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JUST RIDE - IFRD - International Female Ride Day

Updated: Nov 1, 2023


Once a year, on the first Saturday of May, female riders from around the world get together to hit the road and ride. But why?


IFRD was introduced in 2007 by Vicki Gray and the first 'Just Ride' day happened on Friday 4th May 2007. It is now celebrated in more than 120 countries across the globe.


From the Motoress webpage:

IFRD is a global day celebrating the cultural, social and active lifestyles of women who ride and enjoy motorcycling. The day also marks a call to action for fast-tracking gender equality, awareness, and respect for women in motorcycling or motorsport.

“IFRD provides a platform for women motorcycle riders to bond with other women, to meet and find like-minded women who ride and develop friendships with which to enjoy and advance motorcycling!” – Vicki Gray, Founder

Focus Female Forward #focusfemaleforward was introduced in 2021 and has remained as a meaningful hashtag:

Focus intends to ensure IFRD goals are maintained and do not become diluted or camouflaged.

Female further underlines the focus in IFRD and champions for women literally up front.

Forward propels “focus and female” to call out the equality that IFRD strives for – forward.

Forward also chosen as women still only represent approximately 20% of all motorcycle riders. The work of IFRD and its forward momentum must continue for the expansion of women in motorsport.


In New Zealand:

From the information I can gather, the first IFRD ride was a small event in 2011 in Wellington. The first big group ride was hosted in Auckland with around 100 riders in 2015, but I think the first official 'national' IFRD NZ ride was organised in 2019 from from Tahuna to Kaiaua.


Momentum for a nationally organised ride started in 2020 with the Wahine Riders organising a ride, but this was impacted by Covid. This is when the 'Just Ride' call to action took hold and encouraged female riders to just get out and ride.

Wahine Riders then refocused on the 2021 event in Taupo, where riders from around Aotearoa came together to dominate the Taupo roads for a day.

The baton was passed to the Ton Up girls for 2022 and Napier heard the roar of over 100 female riders for the weekend.

2023 will see us all gather in Masterton with the organising skills of Central Gems. 2021 we had Zebras, 2022 was wine... what will 2023 bring?


Timeline:

2007

  • Friday 4th May - IFRD created by Motoress founder, Vicki Gray.

2011

  • Small rides organised in Wellington to celebrate IFRD NZ

  • More small rides organised across the country each year moving forward

2014

  • IFRD ride officially changed to a Saturday

2015

  • A ride was organised in Auckland by Jeni Hart. Around 100 women took part

2018

  • Whangarei Litas organised their first IFRD ride (20+ riders), joining with Auckland Litas ride along the way (90 riders). This has happened every year since.

2019

  • NATIONAL - Larger ride organised from Tahuna to Kaiaua. Around 90 women took part.


2020

  • NATIONAL - Wahine Riders postponed the large organised event due to Covid

  • All planned events encouraged the JUST RIDE motto due to Covid

2021

  • NATIONAL - Wahine Riders organised ride in Taupō. Around 160 women took part.


2022

  • NATIONAL - Ton Up Girls organised ride in Napier. Around 150 women took part (check out a large collection of photos on the Motorcycle Travels Site - lonelytwat by clicking on the photo below).

2023

  • NATIONAL - Central Gems will be organising this ride. It will be based in Wairarapa. You can check out the event here.

Photo by Motorcycle Travels Site - lonelytwat

To learn more of the IFRD International history, follow this link:


Cheers

Sandy

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