Well, sadly I missed this year’s event, having a full house of family visiting, but thoughts have been rolling in from those that attended and I can’t help but have an opinion. What a surprise, eh??
I attended the last conference in 2009 which was held in Keystone, CO. The setting could not have been more beautiful nor the course for the demo rides. It’s probably the first time I have actually felt that I got an ample taste from sampling motorcycles. The event had wonderful speakers, Lois Pryce being the highlight for me, but all the speakers were awesome and the slide show featuring the history of female motorcyclists was amazing. Fast forward…
This year the event was held in Carson City, NV. Granted it’s located in some pristine motorcycling in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but the town itself isn’t much to say the least and I grew up there. In Keystone there were many options for lodging, but in CC, one is limited to either casinos or chain motels. The event was held at the Gold Dust West off Hwy 50. This casino, though it offers dining, swimming, bowling and gambling offers little to entice most female motorcyclists, ie: shade, decent food, places to gather, or good coffee. This being said, there is little in Carson that could accommodate a large crowd, so the venue was limited.
To recap the weekend, Thursday night featured a short ride to the Capitol building parking lot and the opening ceremony at the Nevada Supreme Court Amphitheater, which is located between the state Capitol and the Nevada Legislature building. Friday, held a ride to historic Virginia City for a picnic which I imagine was fun as the road to VC is a total blast whether going through Gold Hill or following the truck route. Sunday,the closing ceremony featured motorcycle racer Mary McGee, who enthralled the audience with her stories. Daily there were interesting seminars being offered to a very diverse crowd, but sadly many were cancelled or rearranged so many times, that those that were interested in them had a difficult time finding them! Sunday, many of the seminars were cancelled and several women simply headed home.
There were two awesome features, Streetmasters offered a corning workshop for an additional $100 fee, much less then the actual class fee, but they were limited to the amount of riders they could serve. Also offered was “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist” which was open to anyone registered for the International Women and Motorcycling Conference for the reduced rate of $37.50, and to city and state employees for $77.50. Both of these are awesome classes that I have had the opportunity to join in the past.
So…all in all, I have heard the IWMC was a success, but that it could have been better planned with earlier selection of place, speakers, and offerings to entice more participants. Also more organization at the event would have helped inform those that attended as to what was happening where. Sadly, there were only a few hundred participants, out of thousands and thousands of female riders that could have added more diversity to the moto industry in energy, knowledge and experience. I only hope the AMA will begin planning NOW for the next IWMC.
And with that said…it’s the participants that make this an awesome experience. I can’t say enough about being part of any event that brings together that many female motorcyclists. Oh the fun times one can have!!