Her Story. A series of blog posts telling the stories of 'women who ride' from all corners of the globe. We hope that by sharing these stories we can help encourage other women to build their confidence, learn from others and inspire others.
This month we have a story by Remmi Aloni, from Melbourne, Australia. Remmi is the Founder of Australia's iconic moto festival, Sheilas Shakedown. An epic yearly event that welcomes and empowers female, female identifying and non-binary moto enthusiasts.
We hope you enjoy her story!
My name is Remmi Aloni. Some of you may know me as the organiser of the moto event ‘Sheilas Shakedown’. Or that grey haired lady from around the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. I’ve been riding for approximately eight years so at the current age of 40, I guess you could say I got my motorcycle license pretty late in life.
I would love to have some beautiful familial story about how my Dad inspired me to ride, or some romantic idea of growing up on farms and learning to ride when young. But instead it’s a simple as – my boyfriend at the time wanted to get his license and wanted me to get on it as well. I was extremely hesitant at first and felt that the money I would have to spend didn’t match the little drive I possessed. I’m pretty petty so after he got sick of waiting around for me and went to book his license, I booked mine out of sheer competitiveness. Turned out I ended up being a much stronger rider than him. In fact, it all came very naturally to me. So what I originally thought was just an expensive hobby, turned out to be one of the most enriching decisions and life altering events I have ever experienced. I am a biker. And will continue to be for the rest of my days.
I’ve only ever owned two bikes, my first being a cute little Suzuki TU250x which I crashed years ago in my first major(ish) motorcycle accident where I fractured both my collarbones. Soon after my recovery I purchased the bike I have now, a Special Edition Kawasaki W800. I tend to favour modern classic looking bikes as I am huge fan of the retro aesthetic but not that keen in the mechanics of it all. I like the idea of being able to rely on the bike as a daily or know that I can go on long rides and not have to worry. But a lot of my mates tend to go the Harley Sportster route, or custom 70’s Choppers and I’ve got to admit that they are some of the most fun bikers to ride with.
Even though I feel I came late to the party, when I first started riding in Melbourne there really wasn’t that many women around. In fact, I went pretty hard into the whole Melbourne moto scene by attending heaps of rides, rallies and events, often to find that I was the only female rider there. It took a couple years but soon after, the female moto scene really started to take-off and I met some of the best women ever!
Those early days in the female scene were really exciting. A time I will never forget. There was a freshness and a bit of novelty in the idea of a bunch of biker babes hitting the road together, going bush and camping out under the stars. Also hitting up all the moto events and having a female biker gang turn up, take up some space and make everything just that bit more wild and fun. Me and my two biker mates – Riley & Jaz, got together after realising that the Americas, the UK and even Europe have their big annual girl biker events and it was time for Australia to create one of our own. And so – Sheilas Shakedown was born!
This will be the sixth Sheilas Shakedown that I have put on and it has grown from a one night, 60-person camp-out to a 500+ weekend long, motorcycle and music festival.
In ways, it’s almost getting easier as an event organiser as we’ve got a pretty simple and effective formula that we’ve got down pat. This year’s event we’ve got a chill Friday night, more of a meet and greet and set-up at camp. We will have food trucks and a bar slingin' drinks with an outdoor cinema playing a B-grade 70's motorcycle movie. Saturday is where most of the activities happen with a nice rural motorcycle ride, moto related vendors selling wares, tattoos going on in the camp kitchen, motorcycle games, leathercraft class, a raffle and a whole heap of bands and DJs leading the night into the party.
People often ask what my favourite part of Sheilas is, and I’ll admit as an organiser, this can be a tricky question. My relationship to the event is a bit different to an attendee and I’m prepared to sacrifice my own personal fun for the betterment of the space as well as the larger community. But what I do love to see is the friendships and connections Sheilas Shakedown has been able to host. Some women have found their best mate at the event. Others have found their romantic partners. Even some of the boss babes have created businesses together! It’s a magic whirl of female empowerment and connectivity. It’s damn impressive really!
I just love that with a few ideas, some logistics and putting in the hours to make the event happen, it’s the attendees that turn up, let loose, find themselves, free themselves, love each other, come together and really just have a bloody good time!
Follow Sheilas Shakedown on Instagram > @sheilas_shakedown