Meet Liz (age 54) and Tina (age 48), the Fairy Bikers, two women from North Yorkshire, UK who self-identify with having a mid-life crisis. They are flying to the United States on Saturday to embark on a Harley biking adventure that will address their crises while serving the greater good.
The Fairy Bikers have two goals: 1) to promote riding for women (“It’s never too late to go on adventures”), and 2) to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer (“We thought it would be a good opportunity to raise some funds for this charity.”).
Although they don’t ride Harleys at home, when it came to planning their trip in the U.S., “we just couldn’t ride in USA on anything other than Harleys so we just didn’t consider any other type of bike.” Liz will be riding a Harley-Davidson Fatboy, and Tina will be riding a Harley-Davidson SuperLow. They are renting the bikes from EagerRider, in Las Vegas.
On May 15, they embark on a 1160-mile trip that starts in Las Vegas, Nevada, navigates through Death Valley (the hottest place on earth), winds down the Pacific Coast, and ends in Los Angeles, California.
Liz first started riding when she was 18 years old. Back then, her bike “blew up” and she couldn’t afford to replace it but she never forgot the feeling of freedom and peace that comes from riding. Those memories drew her back to the sport 25 years later, after her kids grew up and she was more financially established. Tina has been riding for four years. Prior to getting behind the handlebars, she rode on the back of her husband’s bike. Liz and Tina met at a bike meet four years ago.
“We decided to do the trip after a drunken night discussing bucket lists and we had a lightbulb moment and thought that life is too short we should stop talking and start doing!” Soon after their decision to come to the United States, Tina’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. The duo decided to turn their bike adventure into a fundraising campaign in honor of Tina’s mother. The Fairy Bikers hope to raise £2000 (about $3,000) and are currently at about 66% of their target.
While their children think they have “completely lost the plot,” they are supportive.
What happens after the ride? “We are busy writing the story about the time we decided to do this trip and all the events in the run up to it, which is proving quite a comedy, so we hope to sell it for the charity and also to inspire other women to try something they have always wanted to do. We would love to do another one but as we haven’t completed this one yet maybe we shouldn’t jump the gun!”
The Fairy Bikers definitely encourage other women to ride as it is now more acceptable for females now than ever, and there are more all women riding groups popping up. It’s a sociable and fun hobby, it gets you out of the house and meeting people as well as spending time in our fantastic countryside – a real sense of freedom and “me” time!
To make a contribution to the Fairy Bikers’ fundraising campaign, visit their Just Giving site. To follow the adventures of the Fairy Bikers, visit their social media sites:
Here’s what the Fairy Bikers’ trip looks like:
From Las Vegas we head west and our ride will take us across Death Valley – the hottest place on earth!
Day 2: Mammoth Lakes, CA to Yosemite (El Portal), CA (150 miles)
Leaving Mammoth Lakes we continue our trip a little further north and then take the infamous Tioga Pass to cross Yosemite National Park.
Day 3: Yosemite (El Portal), CA – San Francisco, CA (200 miles)
We will ride along Yosemite National Park for a while and then head west towards San Francisco. After lunch it’s off to the Golden Gate Bridge and right into San Francisco, our stop for the next two nights.
Day 4: San Francisco
This day is at leisure to enjoy the beautiful city of San Francisco and a trip to Alcatraz.
Day 5: San Francisco, CA to Monterey, CA (118 miles)
On this day, we will ride along the rugged coast of California and get a first taste of one of the best motorcycle rides in the world, as we head down south on legendary Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) along the Pacific Ocean.
Day 6: Monterey, CA to Pismo Beach, CA (152 miles)
We will continue our ride on scenic Highway 1, along the edge of the cliffs of the Big Sur Coast.
Day 7: Pismo Beach, CA – Los Angeles, CA (225 miles)
We will take Highway 101 and head towards Los Angeles. At Santa Maria, we’ll cut inland to enjoy the great back roads and scenery there. In Santa Barbara, we’ll get back on Highway 101 and cruise straight into Malibu, then into Los Angeles.
Day 8: Los Angeles
We say goodbye to our bikes and look forward to a few days rest and sightseeing before flying home.