Womens International Motorcycle Association Rally

Taking over the car park at Chatsworth

Taking over the car park at Chatsworth - Credit: Archant

Two hundred and forty women from 14 countries attended the rally at Castleton.

YHA Losehill Hall Hostel

YHA Losehill Hall Hostel - Credit: Archant

Two hundred and forty women from 14 countries attended the rally at Castleton, most after riding their bikes across Europe in appalling weather. Once there, the journey was forgotten as the greeting at YHA Losehill Hall was warm and welcoming. The week started with an informative, hands-on talk by world traveller Tiffany Coates on Personal Safety for Women Travellers, followed by riding safely from Linda Ashmore of the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists. Despite the fact that most of us ride daily, we always need to hone our skills and improve our safety on the roads. The welcome dinner that night was widely appreciated and accompanied by the jazz/swing of The Hot Toddy Quintet.

On Tuesday we put Linda's talk to the test and went out on observed rides. There was also an arranged visit to the Blue John Caverns. The WIMA GB marshals guided us in and out and the rest of the day was spent exploring the scenic countryside. Despite dismal weather, Wednesday was the Challenge Ride - exploring the area and finding local features without the use of the internet! However, the highlight of the International Rally is always the Parade Ride and this year's was to the magnificent Chatsworth House, with over 200 international women motorcyclists riding in convoy along the drive to Chatsworth - a splendid sight. Evening entertainment was provided by some of the international teams. The Dutch team brought the marquee down with their creativity!

Suddenly it was the final day. After a morning exploring Castleton, the Women Riders World Relay Ripple arrived, followed by the founder of the Relay, Hayley Bell. With tea and cake, we listened to the story of the WRWR and its intended effect: to ignite a global sisterhood of inspirational women to promote courage, adventure, unity and passion for biking, to WOW the motorcycle industry into realising the global market for women in motorsports and to inspire women worldwide.

The last night was another excellent buffet followed by a concert from leading Sheffield rock band, Thor, Gods of Rock. We rocked the night away, going to bed with our ears ringing - but it had been worth it. The rain cleared long enough on Saturday morning for our tents to blow dry and all too soon it was time to say goodbye to the YHA Losehill and the Derbyshire countryside. It had been a wonderful and inspirational week: learning new skills, making new friends and loving the scenery! u

Exploring the Derbyshire countryside together

Exploring the Derbyshire countryside together - Credit: Archant

Details: WIMA GB: wimagb.co.uk; IAM rider training: iamroadsmart.com/campaign-pages/end-customer-campaigns/free-tasters

A group photo at Chatsworth after the Parade Ride

A group photo at Chatsworth after the Parade Ride - Credit: Archant

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