Dykes on Bikes is an organization that focuses on supporting LGBTQIA+ Pride events and related non-profit work, as well as supporting lesbian pride and motorcycle clubs for women.[1][2]


The first pride parade that featured Dykes on Bikes was the 1976 pride parade in San Francisco, California.[1][2][3] Since this first parade, the Dykes on Bikes San Francisco chapter has continued to lead the San Francisco pride parade.[4][5]

The group was not a formal organization until sometime in the 1980s. At that point, they formally named themselves the "Women's Motorcycle Contingent" (WMC),[1][3] but in the press and LGBTQIA+ community they continued to be known as Dykes on Bikes. The WMC was started by LB Gunn, Kalin Elliot-Arns, Christine Elliot, Sabine Balden and Mel. This formal name itself was picked in order to make the group appealing to all women motorcyclists, not just lesbians.[1]

In 2003, the organizers of the San Francisco mother chapter had the group's name changed to incorporate the original "Dykes on Bikes" title. This resulted in the name becoming the "San Francisco Dykes on Bikes Women's Motorcycle Contingent", which it remains as to this day.[1]

In 2004, the San Francisco chapter of Dykes on Bikes ran into problems trying to formally register a trademark on their shortned name "Dykes on Bikes". The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had refused to approve the trademark, stating that the word "dyke" was disparaging to the LGBTQIA+ community and derogatory towards lesbians in particular. The group fought against this ruling, and were finally approved for the trademark in November 2007.[1][3][4][6] However, following this, the San Francisco chapter attempted to trademark their logo, which also contained the group's shortened name. They were rejected for much the same reasoning, despite being granted the trademark on their own name beforehand. This lead to further legal fighting over the logo trademark, which was not resolved until June 19th, 2017. On that day, the final ruling in the case resulted in them receiving an official trademark for their logo.[1][3][4]

In total, the trademark disputes for both the group name and the logo took roughly 13 years to be settled.[4] The fight for the registered trademarks, both for the group name and the chapter logo, was said to be largely done to "support non-profit, community and education efforts in the LGBT and women's motorcycle communities".[1]

Dykes on Bikes has several formal chapters across the globe, in addition to the founding chapter in San Fransisco.[2][5][7] These include Portland, Oregon;[8] Winnepeg, Canada;[9] Sydney, Australia;[7] and Melborne, Australia.[10] All of these chapters are involved with their own local pride parades and events, much like the original chapter.[7][8][9][10]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "HISTORY, SF Dykes on Bikes" on <>(Archived on 2022-03-17)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Primary Source Set: Dykes on Bikes" on <>. Published by GLBT Historical Society. (Archived on 2022-05-14)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Dykes on Bikes & Gay Motorcycle Clubs in the U.S." by Rose, Shari on <>. Published 2020-09-21 by Blurred Bylines. (Archived on 2021-09-17)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "A History of Pride: The power behind Dykes on Bikes® rumble" by Francis, Monte on <>. Published 2019-06-24 by KTVU FOX 2. (Archived on 2022-08-22)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "San Francisco Dykes on Bikes® Women's Motorcycle Contingent Celebrates 45 Years at the Front" by Brown, Kate on <>. Published 2021-08-26 by San Fransisco Bay Times. (Archived on 2021-09-07)
  6. "U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to “DYKES ON BIKES” Trademark" on <>. Published 2008-01-08 by National Center for Lesbian Rights. (Archived on 2021-09-27)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "What I learnt after a trip with Dykes On Bikes" by Schafter, Mon on <>. Published 2021-04-29 by ABC Everyday. (Archived on 2022-02-13)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Dykes on Bikes® Portland Oregon Chapter" on <>(Archived on 2022-07-06)
  9. 9.0 9.1 [ "Dykes on Bikes® Winnipeg, CA Women's Motorcycle Contingent"] on <>(Archived on 2021-12-02)
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Dykes on Bikes Melbourne" on <>(Archived on 2022-08-16)