President of Dykes on Bikes, Lyn Doherty, went to Broken Heel festival and took us along for the ride.
Wednesday 6 September
So what does an old fashioned dyke on a bike need when heading out to the wild west?
Well firstly, a shoe to dress up the bike. There’s no way I’m heading to a Priscilla: Queen of the Desert themed event without something suitable and I don’t think motor boots will cut it.
The original plan was to start from Priscilla’s ancestral home, the Imperial Hotel, but after doing a quick recon I realised it’s closed for renovations (again).
Mind you, it’s probably not a good idea to start a seven hour ride with a beer.
There will be three of us on the trip out of Sydney and we’ll be proudly showing our Dykes on Bikes colours and hoping that lots of locals want to chat.
The bags are packed, the bike is ready, and it’s off to bed to get ready for a nice early start tomorrow morning battling Sydney traffic before we reach the freedom of the open road.
Next update when we reach Broken Hill. Until then, ride safe and sexy.
Friday 8 September
The biggest difference between travelling in a car and on a bike is that you’re far more involved in the journey on a bike. Everything from the chill factor as you leave early in the morning to the nasal notification that there’s road kill ahead.
In a car you’re isolated from your surroundings whereas on a bike, you feel the wind and there are fewer distractions so you see more of the countryside.
The same can be said of living in a busy city with so many people. You’re more isolated in a crowd than you are in a small country town.
As we’ve travelled through the countryside over the past two days I’ve chatted with more strangers than I’ve done in the last two months in Sydney.
Part of me was hoping to discuss the whole marriage equality issue but I’m not good at pushing an agenda.
I have been proudly wearing my Dykes on Bikes vest and the bike is covered in rainbow flags and stickers so I’m fairly sure everyone I’ve chatted to has known which team I bat for.
I’m hoping my subtle “lesbians aren’t that scary” sticker may be a subconscious tickle for the folks I’ve met.
Some highlights were the busload of Muslim school kids waving and taking photos of us as we drove out from Sydney, and convincing a group of motorcycling blokes to come and stay in Broken Hill watch us in the parade.
Monday 11 September
Talk about exceeding expectations.
The opening party on Friday night was amazing. The crowd was welcoming and the performers were wonderful.
There were the opening heats of Miss and Mr Broken Hill and even a Danke Schoen lip sync competition won by yours truly.
While The Palace Hotel was the main venue we were lucky enough to be staying at the All Nations Hotel which was the pub the ping pong scene was filmed in. Our hostess, Gloria, was like a mother hen to us.
Saturday was parade day. It was held in the main square which was full of locals having a ball. The lovely police closed the main road and then everyone not in the parade stood on the footpath or the median strip.
Dykes on Bikes travelled just behind the cadillac with drag stars Art Simone and Philmah Bocks and then anyone who wanted to joined in behind.
On Saturday night we were lucky enough to be entertained by Trevor Ashley, more drag shows, and the final of Miss Broken Hill, before dancing the night away with Kitty Glitter.
On Sunday we caught the bus with the rest of the crowd to the middle of nowhere, Silverton, where there was even more drag.
The day ended with me sitting next to the original Shirl as we watched Priscilla: Queen of the Desert in the Palace Hotel. Oh, and then we had the handing over of the rainbow flag from The Imperial to The Palace.
What an amazing weekend. And the most beautiful thing was how welcoming everyone has been.
The locals have taken this group of queers into their hearts and looked after them as if they were family.
This is what country hospitality is all about and it’s amazing. Tomorrow we head home to Sydney but I’m already planning next year’s trip.
Sydney’s Dykes on Bikes are holding their annual fundraiser, the Black and White Ball, this Saturday at the Red Rattler Theatre. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.facebook.com/events/831633013652536. Tickets will also be available at the door.