After all the planning and organising, the time has finally come for me to take part in the Women Riders World Relay (WRWR). We’re here on the opposite side of the world from where, not only the relay started but also the place I have called home since birth, the UK. That’s a strange but surreal reality right now. The relay symbolising my journey over the last year beautifully, from the highs, the lows and how far just an idea of the relay and just an idea of me moving to New Zealand have come in a year.
This mad, crazy, bonkers idea to raise awareness of women in the motorcycle industry is of course the brain child of the wonderful human being that is Hayley Bell, from the UK. But not even she would have realise just how inspirational this relay would become for thousands of women all over the globe. With over 18,000 women now part of WRWR on our Facebook page. Way to go Hayley and team!
Today, 6th September 2019, I will start my 3700km (2299 miles), roundtrip down the length of New Zealand, on what will be my own personal iron butt challenge. Not quite the 5400km some of the ladies have just ridden in the Australian WRWR but still a challenge no doubt. However I will not be alone on this epic adventure. We have 312 registered (guardians) women riders taking part in the relay and a handful doing the entire event. Including this badass biker babe Jo Coory, who has literally just come back from travelling the UK, Scotland and Ireland by bike and will be my main travel companion on the relay. What a women!
So, what to pack for this epic adventure? The essentials of course, lol.
On a more serious note, the weather is likely to be unpredictable, changeable and colder in the South Island. I’m also the amateur photographer so will need various tech stuff such as laptop, camera, spare batteries etc. But also you want to consider the weight of gear to help with full consumption on the journey (something I will be managing very poorly on this trip). The main things I think of when packing for a long trip are; keeping warm and dry, basic bike maintenance en-route, safety and fuel for my body.
- Waterproofs including bags to put over my socks inside my boots & latex gloves to go over my motorbike gloves to save me getting soaked through
- Lots of layers, thick socks and thermal tops, plus my awesome windproof Revit top to keep out the chill and don’t forget the leg warmers! Lol
- Bungee cords, tie downs & chain lube
- First aid kit
- Laptop, camera, USB, chargers, selfie stick etc.
To save on space when packing, I am using roll up vacuum bags for clothing and have decantated large toiletry items such as shampoo & etc. into smaller containers. Including the gin in my very own hip flask (hehe)…
Riding can also be like a physical workout, especially if the weather is bad as you need to be more alert, so keeping up energy levels up is key. I’ve packed food that is high in sugar and protein but also include a couple of my five a day; bananas, peanut butter cookies, fresh orange juice and cheese and crackers (just because I can’t go without cheese for 8 days! lol). For convenience and to save me eating everything at once, I’ll portion out my food into daily lunch bags before I head off.
As well as being physical challenging, it can also be mentally draining riding long distances. Throw in 300 plus fired up biker chicks and some horrid weather, it can definitely get tiresome. I also personally struggle with some social anxiety, so keeping a good headspace whilst all this is going on will be key for me enjoying the ride.
Breathing techniques and yoga are two things I will be channelling before we set off each day. I do online YouTube yoga classes with Adriene which I find very handy especially if you’re on the go and can’t stick to a set regime. I am sure there will also be many mornings of gratitude meditation to help me send positive rather than negative vibes to anyone who ticks me off, lol and yes it has been used several times so far already.
Regular basic bike maintenance is crucial in particular when taking part in on long journeys. Everyone will have different ways to check things and if you’re not sure how to do something have a look in your motorbike manual and ask someone if you need a hand. These are the main things I check regularly…
- Tyres in good condition and correct pressure
- All indicators, break lights, full beams etc. working OK
- Chain at the right tension, clean and lubed
- Nuts, bolts etc. tightened and not likely to come loose
- Oil, water and other fluid levels topped up
Although we will have backup vehicles for the trip, I have also invested in AA breakdown Premium which will cover me even in Invercargill.
So that’s it folks, time to put this idea into action! Make sure you are following me on my Facebook Page to keep up to date as the relay unfolds. Also if you’re taking part in WRWR NZ, then come and say Hi. I look forward to meeting you all x
‘Be Adventurous. Be Courageous. Be Inspiring. Be Real. Be united’ WRWR
Facebook Event WRWR – Kiwi Styles
New Zealand WRWR Ambassador Jenny Hibbert firstname.lastname@example.org