Back from Paris

It was amazing!! By chance, we ended up staying down the street from several dealers including Kawi, Suzuki, Ducati and Triumph. And more gear/accessory shops in one block than in most cities, including San Francisco. I even found a shop specifically for women's motorcycle gear! It was this wonderful store called S'Deesse. The initials "SDS" apparently translates to 'bag of sand', which is supposed to be analogous to a woman being dead weight on the back of someone's bike. But the owner of this store decided to turn that around and redefine this saying to something along the lines of "Super Goddess". By spelling it out "S'Deesse" she redefined this joke on female riders everywhere by turning it into something empowering. I think I screwed up the translation there, but hopefully you get the idea. I found some wonderful french brands that I'm not sure if they have a US distributor for, but I'm going to find out. My goal is to someday have a similar store for women in San Francisco. I was very excited to visit and see what she had to offer women riders in Paris.

There are quite a few similarities between female riders in Paris and San Francisco (and many other US cities, I'm sure). Women riders are on the rise, but apparently they're not taking very seriously when it comes to riding a motorcycle. The beginner bikes they offer aren't very short and instructors are mostly male. Apparently they aren't very friendly towards female students, and generally don't take them very seriously. I've read stories about really bad experiences that women have had here with MSF classes, and I'm really saddened by what I've heard. Those are definitely a very small percentage of the overall experience, and I always tell people to complain directly to the MSF by filling out the surveys that are handed out or contacting the MSF directly.