The Women Riders World Relay is a global female motorbike relay, which involves women passing a baton via “legs” of a journey across the world, country to country. Women riders across the world are coordinating to participate in the WRWR, bringing fun, experience, confidence and a sense of unity to women riders globally.
Bekka Shadoan, an expat living in Siem Reap is WRWR 2019 Cambodia Ambassador. She designed a 1,200km route across Cambodia, which must be completed between 2-5 August, to show the world that there are women in Cambodia who are passionate about safe riding and ready to band together for the sake of adventure.
“I fell in love with Cambodia when I moved here 3 years ago, and craved to get out on the open roads,” said Bekka. “Once I finally got a motorcycle, I realized this is the best way to travel. I can literally stop anytime I want, for as long as I want, and find beauty surrounding me. Cambodia is extremely safe to explore and exceptionally awesome on 2-wheels.”
Only one other female motorbike rider, also known as a Guardian, has committed to carrying the baton for one of the legs within Cambodia. This is a task that is not taken lightly and each rider must be committed to safety, route timing, and the ultimate goal—to get the baton from Laos to Thailand so it can continue its way around the world. Sydney Smith will join Bekka from the Laos border crossing to Stung Treng, but Bekka is the sole Guardian from Stung Treng to Siem Reap to Pailin.
“I designed the Cambodia route keeping safety and road quality in mind with the help of JustRide Motorbike Adventures, who have explored the roads of Cambodia for over a decade. They have a wealth of mechanical skills and knowledge, a fleet of well-maintained Bajaj Dominar 400 motorcycles (which are easy to learn, comfortable for long distances, safe and enjoyable to ride). They are thrilled to help me get the baton safely from one corner of Cambodia to the other. I’m honored to have JustRide on the road with me.”
Recruitment for Guardians began a few months ago, but this is such a new concept in Cambodia that Bekka found it difficult to find women riders ready for the challenge. Some may be ready for casual or leisurely riding, but not up to the rigors of this relay at this time.
“I’ve met only a few experienced Khmer women riders by promoting this event on Facebook, but they are awesome and they’ve got what it takes to make a mark!” exclaimed Bekka. “I hope to inspire more Khmer women to enjoy themselves on their motorbikes—to go farther and experience the freedom of discovery.”
WRWR 2019 Cambodia will surely open eyes and spark interest. Bekka’s enthusiasm doesn’t end after the 5th of August. She’ll be hosting many shorter, social riding opportunities for Khmer and expat women to join in the future.