Meet Gemma Harrison, Namin Cho, and Maite Storni, aka VC London.
When you see them gracing the pages of magazines, they’re typically portrayed – says Gemma – as “some type of motorcycling Spice Girls feminist group.” Take a look at their Instagram page, which has become a sort of battleground of the sexes. Yet what the fuck is so wrong with a group of girls hanging out, drinking beer, and working on bikes? What is wrong with these women wanting to reach out and show other women the freedom and excitement that comes with completing your CBT and getting on the road, to ride around the curling streets of London or expand out into the countryside on the rolling side roads? Why does every story about women have to be some chalk up to feminism? How about a reality that sees three women just looking forward to their next ride and an ice-cold beer?
VC is based out of a workshop store in Limehouse, east London, which they share with a couple of guys, including Gemma’s husband. They fix up bikes, buy them and sell them. They give lessons to novice riders in the car park round the back. They go to bike festivals. Gemma and Namin are both designers in the fashion industry, and they are collaborating on the first collection of VCC, a clothing brand for biker belles. Maite is a graphic designer. For all of them, motorcycles are something apart from the day job, gritty, grounded and honest. “I like riding around London,” says Gemma. “Sometimes when I come to the workshop really early in the morning and there’s no cars on the road and you’re just riding around the city, that’s pretty awesome. Or we went out by City Airport and it’s quite quiet there and you go over a lot of bridges and it’s just the three of us riding and the sun going down. We were all pretty stoked.”
Although they seem like three musketeers, there is an openness and encouragement to other riders, a willingness to share. They offer free advice on the VC London website and host a meet-other-bikers hook-up section. That said, VC does stand for Vicious Cunt.
Photography by Viviana Gomez.