I will attempt to answer that in a fashion that is true for most women riders, but I guess mostly I can write about the personal meaning of riding, what it has taught me, where it is taking me, and how God fits into it all.
Who are women who ride motorcycles? Well, depending on where you look, of the people who ride motorcycles, 12 to 20 percent of us are women riders.
We are your wives, girlfriends, sisters, aunts, mothers, and grandmothers, we are the women you love. We are unique and fiercely independent, brave, bold, intelligent, and creative. We are resourceful, inspiring, successful, adventurous, risk-takers, tenacious, and for me at least, in love with life and the God who provides that life.
Edward Winterhalder says that “there is something about the motorcycle that intrinsically appeals to human nature.”
Yes, yes, yes, but for me and most women I suspect, it goes much deeper than that. So to answer the questions what does it mean to me and to us.
Riding is independence, riding is pride, riding is freedom.
I am not a “biker bitch”, I am not a “biker chick”. When I ride, I am a woman who is fulfilling her destiny………………….on a motorcycle. My time on my motorcycle is not an ego trip, my time riding is a time that informs, inspires and empowers me.
More than that however is God finds me there, every time and fills me with words that are fluid, poetic in my own way and philosophical from His point of view. Riding is unending inspiration, mile after mile. Riding is not a hobby, riding is not a bad habit, riding is the cohesion that hold my world together.
Riding is freedom in the wind, it is the rhythm of the road, it is all about putting distance between you and the mundane.
Riding with God is bringing your true self to life, it is fulfilling your destiny while fulfilling His. Riding with God enhances all that I am and all that I do. It is visualizing and finding the courage to put into play what God is laying on your heart. For me, riding my motorcycle and loving God are intrinsically intertwined, mile by mile my true purpose is being revealed.
I find great truth in the old quote “Two wheels move the soul”
While far from a pro yet, I am just starting my fourth season of riding my own bike, I have learned a few important facts about riding a motorcycle.
Look where you want to go. The motorcycle tends to go where you are looking so keep your eyes on the road. I learned this the hard way. Look long enough at the scenery and you end up being the scenery.
Assume you are invisible, because to a lot of cagers you are. You might as well be under an invisible cloak. They simply do not see you. Scary but true, especially at intersections.
Ride your own ride. Never try to keep up if it means riding over your skill level. This proved to be one of the most important things I had to learn and stand firm on. Sometimes it isn’t easy.
Inclines are a bitch to handle when stopped or anytime you aren’t moving very fast.
If it looks slippery, it probably is.
- Learn to swerve. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not at the dead skunk you are trying to avoid. It really sucks (and stinks) when you run over dead things.
- Potty before you leave. Bumpy roads and a full bladder are no fun .
- Money tends to disappear fast when shopping for the new bike. If you don’t believe me just ask my husband about the price of bike bling.
- Parking lots are good places to practice those stupid U-turns the DOT insists you need to know how to do.
- People carry dumb stuff in the back of their pickup trucks and it inevitably blows out when I am following them.
- Dress for the crash, not beach or an elegant night out on the town. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Flip flops, shorts and a bike just don’t work for me.
- Rain gear is a must-have but you have to put it on for it to do any good. It rained so hard on us but our rain gear was in our saddle bags… Don’t even ask.
- Wild turkeys and deer travel in suicidal packs.
- There are always people watching lame attempts to park the dang bike. It helps to have your own personal cheering section when learning to park. It does not help when people (Hubby, who shall remain nameless) is standing behind your bike pushing it forward when you are trying to push it backward.
- Bees can sting you when they slam into you at a high rate of speed. At least they have the decency to die after they sting you.
- Get your key out of your jeans pocket before putting on chaps, jacket and gloves.
- Get over your hair, nothing works.
- When getting gas, make sure the kickstand is really down
- Fattening but delicious food is the only food you can eat when traveling on motorcycles.
- Sand and gravel are evil works of the Devil
- When pulling in to get gas while following Hubby, it is absolutely mandatory that he do twenty five twirlies around the parking lot before landing in front of the gas pump so you learn to do U-turns for the pesky motorcycle drivers endorsement. Twirlies are usually accompanied by a big grin on hubby’s smug face…….just sayin
- Riding a motorcycle engages all that is within you. Ride with safety in mind, in fact do all you can to be safe, ride for what it gives you, ride because it good for the soul.
Like I said yesterday, where the world sees a hardened biker, God sees a disciple. The is much to be gained from gathering with other believers while traveling on a motorcycle. It doesn’t matter whether you gather in a formal “church” setting, or if you gather in a parking lot after a chance meeting, or in a restaurant halfway across the country. What matters is ” For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
……………………and so I ride