"We're here to have a nice get-together," said Doris Desbiens, who rode in from Alexandria and helped with coordiating the first official rally meet-and-greet between the Ottawa chapter of LITAS and three of the Eastern Quebec chapters of the international fellowship of women motorcycle enthusiasts.
"The LITAS are focused on building local communities of women who share the love of two wheels," states the group's mission statement at www.thelitas.com. "We welcome women from all walks of life, we are inclusive and celebrate our differences as come together over our shared passion for motorcycles. We are here for the freethinkers, the adventurers, and the women who unapologetically themselves."
The Saturday morning gathering at the Tim Horton's in Vankleek Hill over the September 25 weekend saw more than five dozen women meet and mingle, share smiles, and hugs as they met in person, many for the first time, with one thing in common. They all love motorcycles, whether the standard two-wheel machine or the more modern and futuristic models like the three-wheeled Spyder or Ryker.
"It's all a matter of choice," said Isabelle Jacques, spokeswoman for the Laurentides chapter of LITAS. "Me, I like a Harley," she added, with a smile.
After about half an hour of waiting for everyone to arrive, and a group photo shoot, the LITAS all mounted up and rode out of the parking lot for the start of rally run through Prescott-Russell, finishing their gathering in Hawkesbury where everyone shared last farewells before heading home.
"This is a success," Desbiens said about the event, before she left on the rally run. "This should become an event that we'll be doing every year."
Next year the gathering may be in Quebec. But wherever they meet, the LITAS will be true to the goal of their fellowship.
"We inspire and empower women by showing them they can do whatever they set their mind to," states the LITAS mandate, "whether that's riding a motorcycle, or building an empire. We aren't afraid to go against the grain and shatter stereotypes in the process"