Just A Few Of the Bikes Ready for the Motor Maids 2013 Parade
As I have stated, when I first started riding, I only rode with men. I really wanted some women to ride with because I knew they would understand the fears I had, and I also knew I would enjoy riding with women. I got on the internet and found Women on Wheels. I have link to them on my homepage. I found that there was a chapter in Idaho and contacted them. They got back in touch with me immediately and came to my town to meet me for the first time. I felt so welcomed and joined the group. These ladies then introduced me to Motor Maids and I joined that too!
The ladies of WOW – Idaho Gems – are now my friends and riding partners. We have so much fun. I am not trying to say that you have to join these two groups. But I do want to let you know that there are groups out there, and, if you do a little searching on the internet, you will find them. Because female riders are the largest segment of new riders, there are more and more groups forming so it should be easy to find a chapter near you.
I so appreciate riding with other women! The camaraderie is great. We talk, we laugh, we plan, we ride, and we support each other. The purpose of this blog is to support women who ride or want to ride. Being part of an association does not prevent you from riding alone or with other people. It does give you support and you are part of promoting this great sport for other women.
A almost three years ago I had the pleasure of going to a Motor Maids Convention and riding in the parade. It was awesome! Motor Maids is the oldest women’s association in the U.S. and, they have protocol that must be followed in order to ride in the parades – you have to wear the uniform. The uniform consists of a parade shirt, white parade vest, black pants, black boots and white gloves. It sounds old fashioned, but, believe me, 500 women dressed this way is a beautiful sight. About 500 bikes, with a police escort, riding through the town with people applauding us! What a fantastic thing for us and for all of the women who paved the way in this movement. I hope to be able to do it again.
I also get the pleasure of riding in various events here where I live and representing these two great associations. Because we are growing, people take notice. The best part is – it just FUN!
The attitude toward women riders has changed a great deal over the years. For those early pioneers, discrimination was an everyday event. One of the founders of Motor Maids was actually told to leave the gas station, they would not even sell her gas, and they were not polite about it. There is still an “attitude” in some areas and with some people. However, if we carry ourselves with dignity and pride, we will over come that as well. Not sure when, but I believe it will come!
Our group in Idaho has even started monthly “Mentoring Rides.” We have some experienced riders who volunteer their time to go out with those who are new or are experiencing a problem in things like cornering, riding on the freeway, etc. The Mentoring Ride provides a source of comfort because have a woman teaching you who probably went through the same thing. I am not saying that men cannot teach women, but, when it comes down to little things that might be taking you a long time to conquer, women are great as well! They are patient. They understand things like – I’m too short, what can I do to have my feet touch the ground? – what gear or bling can I buy for my bike? Since most guys are not into “blinging their bike,” the ladies are the best resource! Between all of us, we have tried a lot of gear that said it was meant for women but didn’t, and we can tell you what we liked.
So, check out the internet and check out the links on my homepage. I really encourage you to find some other lady riders and get together.