The Rise of the Lady Biker
Whilst I was photographing some of the Lippy Ladies MCC recently I got chatting to one of the group who was known as ‘Calamity Jane’. She was the perfect example of the rise of the lady biker. She had this beautiful black and white bike and a matching black and white leather jacket. I asked her how long she had been riding bikes and was surprised when she said she only passed her test 18 months ago. I must admit I couldn’t help but smile when I asked her why she had chosen that particular bike and she told me went into the showroom it was on a revolving stand with spotlights highlighting it and she just said “I want that one”. She admitted she knew nothing about it but just liked how it looked. That will probably horrify some hardened lady bikers but it doesn’t really matter as she loves riding it and is a confident rider. It turns out she is a real thrill junkie and has been a National Hunt jockey, goes scuba diving and is planning a sky dive soon. I loved the whole minimalist black and white look and knew that I would love to do some graphical images of her and her bike and I had a couple of locations in mind. As the day of the shoot drew nearer I stupidly looked at the weather forecast and it said it was going to raining all day on the Sunday but the Bank Holiday Monday was going to be clear all day. So the day was changed and instead of her coming to me in Sale on the Sunday I went to her in Barnsley, to the site of a ruined priory, on Bank Holiday Monday. Yes you’ve guessed it. Typical sodding weather forecast, Sunday in Sale was perfect and it was pouring rain in Barnsley on the Monday. We had decided to make an early start with the shoot to try and avoid as many people as possible at the priory. So after a very early start I finally arrived at the priory just before 8:00am only to be confronted with locked gates!!! Jane hadn’t noticed them when she went to have a look earlier in the week as they were wide open then. She and her fellow biker, Catherine, soon turned up and I realised there was nothing we could do and no one had any suggestions for an alternative location. So off to the local cafe for a brew and wait until 10:00am for the gates to be opened. Thankfully when we returned the gates were open and the grounds of the priory deserted. No wonder considering the pouring rain!!
Jane was brilliant and said a little bit of rain wasn’t going to put her off. The only problem was that well known curse of lady bikers, ‘helmet hair’. Again Jane wasn’t bothered and the shoot progressed with Catherine very kindly holding a large umbrella over my camera. The location was fantastic as there will be no other medieval ruins in any of the cities I visit when I set off around the world. Thank you so much Jane for all your co-operation. You’re a star xx.