More and more women are getting off the pillion and into the saddle of their own motorcycle, with many also taking up two wheel sport, on track and off-road.
Supported and encouraged by organisations such as the Durban-originated all-female biker crew, ShredBettys – and they will be engaging with audiences at this year’s South Coast Bike Fest, sponsored by UGU South Coast Tourism and Tourism KZN, taking place in Margate from April 27l.
What started out as a group of women bikers looking to create some waves in a traditionally male-dominated sport has grown into a dominant force within the biking arena with ShredBettys officially establishing itself in 2013. Today there are more than 400 members nationwide and it is considered the foremost social media avenue for South African women’s off-road racing.
“We realised we needed an established organisation that represented the voice and concerns of South African women within the motorsport’s industry,” says Nicole Salt of ShredBettys. “We have worked hard to make a place for ourselves and representation at an event such as the South Coast Bike Fest goes a long way to create awareness about our role in motor sports.”
ShredBettys feature numerous riders across various media platforms, disseminate information relating to health and exercise, organise monthly competitions and sponsored partnerships, and garner feedback from the riding community.
One of ShredBetty’s prominent members returning to the South Coast Bike Fest is Durban’s
Lanza van der Mescht who is hard enduro fanatic. Starting on her first bike – a Yamaha 750 road bike – Lanza got completely hooked on motorsports and, when she tried a dirt bike seven years back, she found her perfect fit.
She currently rides a KTM 250 Freeride and has competed in a number of sporting events – the WFO Hard Enduro’s where she’s won the ladies’ championship two years in a row, as well as the KZN X-Country Series where she’s placed both first and second consecutively.
“Competing in a male-dominated sport is always challenging,” she admitted, “I’ve had to work hard to earn the respect of fellow riders and promote women in motor sports. ShredBettys provides a platform where women can compete in offroad, enduro and motocross in a professional manner.”
Commenting on the South Coast Bike Fest, Lanz said she was excited to be attending again: “It was great to see so many riders and people passionate about the riding culture. It was especially amazing to see how many women were interested in participating in the extreme sport lifestyle that ShredBettys is so passionate about.”
Nicole and Lanza will be joined by eight other ShredBettys teammates at this year’s South Coast Bike Fest where they will showcase various skills to interested participants and answer any questions women have about riding at the Budweiser Main Beach Stage.
The riders – Serranne Meyer, Daryl-Leigh Preuss, Santel De Lange, Kristin Hughes, Taryn Hughes, Kayla Raaf, Tiegan Reid and Nicola Strauss – will also discuss a number of lifestyle topics around bike riding such as fitness, nutrition, safety gear, bike care and maintenance as well as the riding clinic.
There will be an introduction to motor sports and ladies of all ages will be given a chance to ride a bike in a safe environment. Girls are also welcome to bring their own bikes and get some pointers from the experienced riders.
In addition to the Shredbetty’s interactive feature, visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest will also get the chance to visit eight festival-themed bars, corporate dealership deck as well as 22 restaurants with 8 Festival Themed bars including Budweiser Beach Stage and Jack Daniels Rock Stage catering to all interests and tastes. There is also full line-up of more than 30 South African artists and a jam-packed entertainment programme, including:
- Top musical acts such as Francois Van Coke, Karen Zoid, Matthew Mole, Springbok Nude Girls, Babes Wodumo, GoodLuck, The Kiffness, Timo ODV, Chunda Munki and many more.
- Bounce Vibe Tribe
- Powasol EnduroX Extreme
- South Coast Bike Fest™ Mayoral Mass Charity Parade