheels  who will be making their way to burn through the Breacon Becons at CAMP VC this summer!  First up the lovely Natasha Farrar & her XL250.

-

You meet the nicest people on a Honda its true & Natasha Farrar is one of the nicest. Orange haired & usually in leopard print jeans she rips around London town on one of the most beautiful XL250s we've ever seen.  Get to know her & little red before she hits the site  at Camp VC :)

 

 

- Natasha Farrar -

27 from Croydon, London. 

What do you do for a job?
 

I work in film and tv which just means at any given moment I could be doing anything from herding turkeys to wearing a wig in a car with a stunt driver whatever it is it won't ever involve sitting in an office. This won't be forever though, I have to figure out what is next. 
 


When & where did you learn to ride? What made you want to learn to ride? 


I learned a few years ago, unofficially in Wood Green on my boyfriends KTM and officially in Billericay with Probike Training with  really truely awesome teachers, I was a nervous wreck when I started and they sorted me right out. 
I didn't know anyone who rode and knew nothing of motorcycle culture. My boyfriend said I could try his bike with him on the back and that was game over, I loved it so that got me started. I have such a unique sense of joy when I'm on a bike even as a passenger. I wish I started sooner. 
 


Explain your amazing bike to us! :)


Ooooo my little red Honda. She is a 1980s XL250 with a 23in front wheel and a dodgy looking fender.  ha ha It's great for nipping around London but I think it dreams about zooming around on grass and dirt in the countryside.
. It's a really simple bike so it's great to learn from. At the moment I don't know much about mechanics so if something goes wrong even I can take a look and get an idea of what's happening and maybe how to fix it. Having said that I've made one or two mistakes but I'll get there. 
 


How long have you owned your bike? 


3 years it's my first and only bike. 
 


Have you done any custom work to your bike?

Barely, it's almost all original. I've taken out the battery so the electrics run off the engine and removed a bit of the faring for looks. If i wanted a little project or fancied customising a bike I would buy something else for that. 
 


What made you choose your bike? 
 

I didn't really. I was looking out for a particular enduro and Andrew Almond from Bolt said his mate Drew at Black Skulls was selling something I might like. I popped over to see it, it just seemed massively red and the engine was too small. But I jumped on it and had a ride and thought woaaaaahhhh this bike was made for me. riding a lighter bike made me feel like a kid I could throw my weight around confidently. So I just had to convince Drew not to sell it to anyone else while I got the money together. Thank you Drew. 
 


Whats the best moto trip you've ever been on?

I've been pretty limited to riding around London but last year I chucked the bike in the back of a van and drove it to meet my cousins camping in Sussex. I spun it around some fields until I felt a Bit too guilty about the grass. I had so much fun, it's a completely different feeling to riding in the road I can't really describe it. If anyone reading this near London wants to go green laneing or take a little trip let me know!
 


Dream motorcycle trip (where & with who)? 


In a dream world there would be Mountains, dirt roads, jungle, the coast or some lakes, sun and a tent. maybe with a local rider who knows good places to go and can help get out of sticky situations.  But for now in the real world it would be camp vc this August! 
 


Any advice to anyone wanting to start riding?


Just do it. At least give it a go!  If you are fearful of something make sure you learn with instructors who put you at ease and are willing to spend time to help you overcome any issues. Resist the desire to get a really powerful bike until you've put in time on he road. My time on the little red has probably made me a better more controlled rider. You might miss the speed of a bigger bike but I think you have to earn that. 
 


What are you most looking forward to at CAMP VC? 

Getting out of london, dirt riding, meeting new homies and learning to skate :) Hurry up August. 

HUCK MAGAZINE X VC LONDON

 

 

 Absolutely stoked to be featured in one of our favourite publications last month.

A big thanks to Huck Magazine for coming down to hang & putting us in their game changers issue alongside some of our absolute heroes!  

 

 
P: THEO MCINNES

P: THEO MCINNES

An early morning mist hangs low over the heart of London’s old East End. Gemma Harrison kicks the starter on her 1966 Triumph, shattering the silence of a wintry Saturday morning on Cable Street. 

Flanking her is Namin Cho and Mai Storni, who give their own engines a chest rattling roar before tearing off towards Limehouse tunnel.  As they cut through the Docklands – an industrial wasteland of concrete, metal and glass – any nearby vehicles instinctively keep their distance. 

This is the core of VC London: an all-female bike crew redefining what it means to ride for a new generation.

All images by Theo McInnes for HUCK MAGAZINE


DTL X GEMMA HARRISON OF VC LONDON

 

DtL: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the VC Collective?

Gemma: My name is Gemma Harrison and I run VC LONDON, a motorcycle collective made up of myself, and my friends Mai & Namin. There is also a network of other riders who we’ve taught to ride or have met through a shared passion for motorcycles, skating/whatever else we get up to. It’s not a club or a gang.. in fact its very non-definitive. We like it that way as it encompasses many things from events and The Shop Customs (our shared motor workshop and studio) to the VCC clothing line. Basically it’s just us having fun!

DtL: When/how did you first discover your passion for motorcycles?

Gemma: I was a latecomer to motorcycles by a lot of people’s standards. I’m not someone who started riding when they were 3 years old or anything like that. I grew up mostly around cars as my dad restored classic cars – but I suppose the roots of something maybe started there…

My husband bought a small motorcycle with our wedding money 6 years ago which quickly got passed down to me. From there I started to learn about mechanics and building bikes and I thought I would try and find other women who also shared this passion (it wasn’t easy at that stage as there weren’t many women into the same type of custom bikes as I was getting into back then). After meeting VCC co-founder Namin Cho through work, and Mai through her then-boyfriend who was into bikes, we started to ask ourselves why there weren’t more women into what we were into in the UK. We also travelled to Joshua Tree for the Babes Ride Out event last year (an event where 1000 women ride out to camp and party in the desert every year) and saw how many women in the US were getting into motorcycles. We thought if there wasn’t a scene already here in the UK then we would help grow it! We put out a post on Instagram asking if any women wanted to learn to ride and we had a huge response, so it all just went quite organically from there for the VC.

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

DtL: How do you find being a female in an industry that is heavily dominated by males? Have you ever experienced prejudice/stereotypes/sexism because of attitudes towards your gender?

Gemma: The motorcycle world is actually really supportive of women in my experience, just as it’s supportive of everyone. It’s a great community. The only bad experience I’ve had was very recently after almost 6 years of riding; I was on my 66′ Triumph Chopper and a guy on a scooter stopped alongside me at some traffic lights. He leaned across and said he liked my bike. I thanked him and looked away…he then went on to tell me that I should obviously be riding his scooter and really he should be riding my bike, me being a woman and all! Luckily the lights changed and I left him for dust…so it obviously still exists but that’s honestly the only time I’ve ever encountered it. It’s a very small, old fashioned demographic that believe motorcycles belong strictly in a man’s world.

At the workshop we share in London (The Shop Customs) we work in a really mixed environment; both girls and guys work there and we support one another and share our skills. We never feel like our gender separates us – that’s something we really believe in and try to instil in others – I’m not just a woman who rides; I’m just another rider, irrespective of my sex.

 

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

IMAGE: JAMES GRANT

DtL: Our research revealed that 35% of teenage girls believe their gender will have a negative impact on their career. What advice would you give to young girls who want to pursue a hobby or career in an area which is largely male-dominated?

Gemma: Growing up, I was never the kind of girl who wore much make up, I’m not the shy and retiring type and I constantly have a colourful array of bruises all over me from whatever I’ve been doing that day. I’m not exactly what you’d call a ‘shrinking violet’, but on the other hand I can still be feminine when I want to be. Having this personality means everyone around me (my husband, my family and friends ) have always accepted and encouraged me to pursue anything I've wanted to do, whether they its considered masculine or feminine. I hate labelling people and personalities and I don’t believe in stuff like the “tomboy” pigeonhole. I’ve always had quite a dominant personality; it wasn’t until after years of being labelled ‘bossy’ by every school report, that I realised that boys were never called bossy! Qualities like that in men don’t seem to be frowned upon….in fact they are encouraged and referred to as ‘leadership qualities’! That’s when I started to accept that I am who I am and it’s done wonders for me in my career, and also what I do at VC. Having a strong personality means I can use my confidence to support and encourage others.

The world is changing; women can do absolutely anything they want to do. I’ve never felt held back by being a woman and neither should anyone else.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE

THE REUNION @ MONZA RACE TRACK

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited out to Milan to The Reunion custom moto show by the shows organiser Matteo Andreani!  In only its second year The Reunion is an incredible moto gathering with some of Italys best bike builders, moto brands & moto clubs getting together to show off their newest projects, hang out in the sunshine  topped off by a mini dirt track & one gnarly drag race on the Monza track. We rode, we raced, we drank beers in the sunshine, ate too much salami, danced until the sun went down & came home with a few cuts & bruises but with massive smiles all round & a hell of alot of new mental Italian pals.

The thing that stood out for us about the Reunion was their incredibly Italian way of doing things... A totally welcoming, laid back, chilled out,  family orientated event with so many friendly faces riding around on their bikes in the sunshine that you couldn't help but feel like you could only be in Italy...And the standard of bike builds blew us away

Well definitely be back next year.... and hopefully well be a bit more successful on the drag racing than this time  ;)

A massive thanks to The Reunion, DMD helmets, Yamaha Italy & of course the wonderful Matteo Andreani & merry band of Milano Cafe racers for making it one crazy weekend to remember.

PHOTOS BY:  MAX PIERERNIA & ALESSANDRA LEOCATA

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS RIDE DAY - VC LONDON RIDE OUT

PIC:  ALEX GRANT

We had a rad time at The Shop Customs for International Female rider day yesterday.

Thanks to all the badass ladies who came down! Think this will be the first of many summer ride outs!

Thanks to Alex Grant for the shots!

DTRA LADIES DAY FLASHBACK

Ahhhhh take us back to last summer.... Probably one of the best days of last summer was the ladies flat track day set up by the chaps over at the DTRA . We turned left, crashed, got back on, crashed some more but all went home with multiple bruises, new pals & big smiles on dirty faces. Oh, if only we could do it all over again........... But wait..........

We've got some exciting news coming soon..... Watch out Insta & Events pages for news coming very soon!!

PHOTO:  DTRA WEBSITE  by the amazing  Dimitri Coste

PHOTO: DTRA WEBSITE by the amazing Dimitri Coste

VIRGINIA'S HARLEY - A GIRLS BIKE 💜

To know this lady is to absolutely fall in love with her. We first met Virginia Hall back last year at BRO3 where she was all smiles & the longest limbs ever to grace a Harley.

Alongside her incredible photography work Virginia recently took on her own bike build & boy did it turn out pretty sweet.  Luckily her other half, Jay Cagney, was around to make a vid about the whole process. Welding never looked so good...

"Over the past year, I’ve documented Virginia's creation of this motorcycle. The bike started as a stock '96 XL1200c, and through many hours of late nights, dirty fingernails and torn gloves, Virginia was able to complete the bike you see her riding today. The bike above covers about 6 months of building from January to June of 2015. Because neither of us had a lot of experience building motorcycles, we pulled knowledge and advice from the people around us, and through lots information online. We're both happy to see the bike complete, and even more happy to present to you our journey through it."

Virginia Hall and Jay Cagney are recently engaged, and live in rural Northern New Jersey. Virginia is a Senior UX Designer and Jay works full time managing a video production department, as well as a freelance photo and video career.

To see more of Virginias work including her rad photos from BRO3 click HERE & visit Jay Cagneys Website HERE . Also follow them both on Insta now! @virninja / @jaycagney

🇬🇧 BABES RIDE OUT UK - SAVE THE DATE! 🇬🇧

We are very proud to announce that we are teaming up with the amazing ladies Babes Ride Out this year to present their first ever overseas event......

 

🇬🇧 Get ready for BABES RIDE OUT UK!!!  🇬🇧

 

Good Times, Good Friends, Two Wheels... lets do this! SAVE THE DATE! Registration and all info launches first week of April! Head over to www.babesrideout.com 's blog for more deets ! 

We can wait to share everything with you!!! Its gonna be big!

 

SALLY McGEE - DRIFTING

Ever dreamed of getting away from it all?  Yep, you and most of the people on Instagram. Endless adventure accounts & images popping up in our feeds making us daydream about hitting the road & finding an adventure. The same images posted over & over with scenes from tent doors, long winding roads & camping in far off places may not belong to us but make us want a piece of that life all the same. Well meet one woman from the UK who decided to give it all up to go have a few of those adventures for real....

IMAGE: TOM BING AT  www.thewestroad.net

IMAGE: TOM BING AT www.thewestroad.net

Sally McGee, along with her partner- photographer Tom Bing aka @driftervisual, have set out on a 15,000 mile, year long trip on motorcycles, riding & surfing their way across the west coast of America, starting at Santiago and ending up..... well, who knows where, But thats how all good adventures should be isn't it? 

After only passing her full motorcycle test in the UK less than 2 weeks before the start of their journey it shows that its not just seasoned riders that can set out on a moto adventure anywhere in the world. We've been following their adventure so far on their blog The West Road & caught up with Sally recently to talk about what inspired them to go on this life changing trip & take the steps to get themselves well & truly on the road.

If you don't feel inspired to do a bit of drifting yourself, you will after reading this......

IMAGE: TOM BING AT  www.thewestroad.net

IMAGE: TOM BING AT www.thewestroad.net

What made you decide to set out on such an epic trip together? 

The main reason for such a long trip was to surf, spend time away from the UK especially during the winter, more to do with the darkness than the cold. We both had pretty intense, stressful jobs for the past few years working in a secondary school and we craved a bit more freedom. Tom was really concerned that teaching in a secondary school was going to be the rest of his life and he hated it, he was really unhappy and under a lot of pressure constantly. After a summer spent riding motorbikes and surfing in Indonesia last year, we both felt a bit more empowered to make that kind of lifestyle last a bit longer. It didn't even cross our minds that the route might not be possible, we found out it had been done before and that was it; we started making plans. In order to try to make a different lifestyle sustainable, we started implimenting changes in our lives that would help us both on the trip and when we return. I trained as a Beach Lifeguard and a Surf Instructor and quit my job in the school and spent a summer on the beach saving up. The plan was always to pick up a few bits of work or exchange skills along the way. Tom went to part-time at work and started concentrating on his photography work, so far it has been a really positive change. 


Why did you choose to do the trip on motorcycles (especially Yamaha xr150s) as you didn't ride for long before you left? 

We were both riding 125's on a CBT before we left, we had an old 70's Honda CB and a newer XR, mainly because we were planning this trip. When we were in Indonesia, Tom was the one always riding the bikes and to be honest I was happy sat on the back, but for this trip there was no chance of that happening, we have too much gear and Tom just wasn't having it, so I'd have to get myself there. It's been a real challenge but it's starting to feel natural. There are positives and negatives to riding a bike on a surf trip, already we have been able to access some pretty special places purely because we are on bikes. We have dreamt of a car or van at times but we wouldn't have travelled on some of the roads we have done, the ones that are going to have the lasting memory. We get some crazy looks riding down the highway with surfboards attached to our bikes (along with the odd shaka which is always a boost). The amazing thing is that we always feel part of the landscape on bikes, we are in it, not separate from it as you are in a car. There is a romance to the idea of it and rolling into a town, tired and filty, chased by dogs gives us a real sense of achiement. As for the 150cc's, they're cheap, £1,500 each for brand new bikes, we have never broken into a tenner filling both tanks and these bikes are everywhere, a new engine will be cheaper than one sensor for a BMW that has to be shipped from Europe or whatever, these bikes are really simple, single cylinder, carburettor, mininal electronics. We don't feel like we're screaming 'we have money' when we arrive or pass through a town. 

Not having surfboards with us was never an option & this is initially a surf trip so 80kmh is tops for our safety. The XR150's sit happily at that speed, any bigger would be a waste for us. Plus, if I drop my bike, I can just about pick it up...The XR150's defintely aren't 'cool' either but they're doing a really good job so far. Fuck me, you couldn't do this trip on an Enfield or an old Harley, there is a romance to that too but I think we already have enough of that with the route, let alone sitting in lay-by's all day. Although an XR250 is appealing at times!

IMAGE: TOM BING AT  www.thewestroad.net

IMAGE: TOM BING AT www.thewestroad.net

What made you choose your route, starting from Santiago?

San Fran is one idea... Or we might end up in Texas or Mexico, plans are always changing. We read about two Australian surfers travelling through an area in Western Mexico we were planing on going through who wound up dead, burned to death in their van the first night they got there; places like Sinaloa and Geurerro are crazy. We have nothing to prove but we do have flights out of LA at some point. As for starting in Chile, it's well known that Santiago is a good place to buy bikes and its near really good waves. We have made it to another surf town in the North now, nearly 2000km's up the coast; we thought the Atacama desert might have waves but the swell was small the whole time we were there. From here on up to California there is good surf pretty much all the way. There is one language too which is a bonus, we're learning Spanish and it's going OK so far.
 

Whats been the best part of your trip so far?

Two free weeks in a dreamy log cabin next to Punta De Lobos (an amazing Chilean wave), surfing an amazing spot surrounded by beauty and surf heritage, being in the sea with whales and dolphins was amazing. That and meeting great people, in particular Alejandro Briones and his family from Herencia Rides in Santiago. He built our racks and has supported us fully the whole way, giving us keys to said log cabin. Looking back there are lots of high points but at times its hard not to think of the low points too. I think the lowest point was the Southern Atacama, 12 hours riding through dirt tracks and goat roads that we knew nobody has used for a long time. Going over the crest of a mountain hoping for a town as the sunets and seeing more mountains and nothingness, switching off the engine and coasting down the mountains and hair pin bends to save precious fuel. There were tears and I wanted to give up there and then. Looking back, that was unforgettable, it was incredible and we are sure that will be the most memorable and amazing experience.

IMAGES: TOM BING AT www.thewestroad.net

How long are you planning on travelling for? 

We are aiming for a year in total but who knows. We quit our jobs and the flat rented out withing a day of being online. We might end up quitting in a couple of months or spending a bit of time somewhere we fall in love along the way. We are totally open to ideas of how to live for a while. 
 

How did you find doing your test in the UK? 

I found the process of the test really difficult. I failed my Mod 1 the first time round because I ran over a cone pretty much immediately. The Examiner wore a helmet in the yard the whole time and had piercing mean eyes. I didn't feel like I was actually taught to understand how to ride and instead just told to do it. I changed riding schools and found the next guys teaching style way more helpful, less chauvanist and spent time explaining things more logically. For me actually learning to ride was way more important than passing my test if that makes sense. It cost money but I ended up taking my time, having more lessons than they would usually give. The only problem then was that I was cuttting it really fine with regards to the trip. I knew how important it was to have my license for so many reasons but in particular to cover me insurance wise, I am sure there are countries out here that you would never be asked. We cut it so fine that the morning of my flight I had to take a detour to pick up my new license which had just arrived. It was pretty stressful and I ended up putting a hell of a lot of pressure on myself to pass but I did first time, that was after getting the wrong date for my first one, I turned up two days too late and ended up sat in the waiting room next to my old instructor, that was a bit shit, ha. I spent the whole test itself thinking that I had surely failed and when in fact I got two minors for hesitating, smashed it. Never been so happy to finish something and never have to do it again to be honest. Most people I speak to say the same thing, it's not an easy process. I don't mean to discourage anybody because it really is well worth doing, it feels amazing to know that I can now legally ride any bike I want.

 

How do you think riding in the uk differs from riding in South America? 

It's early days yet but after nearly 3,000km's there are definitely positives and negatives. On the plus side, the weather is amazing, it never rains, is always warm and dry. Chile is so big that the cities are really spread out, the infrastrucure is not the same as the UK, there are 'gas gaps' of up to 400km meaning you have to carry a jerry can really to avoid getting stuck. In England I wouldn't ever choose to travel on a motorway, here you have no choice sometimes, its the only option for part of the country. The Ruta 5, the Pan American Highway here is pretty horrific, there are huge trucks and busses flying past way quicker than necessary, and then they come up behind you and sit on your tail being really menacing. The smaller roads and dirt tracks are absolutely amazing though; stunning scenery, sea to the left, mountains to the right and when you inland a bit its like a cross between Mad Max and Jurrassic Park, not another car for miles and plenty of empty beaches to camp on for free. Those big stretches of empty roads never get boring. One big problem is the dogs. Everytime we pull into, or leave a town on the bikes, dogs chase us, snapping at our legs. They don't seem to like the noise of the bikes and they really mean business, I am writing this having just returned from hospital after losing a battle with a German Sheperd last night, although that was nothing to do with a motorbike. I'm OK. 

 

Will you be getting a bike the UK when you get back? 
 

We kept our XR125 for when we get back. I can imagine after a trip this long that it would feel strange not to have a bike, I am becoming quite attached to it. For me, the romance is where motorbikes can take you, I'm not bothered about the aesthics and heritage as much at the minute, though I can appreciate the appeal. Right now, my dream bike would be anything that can let me ride though any terrain, particularly sand and dirt maybe with one of those long range tanks. A set of good OS maps and some better tires would also be mint!  

 

What advice would you give to someone considering to do a similar trip who maybe spent have their licence yet?

I would say that I am not really able to give advice quite yet, but having your licence gives you so much confidence when riding. If you're even thinking about a trip like this, start the process get your license, but do it nice and early! Before this trip, I had no desire to ride bikes really but having this skill feels amazing, that said, I am dreading the next part of the journey (400km's with no fuel on the 'Most Dealy Highway's in the America's). What I would say is get a Garmin GPS, use Bikehike.co.uk to plan routes and take a good tent, a jerry-can and a Primus Omnifuel stove (as these run off petrol). My top tip is a pair of decent old Levis (when they were proper denim), take them to the old lady in the Indoor Market and get her to sew in E-bay Kevlar into the knees and hips, I live in these jeans, on and off the bike, Tom too. Trying to find decent ladies riding gear is a nightmare and it really doesn't need to be expensive. 

 

IMAGE: TOM BING AT  www.thewestroad.net

IMAGE: TOM BING AT www.thewestroad.net

Go follow the rest of Sally & Toms amazing journey on their website The West Road HERE & on Sally & Toms Instagram!

Article by Gemma Harrison ( @ghwfive)

 

KICKSTART THIS & LITERALLY SAVE YOUR ASS...

Say hello to Tobacco Motorwear.... 

This amazing brand that originally started with a Mens kevlar jeans range are now currently running a kickstarter for their womens kevlar lined skinny jeans range. Made with premium stretch denim & lined with dupont kevlar, their skinny cut stretch jeans have a high waist (to avoid any awkward muffin top situations when belting it on your bobber) & come in black & deep unwashed indigo blue, making them a great safe alternative to riding in regular jeans without having to compromise. We think its great to see someone addressing the issue of fashion & fit with inbuilt safety in a pair of jeans made specifically for women riders. 

Finally a skinny jean thats not gonna take your half your skin with them if you come off! ......Now thats something to invest in! 

Go to Tobacco Motorwears kickstarter page HERE  to check out what these jeans are all about (and to see some serious ass surfing action!)

IMAGE FROM: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838833919/tobacco-motorwear-womens-jeans-kevlar-lined-usa-ma

IMAGE FROM: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838833919/tobacco-motorwear-womens-jeans-kevlar-lined-usa-ma

IMAGE FROM: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838833919/tobacco-motorwear-womens-jeans-kevlar-lined-usa-ma

IMAGE FROM: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838833919/tobacco-motorwear-womens-jeans-kevlar-lined-usa-ma

Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1838833919/tobacco-motorwear-womens-jeans-kevlar-lined-usa-ma

VC ALL GIRL CBT DAY

So so so bloody proud of every one of these 11 ladies who came to do our all girl CBT day in collab with the lovely chaps at Scooter Den Dalston last Saturday. It was a bleeding freezing day but everyone did amazingly well! For anyone outside the UK, the CBT is the first step for new riders in the UK and gets them on the road for the first time. Cant wait to ride with all these hotties soon! A huge huge congrats to you all for getting on & doing it!

Happy Brapping ladies! See you all soon for some VC ride outs!

Gx

MORE GIRLS ON BIKES.....REALLY

Today is our first all girl CBT day with Scooter Den! 12 new ladies riders are gonna be ready for the road! Weeeeeeeeeew!

A huge thankyou  to all the girls that have come down to learn some moto basics with us!

Thanks for being mad enough to let us crazy lot teach you about bikes! Its been incredible to meet so many new like minded women..... It's exactly why we run this thing!  

So bloody proud of you all!!

Big Love , good luck and can't wait to go on the first VC all girl ride out with you all soon!

See you there!  Gx