Today, I set off with Hayley Bell and Liza Miller to the start of the USA leg of the Women Riders World Relay (WRWR – Women Riders World Relay). WRWR is Hayley’s vision, with the goal of increasing global awareness and visibility of women in Motorsports. The relay began in January 2019 in London, England. SInce then, hundreds of women all over the world have passed the Baton. We now have the honor of representing motorcyclists in the United States. The Baton will travel from Calais, Maine through the US on ground for 18 days, until we ultimately hand it off to Mexico. Hayley is joining us in the US for the ride, which makes it even more special!
Special thanks to Our US Sponsor, Indian Motorcycle for graciously providing us with bikes to ride for the trip! We picked them up at Mom’s Boston Indian, and those guys took great care of us. Liza and I each picked a 2019 Indian Roadmaster, complete with heated grips and seats, and the new Ride Command System with 3 Ride Modes. Hayley is on a 2019 Indian Chieftain Limited. Special thanks to our communications sponsor Cardo Systems for providing us with their Packtalk Bold units to help us stay connected! After a quick overview for Liza and Hayley, We packed up our gear, and set out for Calais.
During this season of riding, your riding gear can make or break your trip. I was wearing my Olympia Eve jacket and Olympia 730 gloves with gel padding in the palms. Both are my favorites during summer riding weather. I’ve got Sidi’s Gavia Gore-Tex Boots for comfort and to keep my feet dry in the rain. I’m having a tough time finding plus size riding pants, so my jeans will have to do. I’ve got a Shoei Neo-Tec Helmet, and mounted my Cardo Packtalk Bold communications system. Because of the time of year, I also brought Olympia’s Durham all weather jacket. I didn’t think I would need it, but boy was I wrong!
Leaving Boston, the weather was perfect. It was 82 degrees, with a light cloud cover. Riding through Maine is beautiful. The leaves were beginning to turn, and you could see color splashes of Orange and Burgundy. As we traveled further North East, I could see the storm clouds building. And sure enough, 10 minutes later, the sky opened up. We continued to ride for a bit, but the downpour wouldn’t let up and visibility was getting worse. We pulled off to switch into rain gear and to let the rain pass a bit. No chance. Our route was taking us directly into the eye of the storm. Preparing for the worst, I put on the Durham jacket and my Gore-Tex riding gloves. The jacket has a waterproof membrane, just inside the outer shell which is supposed be to keep you dry. And, it did for the most part. But after 3 hours of pounding rain, water is bound to get through. My feet also began to get wet, because my pants were tucked into my boots, which meant water was getting in directly from the top, but not through the leather. Boot covers should help. I quickly learned that Gore-Tex doesn’t mean water tight. The temperature dropped to 59 degrees, and the rain kept coming. As the sun began to set, it got cold. By the time we got to Calais, I was chilled to the bone!
The Canadians prepared a great reception with bag pipe players. The border patrol shut down the bridge to allow the ladies to meet and pass the baton safely. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we missed the hand off in Canada. Yeah, I was bummed. We met up with the ladies who received the Baton at our hotel, and had a great chat about why we chose to be a part of the ride. These women are all dynamic and a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see what the days ahead will bring!