Move over guys, women are coming through on two wheels.
The first iteration of a female-centric charity ride event took place on Saturday, December 16, 2017, called the Belle Moto Asia Charity Ride (organised by an entity of the same name).
Getting inked with the Belle Moto logo for a good cause
According to the organisation’s Facebook page, “Belle Moto Asia was formed by JR Pte Ltd, Motovation Accessory Singapore and Handlebar Singapore with an aim to create an opportunity to gather and encourage fellow female bikers in Singapore.”
Singaporean round-the-world Vespa rider, Juvena Huang, and enthusiastic friends
Think along the lines of the popular Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride except with less testosterone, facial hair and fewer prostates.
The charity ride itself was a short loop from the event venue, Handlebar, and the Belle Moto event supports the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA) in Singapore (DGR supports men’s health and prostate cancer research).
Despite the torrential afternoon rain, the contingent of female riders set off on a short loop beginning and ending at Handlebar Singapore – a favourite of motorcyclists, the bar/restaurant has moved from its previous location in Water Venture, Sembawang, to Gilman Barracks.
More than $10,000 was raised for the ADA (with more donations still coming in) at the event, which saw an estimated 150 to 200 attendees that packed the venue. If you want to donate, you can still do so at Belle Moto’s Give.Asia donation site.
Model/presenter Bobby Tonelli took up his microfibre mitt for the Hunk Bike Wash event
Activities on the scene included bike competitions (prizes based on votes and categories) and a lucky draw. There was some much-welcomed role reversal with the charity bike wash featuring local model/presenter Bobby Tonelli.
Japanese rider-songwriter Hiroshi Sazaki
There were also performances by musical artistes including Japanese rider-guitarist Hiroshi Sazaki, who created the theme song for the Suzuka 8 Hours motorcycle endurance race. Flying the Singapore talent flag was indie band Astreal.
Midori Moriwaki and extremely happy lucky draw prizewinner
Speaking of the Suzuka endurance race, the event’s guest of honor was Midori Moriwaki, who is part of the FIM’s Women In Motorcycling Commission as an Expert Member. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she is the daughter of Mamoru Moriwaki, founder of Moriwaki Engineering, and the granddaughter of Pops Yoshimura. She was one of the driving forces behind the first female team who took part in the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2014.
Lots of Singapore motorcycyling’s better known faces were present for the event
More than a few motorcycling, media and social media personalities were involved including presenter Nessa Anwar, female social media personalities Yu Lina and Tiny Jen. Singaporean explorer, Juvena Huang, who’s ridden her Vespa across most of the Asian continent and into Europe on her round-the-world journey, led the convoy.
“We’ve been really encouraged by the response to the Belle Moto Asia Charity Ride. As it’s the first edition of the event, it was anyone’s guess as to how it would turn out, but the reaction from the sponsors and people who got involved was really good, and we’re looking to make this an annual event,” said Eugene Lim, one of the co-organisers.
The burgeoning numbers of ladies joining the ranks of motorcycle riders around the world is a global trend of the past decade.
Events like the Women’s Motorcycle Summit International Female Ride Day and organisations like the FIM’s Women In Motorcycling and Women On Wheels are proof enough that there’s been a much-welcomed inclusion of the fairer sex into the global riding community.