Wanna hear a sexy statistic? Twenty percent of motorcycle riders are women, double what it was just a decade ago. This fastest growing demographic not only demonstrates skill, dedication, and passion for the sport, but also significant buying power. And instead of just waiting for the industry to catch up, many women have forged ahead and created their own opportunities.
I’m just scratching the North American surface, but here’s some of what’s taken hold in the world of women’s motorcycling over the past ten years.
I mentioned The Litas in my Austin travel blog. Jessica Wise founded this inclusive women’s riding collective in Utah in 2015. Now it is a global network with over 22 thousands riders, in 320 cities across 28 countries that empowers women to share their mutual love of riding and adventure. There are no fees to join or establish a home base, only three founding members and a commitment to maintain the vibe. A member myself, I can vouch for how wonderful it has been to be able to hang out with like-minded, active women all year-round, and knowing I can track down friends in other parts of the world is a pretty special experience too.
If this isn’t the group for you, there are lots of other local women’s riding groups that trade in fun. A rather comprehensive list is here on the Women Riders Now website, an excellent resource for women who ride. 😉
Again, I’m mentioning the ones that are most on my radar, but many local groups organize camping events. Just check out the photos to get a feeling for what they’re all about – live bands, activities, day trips, special guests, local attractions.
Since 2013, Babes Ride Out (BRO) has been dedicated to bringing together new & seasoned riders by creating motorcycle events and experiences that continue to grow the women’s riding community. Though the original camping trip took place in Borrego Springs, California, there are now annual events on both coasts and, since 2014 Babes in the Dirt for those of use who also like to mess around off-road.
Another west-side original that happens in the forests of Washington state is The Dream Roll. The founder, Lanakila MacNaughton is also responsible for the Women’s Motorcycle Exhibit which reveals, in her words, “the brave, courageous and beautiful women that live to ride.”
We Make Our Own Gear
For many women, this was more than just a pet peeve – motorcycle gear that had clearly been remarketed instead of redesigned for women. Thankfully many entrepreneurs stepped forward, namely ATWYLD and Stellar Moto Brand. Their offerings are on the pricier side, but that’s what happens with high-quality, low-batch wearables. However, when it comes to gear, compromise never works, at least not in the long term.
The Women’s Motorcycle Show
There’s plenty to know about Alicia Mariah Elfving. She sets the bar high and inspires you to want to reach it. Originally based in a popular Portland shop Alicia was gifted with a beat-up Ducati Monster. Now well-known as the “Motolady” Elfving initially documented the re-build so she could crowdsource guidance, but she soon discovered that her daily triumphs and tribulations were of interest to the rapidly growing segment of the motorcycling community. Aside from her wildly informative blog, The MotoLady has also written a book about incredible women who ride, and is responsible for putting on the The Women’s Motorcycle Show which takes place June 17th, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Hey, that’s meeeeee! No, but seriously, although I am a moto-writer, this is about the women who paved the way by starting publications and blogs chocked full of information that helped women find the right rides, source gear, sign up for courses, and plan trips, among so many other services. These women, and many others, also encouraged us to share our stories and value our unique perspectives.
The Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists WCM is fueling the future of motorcycling by increasing the participation of females across all disciplines of the sport. And Genevieve Schmitt. Genevieve set the mission for WRN when she launched the online magazine in 2006, which has expanded to include all the social media platforms.
We Do Good Deeds
Kirsten Midura is not just funny, she is one of many women who has harnessed the collective energy of the motorcycle community to do beach clean-ups, get people to the polls, and raise money and awareness of many social and environmental causes. The MotoSocial host, film producer, regular participant in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, and full-time environmentalist founded Engines For Change which is set to be one of the most comprehensive non-profits within the motorcycle industry.
And most importantly, We Ride
In closing, and in anticipation of May 6th, 2023, I want to leave you with one of my favourite celebrations of steel-sisterhood, International Female Ride Day. Among a host of accolades past, present and future, former racer-turned-instructor/reviewer/all-round motorcycle expert Vicki Gray was also one of the first to spread the good riding word on the Internet. Thanks to her women riders around the world will braap together in honour of their love for riding and the 17th annual #IFRD.
Until next time, keep the rubber side down.
- From Sophia Vassiliadis