The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade is normally held on the first weekend in March – and it wouldn’t be the Mardi Gras Parade without the Dykes on Bikes leading it!
To view the current Mardi Gras guide, you can visit their page here.
Dykes on Bikes Events during Mardi Gras
The Mardi Gras season is also hectic for Dykes on Bikes! Our main events during the Mardi Gras season are normally:
- Mardi Gras Fair Day – normally mid-February but check the guide or our Events page. You can meet the committee, check out some bikes and it’s your last chance to register to ride in the Parade
- Virgin Ride (Mardi Gras preparation ride) – check our Events page. This ride is mandatory for all new members or L/P plate riders
- Meet and Greet – held on the Friday night before the Parade. We take over a local pub in the inner west for some refreshing beverages and the chance to meet some of the other riders
- The Parade
- The After Parade Party – We like to have our own Mardi Gras After Party so we will be taking over the whole of The Lady Hampshire Hotel in Camperdown the night of the parade. Tickets will be available at a discounted rate with your membership renewal.
We also normally do smaller one-off events with Mardi Gras, so check out our Events page or sign up for our newsletter (link at the bottom of this page).
Registering to ride in Mardi Gras
First time riding with us during Mardi Gras? There are some important things you’ll need to know.
- You must be a Full Member of Dykes on Bikes to ride during the Parade (see Membership for more info)
- Once our memberships have closed for the Parade (normally Fair Day), that’s it. We do not take last minute applications (sorry).
- If you want to take a pillion, they must be female-identified or gender-queer, over 18 years old and be a Pillion/Associate member
- L and P plate riders can ride in the Parade with us (but you’ll need to attend the Mardi Gras Preparation ride)
- You must be able to do a slow speed U-turn
- Scooters can ride in the Parade
- Trikes can ride in the Parade
- Outfits – wear anything you like! We will mind your helmets and safety gear during the Parade. We do encourage you to read this guide on appropriation vs. appreciation if your outfit is based on someone else’s culture.
- Colour groups – to make 200 bikes more manageable, we will assign you to a colour group to ride in during the Parade. If there’s a particular colour group you’d like to be in, let us know when you apply for Membership. Colour groups are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You must be under the legal blood alcohol limit, as you will be breath tested by the NSW Police before riding. You may also be drug-tested.
Closer to Mardi Gras we will email all Riders and Pillions with detailed information about this year’s Parade, as well as the Mardi Gras Parade Ride Rules. Everyone’s safety (yours, other riders and Parade watchers) is our priority.
- Our meeting point is normally in front of the Sydney Cricket Ground in Moore Park, but can change depending on what’s happening at the grounds – allow plenty of time to get there as roads can be blocked off.
- You’ll need to ride in near the Registration tent to sign in and get your ‘rocket’
- You’ll be directed to your colour group – ride your bike over there and form up as directed by your group leader
- Make sure you keep your licence on you at all times – even on the Parade route
Setting up your bike
- What’s a rocket? It’s a pack with coloured headlight gels, wristbands, rainbow flags and storage bags.
- Tape the gels to your headlights, and your flags wherever you like.
- One wristband for you, one for your pillion and one for your storage bag
- Get changed, place your gear in your storage bag – your group leader will show you where to place it
- About an hour beforehand, we normally line up in tight formation getting ready for the parade
- Once this formation has happened you cannot leave the area except to use the bathroom
- We drive slowly (about 10kms an hour) down Oxford Street, perform a slow U-turn on Wentworth Avenue and come back up Oxford Street.
- When you leave Moore Park, make sure you take your headlight gels off as they’re not legal for normal use
- Follow any directions given to you by your group leader or a Dykes on Bikes official
- If you’re unsure of anything, just check with the Registration desk on the day
- You cannot leave your bike at the end area as it will be towed and fined however you can park it at EQ or the surrounding side streets if you want to stay.
- Head back to the hotel to continue partying the evening away and telling everyone how fabulous they looked and how much fun you had.
Be sure to read our current Mardi Gras Parade Ride Rules.