ABOUT THE CLUB

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History of the Diamonds MCC

A forerunner to this club was the Witch Bike Club which met near Brighton in the eighties.  In 1994 Vivienne Ayres (saloon car racer) of the British Womens Racing Drivers Club, Gloria Clark (motorcycle roadracer) and Marianne Walford (enduro rider) formed the committee of a club set up to support women involved in any land-based motor sport.  It was named Motorsport For Women.   Early newsletters contained articles from women involved in banger racing and lawn-mower racing!  The club was active in organising roadrace sidecar passengering parades and parades were women took their bike on to the race track during the lunch break of a race meeting to raise money for charity.

Gradually the contacts with the car people dwindled and then the roadracing element formed their own club, so Motorsport For Women became off-road orientated.  Off-road training days were organised and a few men whose partners were involved applied for membership.

In 1999 the club decided it was time to start organising "entry-level events" although it took until 2001 to do so.  The name of the club was changed to the Diamonds MCC - after all, diamonds are a girl's best friend!  The club has had members from all over the country.  It is affiliated in the Mid Wales Centre where the secretary lives.

The first competitive event organised was the Raider Rally - a long distance single lap of about 120 miles - except for the Hafren Forest route, most of which was ridden twice and included a couple of special tests.  The route was nearly all minor unclassified tarmac and unsurfaced roads, byways, forestry roads with short more difficult muddy bits.  The last special test was much more difficult than it should have been due to persistent rain - and with mobile phones not working due to lack of signal, the organisers got delayed and were unable to contact the test timers to tell them to cancel it.  However, everyone managed to get through it one way or another.   It took most competitors about 6 hours to complete the event.  For a very readable and humourous account of the event, read Patrick James' writings.

The next event was a Winter Rally held in February over a shorter course within the area of the Hafren Forest in Mid Wales, for those hardy souls who keep riding through the winter.  Riders were warned that the event would not be cancelled if there was light snow or ice, but it was just wet!

The club continues to organise training days, sidecar try-outs days and a rally in winter, which is now held in memory of Patrick James.  The Raider Rally wasn't held in 2003 due to administrative difficulties, nor in 2004 due to the increasing difficulty in researching and planning long distance routes using public roads, but avoiding paths and facilities designated for "quiet recreation in the countryside".

Sidecar riding
Sidecar riding

Want to learn to ride a bike, go off-road (maybe for the first time), or try a sidecar?

Trail Rides Wales, run by Colin and Marianne Walford, and based in Mid West Wales, provide bikes and tuition for trail riding and off-road riding on private land.

Click here to visit their website

Girl on hill Girl on hill
© Marianne Walford