(WindSisters, an all-female motorcyle group, prepare to depart Stittsville on August 7, 2021, for a ride to Brockville to tour the Brockville Railway Tunnel.)
“Two Wheels Unite Us.” This is the slogan of the WindSisters, an all-female motorcycle group. The group’s mission statement is all about women empowering women: “To unite women who ride while fostering a sisterhood of female riders. We encourage riding often, riding safe, friendship, mutual support, personal growth and having the time of your life.”
Stittsville’s Linda Begin started the WindSisters in May of 2011. Linda had been a member of a couple different mixed riding groups, but felt it was the perfect time to start an all-female group. In the beginning, Linda gathered four of her female friends who rode and together they came up with a name for the group, WindSisters (now trademarked). Shortly after that, she put out a call for logo designs. The daughter of one of the sisters designed a logo, which is now copyright and very well known. In the fall of 2015, the Ottawa group had grown to about 450 women. Today, ten years after starting, WindSisters has expanded to more than 4,300 ladies across Canada and around the world. “I just happen to really like bringing lady riders together,” jokes Linda.
With WindSisters being an all-female group, the official group colour of purple was chosen to bring awareness to violence against women. Purple bandanas with the group’s logo have been sent out across Canada and to other countries. “Many of our ladies tie their bandana to their bike and that is how we all find each other on the road!” Linda explains. While the group does not fundraise or host charity rides, WindSisters occasionally donate to women’s shelters and transition houses in Canada. In the past, group members have participated in the “Cruise Don’t Bruise” charity motorcycle ride, with WindSisters taking the trophy for most riders two years in a row.
Linda has been riding motorcycles for 12 years now. She speaks fondly of the ten years with WindSisters, stating that “we call it a sisterhood.” Linda is adamant that the group will never charge women any fees to join or ride. “Bringing female riders together, watching their close friendships, they have found their tribe and there’s such a comfort to ride with other ladies, especially when many things motorcycle related are seen as a man’s world.”
Through the group’s WindSisters Canada Facebook page, riders connect with each other and often make plans for group rides and attend events together. Recently, 18 lady riders met at Linda’s Stittsville home to ride to Brockville and see the Brockville Railway Tunnel. Most of these ladies had rode to Ottawa all the way from Southern Ontario.
WindSisters has spread beyond Canada into 14 other countries, including Norway and South Africa. The group has also been growing steadily in the USA. Linda hopes to visit some of the American WindSisters when restrictions have lifted. For now, she hopes to ride across Canada to British Columbia next summer, meeting WindSisters along the way.
The goal of the WindSisters is “to provide a fun and friendly environment for both new and experienced riders while promoting a positive image of classy riders. We respect each other, the rules of the road, our community as well as all other motorcycle riding groups and their interests.” Having met a lot of WindSisters members over the years, a sentiment that Linda often hears is, “finding this sisterhood saved me.” The camaraderie within the group is abundantly clear, as Linda’s vision of creating an all-female group has been a huge success. “It’s been ten years of pouring my heart into this group, I love it!”
If you’re a female motorcycle rider interested in meeting like-minded women, check out WindSisters Canada on Facebook. “Whether a die-hard rider, a seasoned rider, or new to riding, all are warmly welcomed and respected.” All 3 wheelers are welcome to ride with the group as well.
SUPPORT LOCAL STITTSVILLE