They said it was not lady like for a lady to ride a Motorcycle!
When the motorcycle was first invented there were ladies all over the world wanting to learn to ride one. Some women were so passionate that they fought hard to overcome the obstacles that were put in there way so they were able to follow a passion for riding bikes.
There were ladies who just wanted to ride for pleasure or go on amazing adventure across the world, but there were women who wanted to race and compete alongside the men on circuits such as the iconic Brooklands and the Isle of Man TT.
Out there, there were women like Beatrice Shilling, she was awarded the Brooklands Gold Star taking a lap of the Brooklands circuit at 100mph, to my knowledge there were only 3 women to achieve this. Beatrice then went on the help develop the engines for the Spitfire & Hurricane in WW11.
Florence Blenkiron was part of the elite group of Ladies who completed a ‘Tun Up’ around the Brooklands Circuit in 1933. With her friend Theresa Wallach (the first female engineering student at Northampton Polytechnic) they decided in 1934, to go on an epic motorcycle ride from London to Cape Town SA. This was an amazing achievement for the time.
When they returned Theresa joined the British army as a mechanic and they say she became the only female dispatch ride during W11.
Jumping forward we then find Beryl Swain at the Isle of Man TT. In 1962, she became the first female rider to complete the TT course. It was frowned upon that a lady rider was doing this sort of thing, so the organisers of the TT and the ACU put a weight limit on all riders and this in turn stopped women competing at the TT until 1978.
|It was up to female riders, paving the way for the likes of Maria Costello (MBE). In 2004, she became the fastest women to lap the TT course, holding the record until 2009. This was then broken in 2010 by Jenny Tinmouth, who is a British Champion in her own right.|
This is just a small selection of the British Lady Motorcyclists but I can assure you there are so many more out there!
As for me, I’m just the kind of girl who loves to go on amazing adventures and down country lanes with the wind in my hair.
– Claire Baughan