Serena Freewomyn

Dykes on Bikes® Turns 30

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | April 24, 2008 9:45 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, The Movement
Tags: Dykes on Bikes, lesbians, San Francisco Pride

It used to be that turning the big 3-0 DykesOnBikespr.jpg was about as scary as waiting to be taken into that little room to receive your test results. Nowadays, however, 30 is the new 20. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. But there's one group of ladies who isn't afraid to show their age - the Dykes on Bikes®!

To celebrate their big 3-0, the Dykes on Bikes® are kicking their biker boots up in style. The GLBT Historical Society is hosting an exhibit and a series of events entitled "Dykes on Bikes®: 30 Years at the Forefront." The exhibit invites the general public to revel in the mythic power of Dykes on Bikes®. Exhibit attendees can even get a feel for riding in the famed contingent by hopping on a motorcycle surrounded by the sights and sounds of past parades. Along with the fun, the exhibit also offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the organization's ride down a 30-year road: its history, mission, structure, annual event production, and international reach.

I can straddle a motorcycle? Yes, please!

The traditional gift for a 30th anniversary is pearls, but something tells me these ladies would like a little bit of leather instead. Either way, these events promise to be exciting.

April 24th Donor Pre-View, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
May 15th Opening Reception, 6:00-8:00 p.m
May 17th Pre-Eagle Beer Bust Ride-By, 1:00-3:00
Beer Bust, 3:00-6:00
May 31st NCLR Reception, 1:00-6:00 p.m.
June 12th "30 Years of a Ride," panel discussion, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
June 26th Pride Week Reception, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
July 12th Closing Reception and "We Own It," panel discussion of the landmark trademark victory legal case, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

The group started in 1976 when a small group of 20 - 25 women motorcyclists gathered at the head of the San Francisco Pride Parade and, unbeknownst to them, a tradition was born. One of these women coined the phrase "Dykes on Bikes®" and the San Francisco Chronicle picked it up and ran with it. For the next several years, riders just showed up and rode--there was no formal organization or registration. It was this way for several years until the middle to late 1980s; however, as, SF Pride became more structured and the numbers of leather-clad ladies on bikes numbers kept growing, the need to organize Dykes on Bikes® became necessary; thus, the Women's Motorcycle Contingent (WMC) was born. However, in the press and LGBT culture, they continued to be know as Dykes on Bikes®.

Anyone can participate with the Dykes on Bikes®. Riders are considered a Dykes on Bikes® General Member just by registering for the SF Pride Parade. To become an Organizing Member and Patch Holder, you must attend six consecutive meetings, which are open to any woman.

Ladies, I'll be at San Fran Pride this year to cheer as you ring in the big 3-0 in style. And if any of you needs a bitch on back, count me in!

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God, I do love a woman on a motorcycle.

I love the Dykes on Bikes when I see a Pride parade. Yay for them!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 24, 2008 10:54 AM

Feel that power between your legs darling!

OMG, Nick, I thought the same thing...

And I love Dykes on Bikes. I actually got pulled onto the back of a bike one year at New York Pride and it was the most fun I've ever had in a parade.

And yes, Serena, I am such a lesbian wanna be.

Nick, I'm just doin what I'm told. :^)

Sara, I'd totally ride behind you and be your bitch. :)