And happy International Female Ride Day 2017. I had a fantastic time on my gorgeous Indian Scout, Tux.
May the 6th saw an abundance of females worldwide riding together to promote their place in the motorcycling community. In Tasmania it was an amazing day despite it being very windy, cold and raining. #southernhempisphere #42degreessouth
Through all the challenging weather there I am, racing up the highway, trying to get far enough in front to get a few action photos of the women riding from the south to our central Tasmanian meeting place with ladies from the north and north-west… and I found ‘the zone’. I could clearly see why I was right there at that exact time. For as much as this day was celebrating female riders, I was not there because of them.
My life choices have been influenced by so many women, not least of all my gorgeous, classy and thoughtful mother (henceforth known as The Mothership!), but I have inadvertently been given this opportunity by others, by many men in my life. Each one gave me gifts that made it possible for me to join the motorcycling sorority.
Were it not for my caring ‘mechanics’, whom I call friends, it seemed I would have to stay home. They committed themselves to ensuring Tux was ready and roadworthy, until 9pm and 12 hours before this ride. They had worked all week to make it happen, being frustrated by a slew of confounding factors. They made sure I was on the road, providing me with a safe ride, just 1 hour before muster. They knew how important it was, and they threw themselves into supporting a female rider.
Were it not for another friend understanding the importance of the day and offering his amazing Indian Dark Horse, if by some chance Tux couldn’t be ready, then I would have not felt like there was back up. What a back up!! It’s hard to believe.
Were it not for the men in my riding community that teach and support learner riders, provide opportunities and set out to help you feel confident and successful, I would not have felt able to lead these women on Saturday.
Were it not for my partner encouraging me, providing his second bike and setting me up to succeed, I would not have even been in that saddle. Never a word of judgment if I screwed up, he always came and helped when I needed. Even letting me ride his Triumph, taking the learner bike instead, just so I could experience more.
Were it not for my best friend from my youth, the most ‘biker’ biker I know, I wouldn’t know the style of bike I love. All American classic, all the time. I wouldn’t know engines, tools or customization.
Most of all I appreciate the man that sees the least of me, which would sound weird. I do because he taught me how to be practical, how to fish, how to build, how to ask questions, how to follow a passion, and by his attitude toward me, how to be a strong independent female.
As I rode to celebrate women riders, I realised something interesting, most likely 9 out of 10 women ride because of men. As a result the riding sorority is expanding, almost becoming self propagating. Hehehe!
More importantly I understood that riding a motorcycle is actually gender indifferent. It is equally characteristic indifferent … tall or short, strong or slight, loud or quiet … it doesn’t matter. A motorbike can be yours and it’s all about just getting onto the road and feeling the wind. I encourage it and I will support you.
Shiny side up!