Girls need Men to take them places. Women can get there all on their own. – Unknown
We have no idea who said that first, but we think that female motorcycle riders are rockin’, and they’ve been rollin’ pretty much as long as motorcycles have been motorcycles, perhaps even before. The sad fact is that our male-dominated society has repressed female rights, including the right not to be judged for riding, for decades, but times are changing. Still, don’t call them “Biker Chicks,” because lady riders are not outcast rebels or deviants of society, but professionals and capable human beings and stunning riders in their own right – they just happen to be women.
In celebration of International Female Ride Day – Just Ride!, Saturday, May 6, 2017, we thought we should take a look at a few female riders through the decades, at home and around the world. (Also, July is Women’s Motorcycling Month.) There are female celebrity riders, track racers, rally riders, and cross-country adventure riders – consider just a few:
Celebrity Rider – Pink
Known by her show name, Pink, Alecia Moore comes from Pennsylvania, United States. She’s known mostly as a singer and songwriter, but also dabbles in film and voice acting. In 2006, Moore married Carey Hart, a professional rider, and she rides a Triumph Bonneville T100 and a Harley-Davidson Sportster XL Iron 883N.
Historical Riders – Adeline & Augusta van Buren
In most military actions, women were considered “too delicate” to serve anywhere but in nursing, clerical, or support roles, never anywhere so dangerous as the front lines or running communiques – tell that to Roza Shanina’s 54 confirmed sniper kills, I guess. Adeline van Buren wanted to join the military, and just to prove woman could ride as well as men, she and her sister, Augusta, rode from New York to San Francisco on July 4, 1916. Just for kicks, before it was even a thing, the intrepid sisters also rode up Pike’s Peak, the first time in history anyone had done so in motorized vehicles, a pair of brand new Indian Powerplus Model F.
World Enduro Racer – Jane Daniels
Jane Daniels, of Greater Manchester, England, is the cream of the crop in World Enduro Racing. In 2013, she took second place in the Women’s Enduro World Cup, even winning the final race, in France. Sponsored by Husqvarna, Daniels rides a Husqvarna FE 250 in dirt just as demanding as any male rider ever faces, as fellow riders can attest.
All-Female Motorcycle Club – Leather & Lace MC
Tired of riding “with the guys,” founder Jennifer Chaffin founded the Leather & Lace Motorcycle Club in 1983. At the time, female riders were only slightly less societally-accepted than today, and there is still plenty of work to be done. Today, there are chapters all over the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
If you’re a woman, you might wonder if you should ride, and we say absolutely! Consider what female riders have already done for you, and join them! There’s nothing quite like the freedom that riding offers, and we welcome female motorcycle riders wherever they come from.