If you're not familiar with Black Girls Ride Magazine, it's an web based motorcycle magazine that highlights women of color in the riding community. An often overlooked segment of female motorcyclists in mainstream media.
This month, the editor Porsche asked me to contribute a copy of my Open Letter to New Riders that I wrote a couple years ago.
I'm in very good company with my fellow women moto-bloggers in the latest edition of "Be Fabulous!" magazine (free).
Click Here to Read in Any Browser: http://issuu.com/diannabowes6/docs/be_fab_july_2016
The mission of the magazine is to "Inspire, Educate and Empower the baby boomer woman". This particular issue features other prominent female bloggers and adventurers such as my good friend Alisa Clickenger aka MotoAdventureGal.
And if you're looking for a magazine that highlights the various issues that Baby Boomer women experience you may want to check it out.
For more information: www.fabulousat50.com
I've gotten used to seeing the whole No Helmet, No Gear thing, given PA's lack of a helmet law. But what is really annoying is the lack of motorcycle etiquette (including scooters) that I'm used to experiencing. In addition to general lack of pedestrian and driver safety really. But I suspect that sort of thing is common in most big cities.
Tonight, I was riding home just a few blocks from my house about to pull into a gas station on my right. I'm going maybe 10-15mph and these two bikes pass me on the left inside my lane. I've NEVER had that happen when I rode in San Francisco. Ever. The one time I had someone pass me on the right while out riding my ride leader yelled at him for being such an ass (and doing that to other riders as well, not just me).
The attitudes about motorcycles and scooters here are far less serious and seem whimsical at best. I guess it's a difference in attitudes that are specific to this region. I don't know.
But what I do know is that I'll never be ok with it. And if you're one of those people who like passing your fellow motorcyclists in their lane WITHOUT permission, you're not only risking my life but yours.
According to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) more women are not only riding motorcycles today but Owning them as well!
More Female Riders Than Ever According to Latest Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey
IRVINE, Calif. Dec. 16, 2015 –Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high, according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.
“Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more are women than we’ve ever recorded. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least once in 2014, a quarter (25%) of these riders were women (riders aren't all necessarily owners).”
Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. More than 17 percent of Gen X and Gen Y owners are women (I definitely see younger and younger women riding these days). Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.
“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are coming up,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for everyone, and that’s being recognized by younger generations.”
The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sportbikes at 10 percent (we still have work to do, fellow sporties!).
In the survey of some 48,000 American households, women were asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.” When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important factors.
The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious (Hell Yeah!). While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 of men had any formal training (are boys letting their egos in the way?). In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.
Other key survey results:
- The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males
- More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop
- New bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders (I guess I'm in the minority, used all the way!) 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree
The MIC Motorcycle Owner Survey is free to MIC members, but can be purchased by non-members for $12,500.
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.
In case you didn't know, my awesome friend Cristi aka ADVGoddess and I have a great motorcycle podcast called Moterrific where we chit chat about all things motorcycle related; travel, gear, maintenance, recalls, new bikes, events and more.
Cristi also wrote this killer editorial awhile ago that you must read if you missed it!
So exciting to be a part of such an amazing group of women. Enjoy the article here .
Thanks to twitter follower @eimken for snapping this pic of my very first article in Motorcyclist Magazine this month!
Just my $0.02 on how to shop for gear and why it's so damn hard for women to find what they're looking for. It's available on the digital edition for your iPad or iPhone, as well as newsstands of course.