Friday, 5 April 2013

On Ya Bikes Ladies.


Big News - Saudi Ladies are allowed on bikes and buggies.
I'm pumped, thrilled, over-joyed - and I'm not Saudi!

It looks like somebody has had to eat their words.  That person being me.  A few weeks back there was a news article about the Bearded Ones not being happy about women riding quad bikes.  And soon after that there was another one about the increase of women involved in quad bike accidents due to abayas getting wrapped up in the wheels.  I was fairly certain, and told Hubster so, that the next announcment would be "Women Forbidden From Riding Quad Bikes Due to Danger".  So this latest bit of news is a real turn up for the books.


I've read the article in the Saudi Gazette very carefully, more than once.  Just double checking it's true!  I love the term 'wearing fully modest dress'.  That does not mean 'abaya'.  That means 'modest'.  You don't need an abaya to dress modestly.  I admit I've never worn an abaya when out on the bikes.  Hat, sunnies, longs and t-shirt are what I wear on quad bikes.  Jeans, jacket, boots and helmet when I'm the motorbike.

Cycling on the DQ I opt for bike shorts and t-shirt.  Though when cycling up the road I wear track pants, one of Hubsters shirts and a hat with my hair tucked up under it.  Road riding usually takes place early morning, when no-one is up, or night time, when they can't really see.  It's been a bit of a bug bear of mine that I can't freely ride out our compound gate - but that day has come.  Hasn't it?  I mean 'Women are free to ride bikes in parks, seafronts, among other areas', means out my front gate down empty morning roads, doesn't it?  I reckon it does! Yip, yahoo!!

Apparently foreign women were never forbidden from riding bikes or buggies which, I gotta say, is news to this foreign bird.  Even the General of the Traffic Police didn't make the point quite that clear when Hubster asked him one day about his wahine being able to ride on the back of his Motoguzzi.  Though the rational may explain why, the couple of times we were pulled over while I was on the Guzzi, the police didn't seem to mind at all.  Once they saw our iqama's they would exclaim to Hubster - "Zawja", meaning wife, shake his hand and send us on our merry way.   According to the General, they know westerners are a bit different so, provided we aren't doing anything that would attract undue attention, they leave us be.

This latest bit of news means two things.  Hubster is getting a bicycle so we can ride through Wadi Hanifah together.  I can't wait!  And next on my list of things to do is buy myself a Harley - an 883 Superlow.  There's an absolute beauty in the Harley Shop now, because I'm fairly certain women licensed to drive is next on the cards.



Ka Kite,
Kiwi

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