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Afternoon News- All-female motorcycle club in P.E.I. hopes for more members : Born to be mild: Mormon motorcycle club holds Utah rally: Boozefighters helps single mom after van breaks down on highway

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The Guardian

Tony Davis

The world of motorcycles may seem very macho to some, but Erin Gillespie hopes she can make the ride smoother for would-be women bikers.

Gillespie got the idea to bring a female motorcycle club to P.E.I. a couple of years ago when she took part in the all-woman Backroad Ball bike weekend in New Brunswick.

“There was about 100 women,” she said.

There she met a couple of members of The Litas, an international all-female motorcycle club with more than 5,000 members in 200 cities around the world. The group started in 2015 with an initiative to connect motorcycle enthusiasts who happen to be women.

“The first time I was on a bike, I got on the back with my dad,” said Gillespie, who has been riding for more than 10 years. “I think that is often the first step for a woman.”

Gillespie said the group of guys she frequently rode with were welcoming and supportive, but she still felt like an outcast.

“If you go up to a table it is usually your husband who is greeted,” she said. “It’s a bit macho, just because typically more men ride. I don’t know if that’s ever going to change, even with women riders at these events.”

“It has been eye-opening to see how nice and supportive the female biking community has been to one another.”
-Erin Gillespie

In October 2016, Gillespie started P.E.I.’s branch of The Litas. It now has 10 members provincewide.

“It has been eye-opening to see how nice and supportive the female biking community has been to one another.”

Gillespie is hopeful that membership in The Litas on P.E.I. ramps up over the summer. Everyone who is part of The Litas comes on their own type of bike, wearing their own unique outfit.

“We have one chick who is coming with us to the Backroad Ball and she is getting her licence the day before.”

Gillespie thinks there is a big community out there, but young girls are not presented with the same options as young boys.

“Little dudes grow up and they are given dirt bikes; it’s just not a culture that is presented to little girls.”

Gillespie was always interested in motorbikes. When she was 16 she didn’t want to drive a car, she wanted bike. Her parents thought it was a bad idea. She didn’t get her motorcycle licence until she was 27.

“I signed up for the motorcycle safety test and told my husband. Then he signed up.”

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Washington Post

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Mormon motorcycle club is holding its biennial gathering in southern Utah, where about 125 members from across the country are riding together through scenic parts of the region.

The Temple Riders are celebrating the club’s 30th anniversary through Wednesday with the “Color Country ‘n’ Spires” rally, The Spectrum reported .

“You don’t have to be LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to ride with the group,” said Bart Howell, the national director of the Temple Riders Association. “If you feel comfortable with the values, feel free to join.”

A highlight of the rally, which began Friday, is when the group stops at Bryce Canyon National Park and takes part in community-based service projects and regular park duties, Howell said.

The group rode through the area Saturday and has another organized ride scheduled for Tuesday.

The riders plan to break up into smaller groups to keep from imposing on drivers along the route.

“We try to be very courteous and law-abiding on all our rides, so if you see a group of 20 or 30 bikes riding down the road, please do the same for us,” Howell said. “Feel free to honk and wave when you see us.”

The club was founded in 1988 by two couples who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who wanted to enjoy the freedom of motorcycling without the typical “biker” image.

“They thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to ride to a temple instead of a bar?’ ” Howell said

The Temple Riders Association boasts more than 500 members and 22 chapters nationwide, with more chapters forming in other countries, Howell said.

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By Taylor Durden, Reporter


A China Spring woman is thanking a motorcycle club after she was stranded on the side of the road in Speegleville with her son who has special needs.

Ashley Ballew was heading to Waco on Highway 6 a few weeks ago to take her son, Benjamin, to therapy. Benjamin has cerebral palsy.

“My van overheated. So I pulled over,” Ballew said.

Smoke was coming out of the hood of the car. When she opened the hood, there was brown liquid everywhere.

“We sat there for about 10-15 minutes to cool off. I was going to drive it somewhere because I didn’t know what else to do,” Ballew said. “I put it in drive and it didn’t go anywhere.”

Ballew called a tow truck but it was a hot day, and the van was starting to overheat. She decided to get Benjamin out of the car but ran into a problem.

“The ramp went straight at an angle in the ditch and the weeds were to my waist,” Ballew said.

She tried to get Benjamin out several different times, but nothing was working.

“I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do,” Ballew said.

Little did she know, help was just a few hundred feet away at K&W Bar and Grill right off Highway 6.

“I saw her struggling and that didn’t sit well with me,” Pablo Ramos III said.

Ramos and a few other guys in the bar, including the owner, noticed Ballew struggling to get Ben out of the car. They rushed over to help.

“I look up and I see three men coming from the access road yelling, ‘Stop! Wait,'” Ballew said.

The men picked up Benjamin’s chair and carried him across the access road to get to the air-conditioned building to wait for the tow truck.

But the next day, Ramos couldn’t stop thinking about what happened.

“It was just tugging at my heart strings. I just didn’t like the situation she was in,” Ramos said.

Ramos said he was raised by a single mother, too. He wanted to do something he hoped someone would do for his mom in that situation.

He decided he wanted to donate money and went to the other members of the Boozefighters motorcycle club to see if they wanted to help, too. They did.

The motorcycle club collected $600 and the owner of K&W Bar and Grill wanted to help, so he donated $500.

The group didn’t know how to contact the mother and son, so they posted on social media. Thanks to mutual friends, they found them.

The men were able to hand-deliver the $1,100 to Ashley and Ben to help with the cost of the repairs for the van.

“I was just floored that there are still people out there who are willing to do those kinds of things for someone they don’t even know,” Ballew said.

“We did what anybody would do, what any normal person would do. Just help somebody,” Ramos said.

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