Women Riders Month

Princess on Christmas Day

Female Ride Day was introduced in Canada in 2007.  Held on the first Friday in May, this event was created to celebrate the number of women who have chosen to take the front seat and ride their own motorcycles.  Vicki Gray, the founder of the campaign, wanted to raise awareness of female riders and encourage other women to take up the sport.


Female Ride Day was such a success in Canada that it went international the following year.  Women across the United States, Australia, Europe, and of course Canada got out on their bikes to demonstrate their passion for riding.  Some rode on highways and some on back roads.  Some rode solo and some in organized groups.  They rode all types, makes, and models of motorcycles.  But most importantly they got out there to ride!

Diana rides her Sportster

There are 4.3 million female riders on the road today.  We comprise 12% of Harley owners and 18% of all motorcyclists, and our numbers are growing.  Just look at how many women riders we have in our little community of moto-bloggers!

This year the Harley-Davidson Motor Company has decided to get into the act.  This is not surprising since the MoCo has been making great strides in catering toward the female motorcyclist of late.  They have declared the entire month of May to be the first ever Women Riders Month.  The celebration will kick off on International Female Ride Day next Friday, May 1st with special rides for ladies.  Karen Davidson will lead a ride in New York City; and in Milwaukee country-artist Krista Marie will lead a ride ending at the Harley-Davidson museum.

Alice

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Rider’s Edge are teaming up the first weekend in May to offer Basic Rider courses to women across the nation.  The goal is to set a Guiness World record of 100,000 women trained to ride in one weekend.  With the overwhelming success of Million Mile Monday last year, my money is on them far surpassing that mark!

Ladies, we are making great strides in the motorcycling community.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with the release of Tami Walker’s book Why We Ride which shines a spotlight on women who have hit the open road on two wheels — it shares our stories of how and why we began motorcycling.

You can order this book (click here) and read all about me, BB, Lady R, KT Did, and many others!

Karen on her big girl bike

If you already sit behind the handlebars, then get out there and ride next Friday!  And if you have not yet taken the controls, I encourage you to celebrate Women Riders Month by signing up for a Basic Rider course.  We’ve come a long way, now let’s get out there and ride!

21 Responses to “Women Riders Month”

  1. Exciting and enlightening, thanks for putting this post together.

  2. great reads. personally i have proudly been able to ride the last two yrs “womans ride day”, and can’t wait to do it again. i’ll be sure to order the latest book “why we ride”. i love all books that give emphasis to biker stories and especially lady riders.

  3. I’m not that “into” these kinds of recognitions. That’s not to say I think it’s bad for those who do like it…it’s just not “right” for me.

    I’ve been riding my own motorcycles for 38 years, and I find these kinds of events to be things that suck money from my pockets. I have enough trouble keeping the Presidents in my wallet without actively participating in events that think I’m a cash cow.

    I feel that organizations such as “Motor Maids” are the way to go when looking to upgrade the female ridership issues. NOT the MOCO…who, is just using ploys like this Female Rider Month as a way to advertise their product(s) and get us gals to open our wallets for their products.

    I do wish to say again…these are MY feelings on this subject, and I sure as heck do not feel that every female should subscribe to my way of looking at things. How narrow would our would be if that was so? I’m glad for the diversity we have in female ridership…I just won’t be joining any “celebrations” during the touted month…my way of celebrating is to ride, and it has been for 38 years…I don’t need any body telling me that I need to ride more in May to show my unity in gender…I’ll ride as I always do…everyday.

  4. I will be on the bike that day, headed to Holt, Florida to the Emerald Coast Bike Fest. So I guess I’ll be doing my part!

    Like Chessie, I ride everyday that I can, so I feel like I celebrate my ridership all the time.

    Here’s to women riders. Woo Hoo!

  5. Thanks for the info. I still haven’t taken my riders course, just because I can’t afford it right now. 🙁
    We’ll see!

  6. Ruben hit it on the head with the phrase, “Exciting and enlightening” – captures the spirit of this article completely! I am hoping to celebrate on May 1 with a small-group ride. I do appreciate and respect Chessie’s viewpoint, but personally I see nothing wrong with taking a day or a month to celebrate the growth of the female riding population. Sure, every day’s a celebration – but, what’s wrong with taking one day to get those who care celebrating as a group? If that initiative comes from HD, so be it – perhaps if Motor Maids was going to do it, they would’ve done it a long time ago? (I feel a rant coming on, which I’ll save for my own blog )

    Thanks for the wonderful post!

  7. As I said, for those who enjoy the group and the MoCo sponsorship, I have nothing bad to say…it just don’t work for me.

    The Motor Maids do positive things for female ridership every day…and have since the late 1930’s. I support them in their endeavors, and I feel that I would rather see my money go to their organization than to the MoCo’s female celebration out in CO. Where I can guarantee there will be loads of MoCo logos and branded stuff for sale. I dare say the money will not go back into helping female riders be safer and more aware riders, or anything that will make a real difference to the female gender in the motorcycling community.

    Like I also said, I’m glad not everyone feels as I do…it would be one boring world if we did!

  8. […] over at Road Captain USA has a wonderful post rounding up a variety of thoughts on International Female Ride Day (May 1) and […]

  9. I think equal opportunity is great, and I’m glad to see it spread throughout the motorcycle community as well. I’m glad that women riders can celebrate in their freedom to ride, no matter how they choose to express that freedom.

  10. I am happy we have a month for ourselves and to be recognized as women riders We, as women, have struggled for the vote, for rights, and to get out of the kitchen long enough. Riding is a right and privilege that I won’t give up. To have a month to celebrate women riders is fine by me. I am not that stupid to believe that women, myself included, will be sucked out of their monies for marketing purposes. We are not that dumb. We will buy just what we want and ride what we want. I love it. We still are a minority in the riding market. Most women will do their shopping and education and buy what they know will work. We all have to learn what opportunities are out there. I say the more the better. So, go for it ladies…ride the month of May like banshees from hell. Celebrate.

  11. I love this!!! I ride everyday I can to work..The trouble is when I get off of work I don’t want to go home..I just want to keep going…Forever and Forever..We need our day also..Iam 61 years old and will keep riding until it is completely impossible..We are the roll models for the future riders.

  12. Way to go Jacqi!

  13. I have read quite a lot on this issue of late, and heard many good points on all sides of the issue. I’d like to thank you all for the comments you have made here. A healthy debate is always eye-opening good reading.
    ~
    For me personally, Women Rider Month celebrates the fact that we have gotten to the point where we are no longer outcast for riding and that our numbers have grown to the point where the MoCo sees us as a viable customer demographic. That is an accomplishment in and of itself! (Not one that I can personally claim any credit for, but worth celebrating nonethless). And as far as the MoCo trying to make money off of us, that’s what they are in business to do–so none of us, male or female, black or white, young or old, should take it personally. Besides, if they are financially sound then my stock value goes up and I make money too! 🙂

  14. Women rock all the way around!…but women who ride their own machines? Can’t beat that. All I can say is ride on. Riding has never been more of a kick. It’s been more fun as far as I am concerned. Rides are better and you women folk are less bitchy after you have been out riding. Sorry, just the truth.

    Celebrate on! I’m having a great time sharing the road ladies. Never been better.

    B.B., You’re already riding better than most dudes. You screwed on the outlaw run with class and I was impressed. If I didn’t know you I would say you had been riding hardcore for a few years. That was a tough run too but you kicked ass.

  15. Please take this as a compliment BB; anyone riding a sporty hardcore is the bomb. They are not easy to ride, not like those honk’n Street Glides that practically ride themselves. Especially those ’09 models.

  16. I saw Chessie’s post about this first and posted a pretty detailed response on her blog.

    Without re-hashing the whole thing, I’ll just say that I’m in favor of Women Rider’s Month, largely for the reasons Lady Di has given here.

  17. Awesome article!! And thanks for the plug of the book too!! The success of women’s riding groups, businesses based on the woman rider, websites and yes…even my book… rely on the tireless efforts of women like you who dedicate themselves to promoting riding..whether you are a female or male rider. So keep up the great work…we appreciate all you do!

  18. I think anything that promotes anyone riding is a positive thing. It not only gets more people riding it raises the awareness of those who dont ride. Great article.

  19. It’s good to see so many women out there. I have riden my Heritage Classic custom clear across the USA only states I have not been to are Hawaii, and Oregon. They will be next.
    Last year I took a trip on my bike from Butler PA up to Athabasca Alberta Canada (just north of Edmonton) by the time I got back I had put on just alittle over 5,000 miles. I rode alone and took roads I never knew existed. I didnt have a gps just your standard Harely Map. On the way back I took the long way going down through the Colorado Rockies and stopping in Denver to a few days. All lin all the bike is my salvation.
    Live to Ride and Ride to Live.
    Monica

  20. Cool beans Monica! Are you from Butler, PA? Maybe we should swing by and say “Hello”.

  21. Yes I live in Butler, you are more than welcom to drop by anytime. Great riding around here.

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