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August 09, 2014
Room for a Woman in a Motorcycle Club? Obviously!
Female Clubs on the Rise as More Women Ride
Women don’t just ride pillion on motorcycles—they ride their own bikes. From Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, who rode from New York to Los Angeles (summiting Pike’s Peak on the way) back in 1916, to Victoria Beckham and Charlize Theron; from Dot Robinson who consistently won endurance races against men in the 1930's (no women’s races then), to Becky Brown, founder of Women in the Wind® (WITW) international motorcycle club for women—women have been riding, alone or alongside men, in competition and in companionship.
Through the influence of women like Becky Brown and Louise Scherbyn, who founded the Women’s International Motorcycle Association (WIMA), we have more clubs and publications dedicated to female motorcycle enthusiasts, and manufacturers are making more gear suited to women.
We all enjoy the company of other motorcycle enthusiasts, men and women, but sometimes it’s more fun to get together with “the ladies only.” Women’s motorcycle clubs offer that opportunity, both in the real world and virtually.
The oldest motorcycle club in North America, Motor Maids, was founded by Dot Robinson in 1940. Its twelve hundred members will convene in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1915. WIMA has affiliate clubs in dozens of countries. This year, its gathering was held in Poland. Since 1979, WITW has expanded from its home in Toledo to ninety chapters in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. WITW has an annual River Run in Ohio and the Annual Alberta Women’s Motorcycle Rally in Canada, as well as chapter events.
All three associations work to enhance the image of women motorcyclists and to educate their members—while having a great time together. But there are dozens of other national clubs and several clubs local to the Pacific Northwest.
So, if you enjoy “girls night out” and riding your motorcycle—put the two together by joining a motorcycle club. In addition to local meetings, rides, and other events, many clubs have websites with forums where you can find product reviews, tales of the road, coming events, racing news, and more.
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but female motorcyclists have come a long way since pioneer Bessie Stringfield, first woman military dispatch rider in World War II, won a flat-track race disguised as a man—only to have the win stripped from her when she took off her helmet. Today, one in four riders are women and the sisterhood of motorcycle enthusiasts is growing daily.
Eagle Leather Products for the Ladies:
Whether you’re happy riding pillion or pilot your own ride, you need the proper gear to help keep you safe: a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet; leather jacket, chaps or pants, gloves and boots. You don’t have to sacrifice style for safety when you buy gear at Eagle Leather.
Safety in boots begins with a non-skid sole and firm support for your ankles. Straps and buckles can give you a closer fit. Especially for high boots, a zipper can make the boots a lot easier to take on and off. Look for added support on the part of the boot you use when shifting gears—it wears faster and the added support adds to the life of your boots. New at Eagle Leather are the tall Heartbreaker boot with adjustable front straps and the ankle-high Trixie book. Both come with side zipper; non-slip sole and removable insole for added comfort; reinforced heel, toe, and gear-shift area; and laser-etched design to keep you fashion-forward.
Your leather jacket has to protect you from weather, bugs and other stuff in the air, and road rash. Eagle Leather has a wide assortment of leather jackets designed for women.
In warm weather, a textile jacket might be more comfortable. Right now, several of Eagle Leather’s textile jackets are on sale. For instance, the Ladies Contour Textile Jacket is half-price. It features waterproof, breathable Hypertex polyester outer shell; both CE-rated armor on chest and elbows and an EVA foam back pad for safety; and vents in chest, back, and sleeves.
All of Eagle Leathers denim pants for women are on sale now. Mesh pants are cooler than leather and give you more protection than plain denim. Mesh-Tex 2.0 have a “serious biker” vibe and protect you with EVA foam knee pads, padded hip panels and pockets for hip armor.
Know a fabulous female rider? Tell us more on the Eagle Leather Facebook Page!