The ShredBettys is an organization who promote dirt biking and enduro events for women motorcyclists in South Africa. 

The ShredBettys - women motorcycle riding group in South Africa

Name:  ShredBettys
Country:  South Africa

Please introduce your organization.
ShredBettys  started off as a non-profit organization where we just got a group of women out riding. Our vision was to create an all-women “dream” boarding, biking and lifestyle program.  We now have a big riding team and we sell clothing and other merchandise to subsidise this team with the help of some sponsors.  We also organize riding events to help grow women in motorsport in South Africa. Our team consists of seven riders and between us, we ride MX, enduro and offroad.

ShredBetty events have a progressive, comfortable and fun atmosphere with Beginner to Advanced categories at all events. They give women the chance to connect with each other and learn skills for motocross, enduro, snowboarding, sandboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, flowboarding, mountain biking and BMX. Riders can always expect to meet a whole posse of new shred friends at our events. We also keep riders informed on all the races that are happening countrywide and encourage them to take part when they are ready.

We are based in Durban, South Africa, but we have Team Riders in Johannesburg and Cape Town and we do events all over South Africa.

Female dirt bikers in South Africa

Why women-only?
We created the club for women who might sometimes feel a little lonely in their riding, and who usually ride with men. However there are so many guys who support us now and join us on all our events.  We also learned the hard way when we first started riding that if you’re a woman, you often get taken for a ride when it comes to things like bike maintenance. We now have an awesome trustworthy network of people with whom we can put ladies in touch with for anything they need, which ensures that they don’t get ripped off.

Do you have any rules for the rides you do?
We don’t have any formal bylaws. We just get together and ride or surf or snowboard in a safe and relaxed environment.  The only rules we have when we get together are related to safety. For instance – no helmet, no ride!

How do you recruit new members? 
We have a website as well as a Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram with our contact details, so people can contact us.  New members usually hear about us via word of mouth, social media, or our events.  Our pit area at race days is the usual hang out for people who just want to chill and chat and have a cold one.  Our annual Ladies Day also attracts new riders every year and the group grows from there.

ShredBettys South Africa

Have you noticed any differences in riding with all-women groups vs. mixed groups?
The women love to ride in a women-only group as there is no competition and everyone can relax and have a good time. We have some amazing top lady riders who join us on our trips who ride harder and faster than most guys. When we take a women-only trip, the guides usually comment that we have more endurance and stamina and moan a lot less than the guys. (laughs)

Tell us about some of your recurring events.
We have our annual Ladies and Junior Day in Durban.  This day is free for women riders of all levels and riding disciplines for MX, enduro, off-road and quads.  The day is sponsored by Motorsport South Africa and hosted by ShredBettys.

Besides the Ladies Day we do regular weekend riding groups to different locations.  These range from family weekends to training weekends.

Dirt Biking South Africa - ShredBettys Ladies and Juniors Day

Women dirt bikers in paddock talking to each other

Little girl pushing a small dirtbike

What’s the most memorable group ride you’ve done?
A favourite ride of ours was to Zingela Safari where the riding was amazing and we got to ride amongst wildlife. The accommodation was all luxury tents with outside bathrooms and amazing meals. We also do really amazing rides in the Drakensberg, which has crystal clear pools with natural rock water slides and gorgeous waterfalls and trails for days! Every single trip we have had has been awesome, I honestly can’t single out only one.

Motorcycle touring South Africa

Motorcycle touring in the bush in South Africa

How did some of you get into dirt biking and how did you gain experience?
We started on pit bikes, just riding at local tracks. They were small bikes on which our feet could touch the ground. (laughs)  The bikes we rode slowly got bigger and we started venturing into the bush.  From there on, we were hooked and we just kept riding and learning more and exploring new places. The pro males have been really awesome by riding with us, giving us tips, holding training days, and always helping us where they could.

We hold regular training weekends now for girls of all different levels of riding covering everything from proper use of clutch, counter-balancing, popping wheelies, pivoting, doing rock step-ups, downhill training, absorbing obstacles with your legs, picking up the bike at different angles, and GPS training.  We also cover bike maintenance, bike setup and suspension, fitness training, nutrition, and sports psychology.

Woman dirt biker riding over monster tires   Woman dirt biker dressed in pink riding up some steps into a building

Do you have any pointers to good dirt bikes for beginning female riders?
We suggest that you start off on a used bike since you will drop it a lot.  Bike maintenance is not usually cheap so you’d rather start up with something you don’t mind breaking. (laughs)  A Honda 230 is a great beginner bike to start off with since it rides well and goes anywhere and is almost impossible to break. We’ve seen some girls try anyway. (laughs)

We now ride KTM Freerides, which have taken our riding to a whole new level.  The bike is light, easy to ride and pick up, powerful, and goes places a lot easier than other heavier and bulkier bikes. Some other great bikes for ladies are the new Beta X-trainer as well as the Sherco.

Woman dirt biker popping a wheelie on grass with the sea or ocean in the background

Can you give some advice to people who want to form their own women-only riding club?
Go to the local Ladies Day events held in your area and you will be sure to make new friends.  Get contact details of the other women there and get together on weekends and ride and have fun.  The groups just naturally grow from there.  On our first Ladies Day had twenty five riders, the next year we had eighty five ladies and on our third year we had a hundred and thirty women. It grows quickly and then there is a great support network for all the women.

Collage of four female dirt bikers riding over rocky terrain

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