PHOTOS | LUCIA BRAHAM
If you had shown up to Sheila’s Shakedown assuming it would look like something out of Moonrise Kingdom you would have been sorely disappointed: Edward Norton as khaki scout troop leader was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the fields of Yarra Junction were awash with women who appeared to have raided the closet of Jane Lane, commandeered a motorcycle, and descended upon the campground ready to let loose for the night.
Inflatable pizza and unicorn shaped flotation devices dotted the walking track to the 'beach' (creek), and everyone seemed to come more prepared for swimming than the dusk mosquito arrival, but the water level was a little low so the majority of afternoon entertainment came in the form of slow play moto games and wheelie practice. We'd swung past Suus on our way through Collingwood, but it is always especially grand to see gear designed specifically for women, as available from our mates at Shed of Threads and Black Arrow Label who were present and touting their wares, as were the lovely women of Melbourne based Moto Femmes.
Apart from two very perplexed pizza delivery guys, the only men in sight were hired help, including Sailor Jerry’s bartenders who appeased party-goers with complimentary rum mixers. A cocktail of beverages and audial revelry from band (not banned) Body Parts and DJ sets from The Throttle Moles and Bitch Diesel fuelled dancing into the wee hours, the highlights of which would be right at home on a best of the 80s & 90s mix tape (*ahem* b-52s *cough* killing heidi *splutter* TLC). We felt little urge to remove our clothing and expose our shortcomings, but there were plenty of painted nipples and freshly tattooed skin to go around (courtesy of Meighan Mary: one of the original instigators of the whole affair in 2015). There was much picnic table-top dancing. We were so busy taking it all in that we missed burger food times from Screaming Jimmy and were subsequently salivating by the time their bacon and egg rolls hit the hotplate the next morning. We inhaled these, along with our coffees from The Innocent Owl’s adorable caravan bar, backing up short blacks with long blacks to soothe the sore heads.
From our tent vantage spot we could see that the weekend hit its target with a flaming arrow, bringing excitable women together to bond over a love of machines. It gave us all ideas about our own future adventures, and as an extra plus we stumbled across a gin distillery shortly after setting off for home, then (at the NSW/VIC border) got to debrief at a Mexican themed hotel with a waterslide. Olé!
Jo is a buxom redhead looking for adventure. She loves her motor children equally, and if you ask really nicely, she might let you take them for a spin. Easily distractible, but also easily obsessed, she is our Editor-in-Chief, resident proof-reader, and zany ideas lady. Caffeine is her fuel of choice.