Leather shining, engines rumbling, the Dykes on Bikes riding by is one of the iconic images of Mardi Gras.

But, as Dyke on Bike Janet Parkins says, There’s not much of a chance for a chat.

There’ll be plenty of time for chats -“ and time for close inspection of tatts -“ at this Sunday’s Dykes On Bikes: Bike And Tattoo Show.

Parkins says it’s a day for everyone and anyone. The whole community is welcome to enter a bike, enter a tattoo or just come along to inspect the deep ink and shining chrome.

Both tattoos and bikes are judged in categories, including best-dressed (for the bikes) and best story (for the tattoos).

The former is a chance to go all out -“ last year Parkins’s bike was dressed as a pirate ship -“ and the latter is a crowd favourite, Parkins says.

We’ve heard some great stories, she says.

Sometimes alcohol has been involved, or someone’s been pissed off with their girlfriend, or they’ve celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a tattoo and now they’re not together any more.

This is the second year the Bike and Tattoo show has been an official part of the Mardi Gras festival.

Last year’s event was very successful, and Parkins is looking forward to its repeat. She’s also looking forward to the parade, despite the wintry conditions in 2004.

There were about 400 very sodden dykes at the end of the parade last year. It took some girls a week for their leathers to dry out.

Dykes On Bikes: Bike And Tattoo Show will be held at the Vic on Park Hotel, cnr Addison and Enmore Rd, Marrickville, on Sunday 110 February from 1:30pm to 10pm. Bikes must be entered by 1pm. Gold coin donations will go to the Pink Ribbon Ride, which raises funds for breast cancer.

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