VC London are on a mission to prove that motorcycling isn’t the sole preserve of bandana-clad burly blokes with judiciously droopy moustaches. Since January 2015, Gemma Harrison, Mai Storni, and Namin Cho have dedicated themselves to persuading girls to get on their bikes and give something new a go. Inspired by the women’s scene out in LA, the trio have channeled their passion for all things two-wheeled into a website, regular meet-ups, training schemes and even riding out deep into the Californian desert, and they’re doing it all in denim.
What made you want to start VC up and what’s the motivation for expanding it further and further?
We put the message out to see if anyone was interested in learning to ride and we’d teach them in a little back street carpark. Since then we’ve taught hundreds of girls on the little 125cc bikes that we started on. We found something we loved that we didn’t get in our day-to-day lives and kind of just turned into this big network of women. Some are riding huge choppers around London now and some girls are racing flat track. All these girls we taught on tiny 125cc in a car park in London.
Tell us a bit about your biggest event to date.
We did Camp VC in the Brecon Beacons, at a 16th century hilltop campsite. We had a free bar all weekend and live entertainment and it’s like an extreme sports weekend but just for women.
Is it possible that women see motorcycling as a man’s activity, and can that be restrictive?
I think restrictions are often in people’s minds. I’ve never been discriminated against for being a girl. Actually I find people are both more inquisitive and willing to help. The motorcycling community is a really close one: no one’s ever told me I can’t do it, and no one’s belittled me for trying.
Do you have full leathers?
For the flat track, I have real kit; body armour, track boots, track pants and a different kind of helmet. When I’m on the road, I’m genuinely pretty casual. I’ll wear a pair of boots, jeans, a leather jacket and an open-faced helmet. Jeans are something that fit into your daily life.
How do you stay true to VC’s beginnings?
We promised in the beginning to never do something that didn’t feel completely authentic. We just wanted to do what we wanted to do, rather than pushing in directions that it shouldn’t. As soon as it’s not fun anymore, it’s not right anymore. And we won’t carry it on. It’s rooted in friendship, and it seems to just carry itself and quite naturally.
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And catch the VC London girls on Instagram @vc_london