Archive for the ‘Just for Women’ Category

REPOST: Bike and Babes: The Female Rider…who is she and why does she ride a motorcycle?


photo credit/chickthatrides

What is the quintessential female rider? In fact how do we define women riders in general? Who are those women that decide to reject standard female roles for a less common practice. Are they adventurers, enlightened or just plain mad? The population of female riders is expanding and with that expansion, come women exploring all facets of the motorcycling community. There are now female racers, off-road riders, motocross racers, tourers, RTW riders, cruisers and those that simply use the motorcycle as a commuter vehicle. There are all-female riding clubs, sponsored events and meets. We are the largest growing demographic in the industry and we need not only motorcycles designed to fit a shorter inseam, but an entire array of riding essentials designed for all women.

The question I have to ask myself, is why aren’t there even more women riding motorcycles. Statistically, though our numbers are growing, I still see few women riding their own, as I tour about the country. There still remains a limited number of females that throw caution to the wind and a leg over a motorbike to to embark upon the ultimate adventure of fun and challenge.

The women riders that I have been fortunate enough to meet come from all walks of life, but enjoy a common thread, their love for the ride. After talking to many female riders, regarding why they rode, the replies I received were as diverse as the women who provided them. You’ll find these are the “real” babes on bikes. These are the women that define the sport of motorcycling.

Christina Shook–Of the many complex reasons one might choose to ride – isn’t it clear to every rider that its just plain FUN? One word: fun.

Jeanette Snowbull–At this point in my life, I get to appreciate the sites, sounds and smells of the beautiful world, the mountains I live in. I get to take adventures to other areas and see the world in a way others cannot. The serenity, the peacefulness, sometimes being alone with my thoughts is a sanity in itself. Riding…the thrill the feel I just can’t live with out it.

Joan Jett–I love riding the twisties and long distance riding, it gets me out of being stuck and places me into an “endorphin” zone way better than exercises. Its a rush, I stay focused, I sense my surroundings, I feel the bike, I feel the power within my grasp, and these bikes take me to new and exciting places and people. There is nothing like it except to be in love.

Karen Boyd–Riding allows me to escape the day to day world where everything is dulled by expectations and instead feel my senses sharpening, my reflexes quickening, and my awareness expanding. I ride because it makes me feel alive and at one with the road stretching out in front of me.

Kelly Rogers–Why I initially was interested in riding and why I ride now are different. At first, riding had the appeal of the rebel… The danger and excitement… the uniqueness of doing something not everybody does was emotionally appealing to me. Why I ride now has more to do with empowerment, at-one-ment and freedom. There is something very liberating about strapping on my gear, straddling a machine and leaving the rest of the world behind.

Kris Oden–Why I ride…to be my authentic self. I do what pleases me and this pleases me. Oh ya…and to pick up guys. 😉

Lois Pryce–I ride for fun, for freedom, for kicks!

Marion Tucker–Riding has invaded all areas of my life, work, fun, and home life.

Nancy Foote–I’ve always enjoyed the backroads and byways, even before I found motorcycling to be so fun. So when I was introduced to riding over 28 years ago, it only seemed natural that I would take to a bike and use it to expand my horizons. I love the feeling of power from the bike and being able to control my own destination and destiny. I feel that riding is as close to flying without leaving the ground. The speeding through time and space takes me to not only the physical places, but also to the spiritual highs of being alive and living life.

Liz Walling–I ride because; being pilot of own bike – picking my own destinations – all the while listing to my ipod, reminds me how fun it is to feel freedom. Plus I love being outside, moving effortlessly through the air, feeling the tempature changes, smelling the earthy warmth of rocks and dirt…. my idea of meditation!

Liz’s daughter Sarah Walling–I ride because it’s dangerous, and the danger makes me focus tightly on the present. I ride because it’s difficult, and the difficulty makes for great stories, experiences, and learning opportunities. I ride because it’s fun to be the girl that rides when most girls don’t, because it’s fun to tell little girls captivated by my bright red bike that they can ride too, and because it’s fun to watch people’s faces when i take off my helmet and shake out my hair. Most of all, though, I ride because I love it.

Anke Knauth–I am 17 and I will ride my motorcycle to school once the school year starts again. I can’t wait! 😉

Astir–What is great about motorcycling is it is so multidimensional, and the female riders I know epitomize this. From the long distance rider whose goal is to be in the top 10 on BMW MOA, to my teacher girlfriend who spends her weekend exploring the desert tracking wild horses. Motorcycling for me is about pushing my limits, internal and external, and exploring this amazing world we live in. Major bonus is finding like minded people to share the adventure with.

chickthatrides–I started riding a quad when I was 5 and have been riding ever since because its fun. I can ride alone, but best of all, I can ride with my family too.

imasoftT–I Rode Today
I rode today without purpose or direction , each turn dictated by the feel of the moment, through the back roads that I have ridden a hundred times. Amazed at the difference the seasons make in the perception of the landscapes.
I rode today to clear my mind of the never ending maze of life in which I had become lost. I needed the peace that comes from being alone with the bike and the road, so I could find myself again.
I rode today to feel the power of the engine in my hand and to experience the feeling you get when you top a hill and see the land stretch out before you as though it were waiting just for you to come along.
I rode today, not in search of snow capped mountain vistas or babbling brooks, but just to feel the wind blowing away the cob webs of my advancing years and returning me to a place of child-like wonder and leaving me with the urge to yell out over my shoulder, “Hey Ma, watch this”.
I rode today and I will ride again tomorrow.

Victoria Zandonella–what motorcycling has given me back: my self-esteem – after having it kicked out of me with two failed long term relationships, 20 years of cubicle hell, and countless other emotional and physical challenges. In biking I am able to express the true me. I see it in the pictures taken of me while riding – a look not captured anywhere else – that undeniable smile that emanates the feeling in my heart – such utter joy and peace and a feeling that I belong somewhere once again.

RIP Syd Sheppard…we lost Syd to natural causes last January 2013.
Syd Sheppard aka FishWitch– I ride because I have so much fun! I get to meet great people & see wonderful places. Beats sitting at home watching the boob tube!!!

Suzi Richards–I often try to describe it to those non-riders who ask, but I find it difficult to put into words the feelings, sights, smells etc that I get when riding along a forgotten backroad with its beautiful twists and turns, the sensations of leaning the bike into a tight curve and knowing when you get it “just right” and gravity, road design, engine power and the agility of my bike all work in concert with one another and I am swept around the bend in an almost effortless manner. I love the wide open feel of the land around me, the sky so wide and expansive, the scents on the wind of the woods or the desert, or someone having a BBQ far off where I can’t see. Most of all, I think riding gives me a sense of freedom and a burning desire to explore and I hope that I have many. many more years of this desire in my soul.

Sheri South–There are people in my life who don’t get it at all. My sister thinks I’m having a mid-life crisis. That’s okay. She can think whatever she likes. When I’m still riding twenty years from now, and taking those twisties on my own, maybe she’ll see. Riding helps me unlock my potential. It helps me see more of who I am… and who I can be. It combines my feminine and sensitive sides with the parts of me that are strong, resourceful, adventurous and resilient.
I’ve had enough of riding pillion through life. This is MY time to navigate my course, and ride my own ride.

Gail Hatch–Riding, it is something I can do solo even when with other people.
It is a way to stretch my definition on independence.
It is a way I show my daughter that I think for myself.
Riding makes me feel competent.

Sara Aimee Henrrick–Loving the adventure

Red Ninja–For me, the defining feeling of riding is some magical combination of independence, empowerment, and pure fun (along with a healthy respect for the powers of the bike and a caution for the dangers of the road). It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before. I have an amazing job where I travel all over the world and do incredible, interesting things, and I also volunteer with animal rescues, in addition to multiple other hobbies. But nothing gives me a feeling like riding does, and I hope to have many happy years of that feeling ahead of me.

Sally Tyler–Riding is something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t get a chance to learn until 12 years ago when I was 36. It is my passion-it’s just what I do. I’m not sure that there is a quintessential female biker, but of the female bikers I know we do have the following traits in common; independent & bloody minded! I don’t think this is what makes us bikers but it is a link! Riding a bike clears my head & allows me to experience the sights and smells of my journey; it is just the best therapy I can think of.

Brenda Marks– started riding last year at the age of 49. It was something I’d tried years ago and it wasn’t a postive experience.Then my husband got himself a bigger bike and kept telling me that the old one would be good for me to learn on. I pretty much laughed in his face until he asked my Mom, at 69 years old, if she wanted to go for a ride. She didn’t even blink – just said “sure”. After that I decided that if she was willing to go for a ride at her age maybe I should give it a try before writing off the idea.

Ally House–I had always wanted to ride a motorcycle, but never had anyone in my family or close circle of friends that rode, so I had no one to teach me. When Karyn’s Mom died at the age of 61, we both decided that it was not an option to not ride motorcycles. We took the MSF rider’s course, and got our endorsements.
What I learned about riding a motorcycle as I became a rider was that it gave me a sense of power and of freedom like nothing I had ever experienced before. The demand on me, my attention, and my skill to ride the motorcycle engages me like nothing else does.

Karen Aho–Why I did not ride is an important part of the story of why I ride. My mother died in 2003 when she was 61 years old. In those last months of her life we talked and, as her life was ending, and she could see it ending, she grieved for things she did not get to do that she had wanted to do. I was 41 years old. I asked myself the question, “what am I not doing that I have always wanted to do?” The answer took no time in coming to me: RIDE A MOTORCYCLE. Ally and I had talked of motorcycles for more than 20 years. We were in complete agreement that this was the time to begin. Life is short and we are all going to die. I want to die with few regrets, especially over things I have control over. I made the choice to learn to ride. I ride to be alive in the fullest. I am an extension of my bike and I am a part of the road. I am involved in landscape and scenery as I move through it. I see, I feel, I smell–everything seems more vivid and I seem more a part of everything and I belong. I am present in the moment. I ride and I feel strong and competent and powerful and sexy. I still think riding is dangerous and impractical. I just don’t care to be a “good girl” any longer.

Bonnnie Lamply–Why do I ride? Because I love a good road trip and motorcycles are the most fun way to get there. Riding is so much more entertaining than driving because it engages all your senses and your mind. It requires being totally in the moment and continuously analyzing what’s happening around you. That suits my personality.
One of the best aspects of riding, though, is the people I’ve met, especially other women riders. I almost always feel at home with other women riders, more so than women in general.

Donna Rees aka demenshea–I ride for kicks and autonomy. When I am out on the road, I inhale freedom and exhale stress. It’s me and the bike exploring a moment in time, in a world of chance.

I would like to write up another Bikes and Babes post so if you are interested please contact me even if you have spoken before, bikes change, situations change and our thoughts and ideas change. Speak out!!! I know many women riders want to speak and we want to hear from you!!!

Write to donna@demenshea.com
Send me a photo of you and your bike or you riding your bike
Send a bio about yourself and what you do when not riding.
Send me one sentence of what drives your riding spirit.
😉

It’s that time of year again…the 5th Annual Pashnit Girly Ride


2012 Girly Ride Weaverville-Forks of Salmon-Crescent City-Shelter Cove

It’s that time again, when the women of the pashnit.com motorcycle forum get together and do a ride and gathering. This year it begins Friday August 23-25th and will be in Cambria, CA.

Every year I put forth a destination, and in the past have made routes and planned meals and meetings, but this year we are going a different route. This year we only have a destination planned and everyone attending gets to create their own goals and desires as to what areas they would enjoy riding. I suspect smaller groups will be formed, new friendships founded and lots of fun secured.

We are larger this year than in the past, at last count there were 31 attendees. We seem to lose some from attrition as the months pass from January when we begin planning, but usually by the time the day arrives there are plenty in attendance. My favorite pastime is just viewing all these beautiful and talented riders all on their own motorcycles taking to California’s roadways. It’s really a wonderful sight to behold. The mix of machines and styles are as diverse as the women sporting them!!

On a sad note, we have lost one of our long term members to illness. FishWitch Sydney Sheppard will be missed, but we all know she’ll be there with us in spirit!

I’m sure you’ll see lots of photos of this ride in the coming week. Wish us all a safe and fine journey!!

Why we ride…just in time for International Female Ride Day!


Photo credit: chickthatrides

Since International Female Ride Day is tomorrow, I thought it was the perfect time to repost an article I wrote a couple of years ago, where I interviewed several female riders with the question, “why ride a motorcycle?”. I got some amazingly varied answers as well and several that bordered on channeling each other’s thoughts.

I am still puzzled that we are in such a minority. I guess the next question I should put forward is, “why don’t more women ride motorcycles”.

So kick off your shoes and read what these amazing women riders have to say about riding motorcycles.

Bikes and Babes

Women motorcycling alone and why every female should try it…


This morning I read an article in the Huff Post entitled “Why Every Woman Should Travel Alone (At Least Once in Her Life)“. Though I find a good many of the Huff Post’s women’s section articles pretty darned trite, I did find this one quite interesting, even though it was not geared to motorcycle rides specifically, much of what she states applies. I did want to respond to her points of why as well as state a few of my own.

Traveling alone because no one would go with me.
I find my reasons for solo travel a conscious choice bordering on selfish. The idea that I’d travel solo due to having no one to join me, is absurd. I wouldn’t even bother to ask anyone. I go because I enjoy the solace. Motorcycle travel is a solo experience, even when you go with other riders. You alone handle your machine, making safety decisions all by yourself. You don’t consult anyone on what gear to be in or how much lean should be in a turn. It’s solely up to you, the rider. There are riders that carry communication systems, but still the riding decisions are theirs alone. Motorcycling is a solo activity, even with a companion.

Traveling alone to live without compromise.
I totally agree with Hermal! I enjoy traveling solo, knowing the daily decisions of where to go, what to do, what to see are mine alone. I enjoy the process of mapping out the area I plan on reaching after a day of moto-travel and settling in for the evening. One of my least favorite activities when traveling alone is eating dinner out. Upon arrival, I usually find a open market, buy what is acceptable to call dinner and eat in my motel. It’s rare that I go to a restaurant and sit by myself, only because I don’t enjoy it. I’d much rather peruse the web with wifi in my room and eat something light. Now, I have to admit, if someone has shared a restaurant that has gotten rave reviews, I will partake in a meal, but that usually isn’t the case.

Travel alone and you will discover that you are a total bad ass.
As silly as this sounds, she is quite right on this point. Nothing is as empowering as doing something totally on your own. You alone are making daily decisions which ultimately lead to personal triumph and a sense of autonomy. This is a good thing!!

Have a Plan A, Plan B (And a Plan C, Plan D etc.)
This goes without saying. When motorcycle traveling, always have alternate routes. I rarely make motel reservations, since most charge you to cancel. When I know I am going into a town, I will often call my husband and he, using his computer, will situate me in a motel and let me know where. If he isn’t available, I just chance it and scan the places as I come into town, looking for good rates, wifi and a decent looking place. The evening before, with wifi access, I usually check motels alone my planned routes so upon arrival, I recognize some of the places and have some idea what I am in for. When the routing completely changes, so does my entire game plan, but then that too is part of the process of empowerment! I always have alternate plans and routes handy.

Get wherever you’re going before nightfall
I always TRY to adhere to this rule, however sometimes it’s simply not possible, due to road construction, following the GPS to the letter only to discover that the road it led me to was 40 miles of dirt or just leaving late in the morning for one reason or another. It’s a good rule to follow, but know there may be times, you end up arriving after dark.

Never get trashed when you’re traveling alone.
This goes without saying. However, I do like having a ritual drink after I arrive and secure my night’s lodging. 😉

You will get a little bit lonely
As I explained earlier, it get a little bit lonely when dining alone, so I think that’s part of why I don’t do it. However, I enjoy my solo time sorting photographys, writing, watching a chick flix, or simply relaxing. If I am feeling lonely, I can start up a conversation with another guest, or someone at the store, or another rider at a rest area or wherever. I usually have plenty of resources for meeting others on my journeys. I adore hot springs and undoubtedly when I go soak, I meet others who can add to the color of the journey. I also visit National Parks and have many opportunities to chat with people. On an occasion or two, I have had a cocktail somewhere after arriving at my destination, knowing riding for the day is done. That is another opportunity to visit with others. I never really seem to lack people to visit, so loneliness really isn’t any issue for me.

I did find this article interesting, after responding to Hermal’s reasons, I considered my own reasons that women should travel alone.

Gaining Confidence You feel good about yourself and your confidence grows.

Exploring One’s inner thoughts otherwise called Introspection Where there is no one else around, you have the opportunity to take both a critical and supportive look at yourself and your inner works. I always have time to reexamine my feelings regarding my live.

Learning how to travel safely which contributes to your confidence What do you do to assure your safety? Every woman should consider her own safety and when traveling alone this is imperative. One must always exercise common sense, and take some of today’s safety assessories. You can carry ICE information, bring along a SPOT GPS locator, carry a cell phone, have emergency contacts and numbers on your person, either with a dog tag, a wrist strap or within ones jacket. Some motorcycle jackets have special pockets for ICE information. I know women riders that carry pepper spray or even a licensed firearm. I do not carry either, and have never felt unsafe without them, at least thus far! Which brings me to the my final reason that women should travel solo at least ever so often.

The kindness of Strangers One of my favorite aspects of solo travel is finding how soulful and kind most other travelers can be. When I am on a journey, I usually meet others just as passionate regarding travel as I. I find people sharing “secret” roads to hidden wonderlands, places that should not be missed, advice for me regarding my motorcycle, or any number of wonderful stories. I have had others share meals with me, or ask me to join them as they converse. People have sought me out to talk motorcycles, politics, travel, and any number of other subjects along roadways, in NPs, or in rest areas among other places. It’s always nice to meet other motorcyclists and especially if I get the privilege of meeting female riders, of which we are seeing more and more.

One of the magical places I was sent: Lee’s Ferry.

I do hope that more female riders get out and experience a solo ride on the open road. It’s exhilarating, fun and absolutely one of my favorite way to ride. It gives me plenty of helmet time to reflect upon how I live my life and even more time to thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough not only to travel when I desire but to have the time to put it to memory with photos and write this blog post!! Cheers and Happy Riding!! 😉

Time to Repost….WHY WOMEN RIDE


Now a couple of year later, my question is probably more like, why don’t MORE women ride?

I think this is a GREAT read for those that may have missed it.

WHY WOMEN RIDE…