Women Riders Month

women rider month

This May marks its third annual designation as Women Riders Month, a celebration of women who have chosen to take the handlebars and inspiration for those who soon will.  Today women riders are nearly six million strong – one out of every four motorcyclists.  Twenty years ago only 3% of the riders on the road were women.  That makes females the fastest growing demographic in motorcycling for two decades.

Women Riders Month is filled with many significant events geared towards women who ride.  International Female Ride Day (this year on May 6th) is held on the first Friday of the month each year.  The concept was first introduced as a Canadian national event to “connect women with motorcycling” by MOTORESS International in 2007.  Within its first year the idea was embraced by thousands of women not only in Canada, but also in the US and several European locations – making it an international event from its induction.  Whether it is on a sport bike, cruiser, or any other kind of motorcycle, women all over the world will be seen enjoying life on two wheels that day.

Harley-Davidson Motor Company will sponsor several events celebrating Women Riders Month as well.  There will be Garage Parties at local dealerships all over the country where women can learn about proper riding gear, bike maintenance, choosing the right bike, and even how to lift a dropped bike in a non-judgmental, female-friendly atmosphere.  At the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, the very first Biker Boot Camp for Women will be held from May 9-14.  Women who attend will participate in a Rider’s Edge course as well as learn about the history of women riders and an introduction to the biker lifestyle.  The first bike night of the year at the Museum (on May 12th) will also be dedicated to women riders as they kick off the riding season.

Finally, Harley-Davidson is also sponsoring Women’s Ride Day on May 14th.  The theme is simple and clear:  get out there and ride!  Women across the globe are encouraged to throw a leg over their bikes and ride – by themselves, with a friend, or with a group.

I know there are a bunch of guys out there who are wondering what all the hoopla is all about, but there are equally as many who believe that a woman’s place is riding bitch.  There are likewise many women who lack the confidence in their own abilities to even try to ride their own (likely generated out of the aforementioned attitudes).  Face it, most bikes out there are made for men – all of the lowering kits, “reach” seats, and pulled back handlebars in the world just will not make some women be able to reach the controls on some models!

The odds are stacked against women riding their own.  Any woman who overcomes all of those obstacles deserves recognition.  And any woman who would like to ride but feels she can’t should be given the inspiration and encouragement she needs to see that she can.  That’s what Women Riders Month is all about.