I don’t mean to sound condescending, I really don’t but I am a woman who rides a motorcycle. Either you “get it” or you don’t.
In all honesty I wish I could give all women what I have found on a bike. My baby is a 2011 Harley Davidson Heritage Classic and her name is Glitter. It might sound like I worship Glitter but I don’t, I firmly believe God have me the wisdom, courage, and tenacity to climb on and ……………..ride.
Once I did, I was hooked, I won’t ever look back and I will ride as long as I can. I am a member of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Motor Maids, National HOG(Harley Owners Group) and am thinking of starting a Christian Riding Club for women in my town. I write for a motorcycle magazine so I ride a lot of miles in a year. I love to ride, I love to write, seems like a good mix to me!
I have to say that I am most partial to my CMA membership, I am proud to wear those yellow patches that identify me one with Christ, that let others know I am out there working to further the Kingdom. I cannot tell you the times we have been honked at or sat at a stop light, a window will come down and we hear, praise God brother and sister!
I have ridden all over the state of WY, the Black Hills Scenic Byway, The BearTooth Highway (I got my a** and my bike over the pass!), the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, the Bighorn Scenic Byway, the Cloud Peak Scenic Byway, the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, the Wind River Scenic Byway, the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road in the South Dakota Black Hills. We have ridden Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California(Highway 101 was pure heaven), and Nebraska.
I have learned a whole lot since I started riding.
- Look where you want to go because if you are gawking at the gorgeous scenery around you. Look long enough at the side of the road and you end up there.
- Assume you are invisible because to a lot of cagers (people in cars) you are!
- Ride your own ride, ride your own skill level. The consequences could be deadly.
- If it looks slippery it probably is,beware!
- Learn to swerve, you bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not at the dead skunk you are trying to avoid.
- Potty before you leave, bumpy roads and a full bladder are no fun
- Money tends to disappear fast when shopping for motorcycle accessories.
- Parking lots are good places to practice those stupid U-Turns the DOT insists you know how to do.
- People carry dumb stuff in the back of their pickup trucks and it inevitably blows out when I am riding behind them.
- Rain gear is a must have but you have to put it on for it to do any good.
- Wild turkeys and deer travel in suicidal packs
- There are always people watching lame attempts to park the dang bike
- 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 before you put on your chaps, jacket and gloves.
- Get over your hair, nothing works.
- When getting gas, make sure the kickstand is really down!
- It isn’t just transportation, riding a motorcycle is fun, a hobby, a passion and in my case, a lifestyle.
Those were the lessons on the road, the other lessons came about inside of me as it does I imagine for most women who ride.
What does gender have to do with riding a bike, we all ride in the same wind right? Well I’m not sure but I know that even though we ride together a lot, we have totally different experiences when we do.
I think it has to do with the nature of being a woman. I know that now I think of my bike as an extension of my personality, but it took me awhile to grow into it.
Women start riding for many reasons but the first word most women use to describe the experience is empowerment. This is closely followed by excitement, freedom, self-reliance and maybe even a little enlightenment.
By its definition empowerment is the process of increasing your capacity to make choices and transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. Riding makes a difference in my life, it is liberating and makes me get out of my self-imposed box. Riding helps me define certain truths.
Women who ride are a special breed of women, we are your wives, your mothers, sisters and aunts. Our roles in life are greatly varied but we share one big thing. We have a love of the open road, we crave the freedom that riding affords and we have found something in the saddle of our bikes that nothing else with the exception of God,gives us.
It is safe to say that women who ride are exuberant, successful, spiritually inclined, tenacious, risk takers to a certain extent and creative. We are a diverse group but mostly we are a community.
We ride even though we never thought we could, perhaps the hardest (but most rewarding) thing I have ever done was to learn to ride my motorcycle. My bike weighs in somewhere around 850lbs and if she goes down, I need help to pick her up. Parking can be special torture but I am getting better at it. It has a lot to do with the weight of the bike, the slow speed and the fact that hubby picks the darndest places to decide to park.
Where does God fit into this rough and tumble world of motorcycling? Well quite honestly, He is where I am whether I am on a motorcycle or not. My husband and I belong to Christian Motorcyclists Association and are dedicated to our motorcycle ministry and are striving to live the CMA motto, changing the world, one heart at a time in the highways and byways.
God has given me life and given my life a purpose, CMA has given me the support to go out and do the work God sent me to do. Riding has given me a place where I belong.