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    Dykes on Bikes: Ranell W.

    By Kate Brown, Ph.D.–

    I am Ranell W. and I have been a proud member of the San Francisco Dykes on Bikesâ for the past twelve years. Since my membership began, I have taken an active role in helping to organize the annual ride of the Dykes on Bikesâ in the San Francisco Pride Parade.

    As the Chair/Co-Chair of the Road Captains, it has been my responsibility to assign and delegate the responsibilities of the other Road Captains to maintain a safe ride for the hundreds of bikers who open the San Francisco Pride Parade each year. My role as a member and as a Road Captain has been a great honor for me. Hearing the roar of the bikes each year reminds me of the strength and power of the women who make up the Dykes on Bikesâ and who inspired me many years ago.

    My first introduction to the thrill of riding was in junior high school when I lived in Pennsylvania. My neighbor’s father owned a BMW motorcycle shop, where I had the opportunity to ride mini bikes and small motorcycles on their farm. I hadn’t yet realized that this would be my initiation to a lifelong love of motorcycles.

    It was in 1976, when I was first introduced to the club. I had just graduated from high school in Maryland when I saw a news announcement that illustrated the Dykes on Bikesâ riding in unison and wearing leather. I was impressed by their energy and had a desire to be like them. Little did I know that I would be moving to the Bay Area and have the opportunity to become a Prospect, a Patch Holder, and later a Board Member alongside these energetic women.

    My 2002 Kawasaki Vulcan Mean Streak 1200 cc cruiser was amazing. It has been the only bike I have owned for twelve years and has been with me throughout my time with the Dykes on Bikesâ. Due to some personal struggles, I have not ridden in a number of years; however, I feel lucky that I have been able to remain a member of the Dykes on Bikesâ and participate in the many events that do not entail me riding.

    My experiences with the Dykes on Bikesâ have been life changing and a great pleasure. I am looking forward to my participation in the years to come.

    Published on August 25, 2022