Women Riders

Women Riders

Inspirational Women: Maggie McNally Bradshaw – AMA’s First Female Elected Board Chairperson

May 1, 2014
In 2013, the AMA broke new ground by electing its first woman board chairperson, Maggie McNally Bradshaw. Since 1924, only three women have served on the board.

April Tidbits

April 1, 2014
Do you know any miserable women riders? Probably not.  Recent studies have shown that women who ride motorcycles are happier than women who don’t.  The study commissioned by Harley-Davidson and conducted by Kelton, involved 1,013 women who ride and 1,016 non-riders.  Over half the respondents indicated the motorcycle as a key source of happiness, with about 74% claiming their lives had improved after they began riding. 

Does Riding Make Women Happier?

April 1, 2014
Do you know any miserable women riders? Probably not. Recent studies have shown that women who ride motorcycles are happier than women who don’t.

Inspirational Women: Kathy Wilkinson - Biker, Boat Captain, Paralegal & Grandmother

February 1, 2014
Writer’s note: A few months back, I put in a request to women biker groups on Facebook, asking for stories from older women riders. I wanted to know when they started riding, what motivated them to start and just who they are. After three months, I got one reply, which I am using here.

Inspirational Women: Dianne Traynor – Ride for Kids Founder

December 1, 2013
Among the 2013 AMA Hall of Fame Inductees was Dianne Traynor of Atlanta, Ga. In 1984, Dianne and her husband, Mike, founded Ride for Kids to raise funds for childhood brain tumor research. The success of Ride for Kids led the Traynors to start the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Dianne had worked as a teacher and accountant before dedicating her life to the PBTF. Her own struggle with breast cancer in the 1980’s made her an advocate for patients and their families. Under her guidance, the foundation’s family support program grew to include social work, educational resources, and college scholarships…

A Remembrance

November 1, 2013
I wasn’t going to do a column this month. Then I asked myself, does it have to be about only motorcycles all the time? This is a column for women riders and while we all share the bond of helmet hair, we share other things as well. I am a baby boomer, born almost smack dab in the middle of those years, 1946-1964. There have been a few television reports as well are news articles about the uniqueness of our aging group and how we have gone from baby boomers to “middlers”. Stuck between aging parents and the kids we…

Inspiring Women: Anna Mae Diehl, the 81-Year-Old First Time Rider

October 1, 2013
I had put announcements on women riders’ Facebook pages to tell me their stories as to why they started riding in later years. Not one response. I would hope it is because they were too busy riding to see the requests, but the cynic in me says they just did not want to share. Too bad. The number of women riders has grown faster than any other demographic in the past four years. I was sure there would be some inspiring tales out there as to why. I am not giving up and hope some women will want to share…

Oh, Kurt Sutter, What Hath Thou Wrought?

August 1, 2013
When Sons of Anarchy debuted in 2008, it was like nothing ever before shown on TV. A combination of soap opera and crime drama, it resembled Shakespeare’s Hamlet as told through the world of a 1%er biker club. People compared it to The Soprano’s with its conflicted main character and his crime syndicate, trying to balance the love of family with killing people. And like The Soprano’s, Sons of Anarchy has become not just a “cult” favorite, but a writing and acting force to be reckoned with. Katey Sagal has reinvented herself once again through the character of Gemma; actors…

Inspiring Women: Cat, the One-Legged Blonde

July 1, 2013
We all remember the dates that change our lives. Birthdays, wedding dates, the day of a major loss--they all become engraved in our mental tablets, and everything else in our lives is related to those times. On May 20, 2006, a purple minivan made a left turn and changed Cat’s life forever. But not how you might think. On that fateful day, Cat’s friend had passed away suddenly. To deal with her grief, Cat did what she always did to clear her head--she went for a ride. It was on this ride that she became an unfortunate statistic--another biker injured…

Businesses are Catering More to Women Riders

June 1, 2013
There are myriad sites that either cater to women riders or at least include them in their information and offers. What I will attempt to do this month is go through as many as I can and bring to one place some resources and businesses that have what women want, need, and didn’t know they wanted until they saw it here. As women make up more and more of the total riding community (at almost 25% now), we can expect to see more businesses, ezines and internet sites continue to come along that are devoted primarily to their needs and…

Motorcycling Tidbits

May 1, 2013
Valerie Thompson, a five-time land speed record holder and owner/driver of Valerie Thompson Land Speed Racing motorcycle team, will have returned to Wilmington Ohio’s Airborne Park for the East Coast Timing Association’s Hot Rod Magazine Top Speed Challenge, April 27-28. Thompson set three land speed records during ECTA’s Ohio Mile and Throttle Nation Top Speed Challenge events in 2012 with her BMW S 1000 RR and has already earned membership to the “Texas Mile 200 MPH Club” this year with a personal best speed of 212 mph. In addition to setting land speed records and racing ECTA, Valerie has also…

Recent News

April 1, 2013
A new Florida Department of Transportation study reveals that 60 percent of the time, in crashes involving another vehicle, it is the cager’s fault. In analyzing 10 years of motorcycle crashes, in addition to finding cagers more at fault in multi-vehicle crashes, 34 percent of motorcycle crashes involve one vehicle, compared to 19 percent of all single-vehicle car accidents. Many of those single-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when bikers are navigating curves but fail to slow down. 'When you ride a motorcycle, there's a good chance you'll crash by yourself, a little higher than if you were in a car,' said…

Joan’s Journey - A Three-Year Journey of Hope & American Pride

March 1, 2013
Joan Krenning walked into her local Harley-Davidson dealer in 1986 with the intent of purchasing a brand new Softtail. The dealer was insistent than she have her husband’s permission and that he also cosign her loan. After complying with the dealer’s terms, Joan got her bike and a life forever changed. No life is perfect, and Joan’s was no exception. A few bad turns put her on the wrong path for a short time but she persevered. She called riding her “mental therapy,” and it gave her the second chance in life she had been seeking. With the support of…

Road Trip - Planning, Preparing & Not Panicking

January 1, 2013
I was reading a pretty good article about the ten things you should take on a road trip and, while it was great advice, I think they left out a couple of things. As women, our needs might not be the same as men’s, of course. So, I will take their suggestions and add or change a few as we go.

Out With the Old, In With the New

December 1, 2012
Another year is about to come to an end. When I had a “regular” job, I always said the days seem to drag but the months and years seem to fly by. Now that I am a “woman of leisure,” the days aren’t so long, but the year still seems to have gone by in a flash.

Finding Inspiration

November 1, 2012
Where the heck did summer go? Seemingly overnight, we went from unbearable heat waves to doubling up on blankets at night. One reason it seems like the summer just disappeared suddenly is my lack of riding in recent months. A slipped disc doesn’t like bouncing around on back roads. And, for whatever reason, this time it is taking longer to heal.

Feeling Like a Third Wheel

October 1, 2012
A recent weekend event in Mount Airy, North Carolina had two common denominators--trikes and gray hair. As the bikers of the 70’s approach their 70’s, they are finding it is not necessary to sell their chaps on eBay anymore. They are simply trading in two wheels for three. And it’s not just the elder bikers giving three wheels a try. Novices, those with health problems, and a few who just didn’t think motorcycles were for them, are jumping into the three-wheel circle.

As Seen on TV

September 1, 2012
I have noticed that there is a commercial on TV that shows “stereotypical” bikers, including women, ogling a particular truck and nodding in approval before roaring off to the local watering hole. The final image is a row of motorcycles with the truck among them in front of said watering hole. I have a couple of issues with this commercial. One will never, ever be Sam Elliot’s voice-over, however.

Are Women Riders Safer Than Men?

July 1, 2012
As the number of new women riders continues to grow, the question of who is the safer rider, a man or a woman, is inevitable. According to a recent MetLife poll, 50% of women believe they are less aggressive and more law abiding than males. Several insurance studies are beginning to bear this out. Research from Quality Planning, a research firm that works for insurance companies, shows women generally are safer drivers than men. Men are 3.4 times more likely to get a ticket for reckless driving and 3.1 times more likely to be cited for drunken driving. When it…

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Column…

June 1, 2012
I am going to skip writing about riding this month. Instead, I am re-telling an essay I wrote in a blog I keep that no one reads. I was bullied in junior high and high school during the late 1960's. For anyone who thinks bullying is something new, I can tell you, it is not. I was threatened with being beat up several times, was tripped and fell face first into the snow during a class walk to the local civic center. In seventh grade, fake letters were written and sent to me from a "secret admirer." I was called…