Ever since I crossed south of the United States border and into Mexico, I started to dream of riding over the next border and into yet another unknown land. Each border I crossed as I moved south revealed another culture and another experience for me, and somewhere ahead lay another border that could do the same.
Many motorcycle riders I’ve met have dreamed of circumnavigating the world on a bike, and several of them have done it. It’s one of those dreams that I have on a shelf in the back of my mind where it’s been for nearly five years since I first rode into Mexico.
In late August I was tinkering on Facebook when I stumbled across a post on a women’s motorcycle forum that caught my attention. Hayley Bell, a rider from the UK, had posted a comment the day before about an idea she had. Apparently she was sitting at work one day daydreaming about riding when a thought occurred to her. She started thinking of how she wished more women riders were connected and that if we were we might be able to influence the industry in ways that could help women riders.
Hayley’s post was asking what people thought of her “crazy” idea, and the response she received was incredible. Within a day or two several hundred women replied with support and offers to help. Within a few more days a small core group of women riders had formed the nucleus of an organization that now had a name, Women Riders World Relay, and the idea was starting to take shape. Already we had a rough plan for women motorcycle riders to carry a baton, of some sort, starting in the UK and leading all the way around the world until it returned to the UK, each woman passing it on to the next. We wanted to include as many women and countries as we could and connect women riders together along the way.
Hayley created a Facebook group page and within a month over 10,000 women had joined the group. It was mesmerizing to watch WRWR come to life. Women started discussions, and threads, and connected with other riders for meetups and guardian bell exchanges. It was all happening organically and oh so quickly.
As of now the ride is scheduled to start in the UK in late February 2019 and lead out into and around the world, hopefully visiting more than 80 countries. It’s being planned and organized as we speak. And while it’s a long way from a reality, the dream is still alive, growing and taking shape. With a whole lot of luck, the support of countless men and women who have been inspired by the dream, and the dedication of some amazingly generous and hard-working, motorcycle-loving women, we might just get all the way round.