Girl power rides into the Hawkes Bay
Harley-Davidsons, leather jackets and big hairy beards often go together.
How about Harley Davidsons, leather jackets, long blond hair and lipstick?
A group of dedicated women bikies have started the Hawke's Bay branch of the Litas - an international network of women "who share a love for the road and two-wheeled machines".
Worldwide there are more than 1500 women in 80 cities across 13 countries, with branches also now in Auckland, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.
Hawke's Bay members range in age from 23 to one in her late 50s.
"We believe women can do anything," says one of the three local founders, Brooke Walker-Allen.
Along with Rosie Tong and Chelsea Carson, the trio established the group in February with the aim to support, encourage and foster relationships between women from all different backgrounds.
The group hosts at least one ride a month, also meeting at different venues once a month on Fridays for a social get-together.
Brooke says there is no age limit or level of experience for joining the group - "or bike for that matter".
The group has helped women too scared to learn, who didn't have the resources or just didn't know where to start.
"We have women who are only just learning to ride and are now making goals they never would have if it wasn't for this group of positive women with our attitude to support, encourage and uplift each other."
Being on social media gave the newly formed group the perfect vehicle to reach out to women who otherwise wouldn't have heard about the Litas, with 16 members now in the Hawke's Bay branch.
"There is this huge network of us all around the world so we know that when travelling, there will always be someone there if we need them. We post a lot of photos because we are so proud of what we are doing and the women we ride with."
Brooke says the attention they get when they arrive somewhere as a group is a bonus.
"We feel kind of bad ass when we turn up somewhere with this bunch of kick-ass ladies.
It is quite often unexpected."
Brooke says the group is for any woman interested in bikes. "They don't have to own one, just get in touch and we can help you get started."
The Hawke's Bay Litas are looking at running days for absolute beginners and to upskill members, in an environment where Brooke says there is no judging.
The group is starting to get a lot bigger, with some moving off the road and onto the race track at events in Manfeild or Taupo.
"We are slowly expanding our area. We have experienced riders bringing in new ideas."
- For more information visit www.facebook.com/thelitashawkesbay