The Sheilas Shakedown bike rally sees hundreds of motorcycle-loving gals gather yearly for a wild moto campout weekend. Just months after buying her first motorcycle, INFO MOTO reader Liddi bought the ticket, and took the ride. Here’s how it went down…
I was told about Sheilas Shakedown on the day I got my motorcycle L-plates. I checked out their Instagram which was packed with women who looked like they were having the time of their lives. Wanting to jump in and embrace all things motorcycling, I signed myself up.
Held over two nights this year, Sheilas saw over 600 attendees, which was up double from last year. This once small gathering of gals has caught fire, and having attended, it is little wonder why.
As a freshman to motorcycling, I was nervous that I’d struggle to keep up with the bike-talk, as the L-plate strapped across the rear of my Royal Enfield Meteor 350 signalled that I hadn’t yet earned my stripes. But I need not have worried.
It was an embrace of learner riders amongst riders of every style. I had so many women express praise and encouragement to me for getting my licence.
I thought I’d have to pick my tribe, “where are the cruisers camping?”, I thought to myself upon arrival. But there was no hierarchy, cliques, or exhaust measuring; there were only Sheilas, bikes, rock-and-roll, and a whole lot of liberating fun with a polish of feminist energy.
Amongst the stalls, tattoo studios, workshops, body painters and food trucks there was plenty to engage with on the campsite.
If you wanted to stretch your legs, Sheilas offered a group ride through the scenic roads of Hepburn Shire in Victoria. This ride made me fall in love with motorcycling, even more than I already was.
Seeing all these women, looking great and straddling their engines, I felt like I was a part of something truly cool. And let’s be honest, nothing is cooler than a bird in tight leather on a motorcycle.
The ‘Sheilympics’ were a highlight. Watching pillions launch themselves off a moving motorcycle to bite the hanging sausage set the tone for the wild night that followed.
By day, Sheilas kicked up dust riding around the campsite, by night, Sheilas kicked up dust on the live music dancefloor.
Whenever I wanted a change of pace, I jumped on my Royal Enfield and cruised around the campsite. Sheilas everywhere smiling and raising their drinks as you cruise by, they simply love that you’re having a good time.
The longer I spent on those grounds the more I went full Sheila. By the end, I was covered in beautiful merchandise, had my body painted and exclusively wore my daisy dukes.
All shyness soon disappeared and I felt very empowered as a female motorcyclist. It is no secret that the motorcycle passion is male dominated, which is what makes Sheilas not just amazing, but important for motorcycle culture.
Sheilas Shakedown plays a crucial role in encouraging women to embrace the magnificent lifestyle of motorcycling and I am proud to be a part of that movement.
Bring on Sheilas 2023 – I’ll be there in my dukes.
Photography by Shannyn Higgins