Category: Community

Girl Torque.cc: Empowering Women Who Ride

We love #womenwhoride and have joined forces with Fabienne Phillips, Founder of Girl Torque.cc to bring her unique services to the Illawarra. Fabienne offers personalised motorbike training, advice and support for women.

Girl Torque cc

When did you start motorcycling?

I was fortunate enough to have a city and country upbringing. My first ride was on a 49.9cc peddle to start, French mobylettle that my mother inherited from my grandmother. I was around 12 years old, I distinctly remember riding it up and down our long gravel driveway and loving it. Opportunities came about now and then to paddock-bash on friend’s properties with bigger motorcycles. The greatest advantage being off road; it allowed me to focus on how to operate the bike and challenge myself as I got more confident. I still have the Mobylette to this day! In all its simplicity (now lovingly restored) it is a reminder of my childhood and family history.

What drives your passion for riding?

Throughout my bike riding journey, I’ve experienced many incredible places. Riding has opened up my world. You are always learning when you are riding a motorcycle and I have a passion to continue to learn and hone my skills. Training my students and assisting them in managing their risks and ultimately avoiding an accident gives me great satisfaction. There are many reasons I continue my passion, I love the empowerment, freedom, individualism and adrenalin that controlling a machine gifts. Most of all, I enjoy being in the moment.

How did Girl Torque.cc begin?

Interestingly, it was my own journey that prompted the founding of Girl Torque.cc. As a woman I felt I just wasn’t catered for. I wanted to be submersed in a male dominated industry, I felt discouraged and a little uncomfortable at times throughout the process. I started to identify a bit of a pattern and I thought to myself, how many other women are experiencing the same thing? After I got my L’s my partner stepped in to teach me. He taught me heaps and I’m so grateful but communicating was not easy at times and boy oh boy we had some arguments! From that day, I was on a mission to create a business that I could transform the way female motorbike riders feel and act on the road through access to individually tailored rider training. I want to fuel women’s motorbike wanderlust, help them discover the perfect bike, equip them with the right gear and help find their unique on-road look. Although the business is small, Girl Torque.cc is now Australia’s first integrated motorcycle training organisation, singularly focused on women who ride.

Fabienne Phillips Girl Torque cc

How do you help learner riders?

For women who want to pursue motorcycling, they are required to complete a series of training courses and tests at selected RMS endorsed companies prior to training with Girl Torque.cc. When it comes to embarking on training out on public roads, I understand that the level of thrill, excitement and fear will be different from others. There is a lot to cover in the 2-day learners’ course with little time spent on the open road; the thought of tackling busy streets alone, paired with lack of confidence can be quite overwhelming for some taking the next step. A few of my clients literally have their new bike sitting in their garage and are too afraid to venture out on the road.

I want to completely understand each student’s journey. After filling out the contact form on my website, the first thing I like to do is have a chat on the phone, to hear about their own experiences, fears and challenges. These can all be different and are extremely important in moving forward. This is followed by a short questionnaire.

Breaking down the tasks in an environment that they feel safe and progressing at their pace is key to progression. The great thing about my business is that I come to my students, hence decreasing their level of anxiety from the very beginning. I will take them step-by-step and show the best way to navigate bike operation and safely navigating the roads – even the initial challenges of getting their bike out of the garage or driveway. In cases where my students don’t have a bike, I can also help sourcing their new found joy!

Where do you offer your services?

I am mainly teaching in the Sydney metro area. I have taught students as far north as Newcastle and in the Illawarra region. In these cases, outside the Sydney metro area I have to apply travel time. The best alternative is a group session, so the additional travel costs are reduced amongst the group.

Girls Torque.cc LAMS Service

Is Girl Torque.cc exclusively for women?

When you are on a mission to make motorcycle riders safe for everyone, the word “exclusivity” means to me I am excluding men. The business does specialise for women, however, if a man wanted me to teach him how to ride, assist in understanding roadcraft and manage the risks on the open road, I couldn’t say, “no” – I’d be more than happy to help out!

Does Girl Torque.cc cater for individuals or are there group lessons?

Yes, to both! One-on-one privates – my most popular option – provides effective results for someone who wants undivided attention. I am based in Sydney, so group lessons outside the Sydney metro area with students that are around the same skill level are the most effective.

Do you offer any services for people who already have their motorcycle licence?

Absolutely! I’ve started to organise monthly morning group rides where training is included for my L’s and P riders. Our route is carefully planned so everyone can experience road riding without fear of difficult bends, cambers and heavy traffic. I want the girls to enjoy the experience. It really helps when they know they are riding with riders sharing similar skill level and fears. It’s a fantastic team building experience even though we are all individuals with the same goal. Rides are always to an interesting breakfast spot where we share our stories and build a community of “Girltorquers”.

I also profile women and match them to the most suitable bikes, based on their experience, shape, size and purpose and needs. Another important aspect to riding is the right equipment and I can source and assist in the purchase of all things like apparel, gear, luggage and accessories for women riders.

Girl Torque Personal Shopping

Tell us about the Girl Torque.cc App:

Yes, it’s very exciting! We have developed an App that is the quintessential must-have for all your bike riding needs. By joining up, women enjoy a range of benefits; from 20% off your first lesson to discounted apparel, gear, and equipment from selected retailers and suppliers to discounts at businesses like City Coast Motorcycles. Plus there are savings at selected cafes, bars and restaurants. Benefits are growing.

It also includes privileged features to explore and provide you comfort on the road such as a unique emergency button. No need to Google, the App will get you straight to the motorbike carrier and the transport you need.

Our App is free to download. Just set up and log in! The Membership fee is $9.95 per/month. Alternatively, sign up for 2 months and get 2 months free (this then reverts to monthly subscription). The App will enable you to redeem from the range of exclusive offers as a Girl Torque.cc member.

Download the Girl Torque.cc App

Connect with Girl Torque.cc on Facebook
Connect with Girl Torque.cc on Instagram

Opinion: Coach Robb’s Training School was a Blast!

Coach Robb Beams and Brock Ninness

Our MX Team’s Brock Ninness shares his MotoE Australian Performance Camp experience…

Coach Robb’s training school was a blast! On the January school holidays, I took part in a three-day camp run by Coach Robb Beams, founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program.

We started our first day with talking about our frustrations on and off the bike, from pre-race preparation to working on how to last a full moto; as the three days went by we challenged ourselves to overcome these frustrations. The cool part about this school was that it wasn’t all about riding and going fast. During our riding breaks we sat down and discussed nutrition, hydration, race prep, ways to approach practice days, training at the gym, recovery, mindset, as well as the mental parts of racing bikes.

Coach Robb explained the importance of hydration and eating appropriate meals through race days and backed up his comments based on information from his past clients and his own experience as an accomplished triathlete.

Coach Robb at Wollongong Motorcycle Club

On-the-bike training consisted of starts, cornering and jumping (what I would say are the three most important parts of a race track). We learned about how essential it is to grip the bike with our lower body off the start and to keep your bike as straight as possible. Coach Robb went over the proper use of the front brake through corners, especially right-hand corners; you have to really rely on the front brake and this helps enormously when turning and needing to change direction quickly. Coach Robb also taught us scrubbing technique, so we get back to the ground as fast as possible to keep driving forward. He explained that as you progress and get faster, you should be scrubbing more and more so you can get back on the ground and keep charging forward.

Sitting there, receiving all this information at first seemed over-the-top and overwhelming, but knowing of Coach Robb’s success with professional riders such as Adam Cianciarulo and Ryan Dungey helped to keep me engaged with his conversation. Coach Robb has seen and done what it takes to be the best and explained to us riders exactly what he did with these professionals. This has really inspired me to keep going with what I’m doing and to keep pushing towards my dream to be the best.

Brock Ninness #47

 Connect with Brock on Instagram

Brock participated in the MotoE Performance Camp at Wollongong Motorcycle Club. Find out more information and about up-and-coming Australian camps with Coach Robb HERE.

This is not paid content.

Santa’s Helpers Ride for The Salvos

City Coast Motorcycles and The Litas Wollongong have dressed jolly in their second Santa Ride for Charity. The social event held on December 8th kicked off the 2018 Santa Pub Crawl for Charity from North Wollongong Hotel. Participants raised $335 which will help The Salvos support families in need, this Christmas. Thanks to Noel at Wollongong Images and Josh Lynch Photography for taking shots out on the road.

City Coast Motorcycles & The Litas Wollongong Santa Ride for Charity
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Wollongong’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Triples!

DGR Wollongong

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – Wollongong has more than tripled its inaugural total. Fundraising closed on October 31 and the official figure raised is $65,215, compared to $20,568 in 2017.

On September 30, scores of dapper ladies and gents donned their finest attire aboard classic and vintage motorcycles. The annual event raises funds to support research into prostate cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention programs via the Movember Foundation.

Organiser Jane Sim with husband Tim. Image: Sylvia Liber for The Illawarra Mercury

Organiser Jane Sim from City Coast Motorcycles says the result is testament to the way the motorcycling community will band together for an important cause.

“In the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, we ride with a purpose. We want to help stop men dying too young.

“We had 227 registrations. 648 rides were held around the world and Wollongong ranked in the top 20.

“Caps off to participant Phill Critcher who raised over $12,300 and placed 15th globally,” said Jane.

DGR Wollongong top fundraisers Ken Smith and Phill Critcher

The Wollongong ride also places the Illawarra on the map as a fantastic motorcycling destination.

“It’s not hard to find beautiful scenery, but I also try to come up with a new route every year so that the participants have a different experience each time.

“It delivers the ride to new spectators and spreads the message, further. We were honoured to feature in the global wrap-up video once again,” said Jane.

View 2018 Global Wrap-up Video

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride Wollongong
Image by Keogh’s Vision Photography

City Coast Motorcycles would like to thank the following individuals, community groups and businesses that assisted with planning, sponsorship and publicity:

Triumph Motorcycles
Zenith watches
Merlin Bike Gear
Coal Coast Emporium
Towradgi Beach Hotel
Illawarra Café Racers
Illawarra Classic Motorcycle Club
Wollongong City Council
Destination Wollongong
Wollongong Local Area Command
The Illawarra Mercury
96.5 Wave FM
Coal Coast Magazine
Keogh’s Vision Photography
Sarah’s Coffee Van

Aaron Huisman

View 2018 Photo Gallery

Mount Kembla Two-Stroke Cup a Winner!

Image by Josh Lynch – JL Photography

Pristine weather created the perfect scene for the Mount Kembla Two-Stroke Cup. Australia’s biggest and best two-banger race weekend has been growing rapidly since it began in 2016 and Event Organiser Shannon Ninness couldn’t be happier with the outcome:

“The pits were overflowing and there was more entertainment involving the spectators this year, like the Peg the Pirelli competition. Drag racing down the main straight was extremely well received.

“We had nearly 40 new riders experiencing Mt Kembla for the first time. We hit almost 250 entries coming from as far afield as Broome in WA.

“The trade alley was booming; this event gives good exposure and is a great platform for local businesses.

“We had live streaming for the first time which is really appealing to sponsors able to run ads on air plus have their track signage shown off. People who missed the event can still catch the action from the links of our Facebook page.

“The Mount Kembla Two-Stroke Cup is is now marked on the calendar for all riders and it continues to grow,” said Shannon.

Corey James – 2018 Winner

MX Team City Coast Motorcycles Corey James has been recrowned the Mount Kembla Two-Stroke Cup Winner, having also earned the title in 2016:

“The first lap’s always a bit hairy, but you know I’ve been at national level before and racing and so you sort of get used to going the first corner banging bars,” said Corey. Watch the full story on WIN News Illawarra HERE

Two-banger freak Justin “Bushy” Bush organised the freestyle motocross shows, juggled the mic and raced across the weekend:

“Props go out for all those involved, from the riders to the spectators and to all involved behind the scenes.

“A special mention to the FMX crew who put on some great entertainment and rode the nuts off their bikes. I can’t wait for next year,” said Bushy.

Organiser Shannon Ninness

Six months in the making, Shannon was excited to be given the honour in the main feature race:

“Waving the chequered flag was the icing on the cake after an amazing weekend of racing and fun in the pits.

“It actually wasn’t planned to have me do that job, but the flaggy who was allocated that Marshall spot came over to me during the last few minutes of the race and said ‘you should be doing this, you deserve it’.

“I was stoked and ran out to the finish line waiting for the winner. It was the best ending!” exclaimed Shannon.

Photo Gallery

Corey James: 2018 Mount Kembla Two Stroke Cup Champion
Image by Grahame Logg
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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride – Wollongong Gallery 2018

Our heart-felt thanks to every rider, volunteer and sponsor for making our second Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride unforgettable. Together we have forged new friendships, raised awareness for men’s health and more than tripled last year’s fundraising for prostate cancer and male suicide prevention. And a fine way to do it, too.

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride - Wollongong hosted by City Coast Motorcycles