By Tracey Kohman
May is for spring flowers, Mother’s Day and lady bikers! Lady bikers are not new to the biker scene. More and more are moving up to the front seat! They have their own traditions, their own dreams! They are forming their own MC’s separate from their counterparts.
One such MC is Leather & Lace Motorcycle Club, founded in 1983. Their goal is to make women more comfortable with riding on their own. They have one requirement of each of their members, wherever they are, to follow the tradition of “the Natural Spirit ride”. Each member is required to go for a ride on the third Sunday in September, wherever they are, alone or in a group, starting at 10am and ride 100 miles. During this ride, each member knows their sisters are with them spiritually.
More local to Rochester, we have the Chrome Divas. They began their first chapter in Tallahassee, Florida back in 2002, now they are 35 chapters strong across the USA and Canada. They sponsor events for charities and help in the community. Like the Leather & Lace MC, the Chrome Divas have their own tradition…although similar, they ride on the second weekend each month. These beautiful ladies in my local chapter let me take pictures of them at their last meeting…they were all very friendly and happy to help me out with this article. I’m sure they are just itching for the winter weather to go away so they can ride!
One on one I spoke to one lady, Cara, who mentioned to me an event (Garage Party) at Harv’s Harley-Davidson…so I went on down there and found a lot of people…not all women, although the focus was definitely on women riders. They were discussing the different things important to a woman rider as opposed to a man rider. One employee was discussing the correct leather jacket for a woman, so that it shaped with her…continued on to making sure a helmet fits correctly…and making sure your bike is the right size for you. Harv’s Harley-Davidson also offers a rider-course, with classroom time, including a bike to use during the class. I was happily surprised to see a familiar face, one of the ladies from the Chrome Divas was also at this event.
Cara shared her plan to make women more visible in the riding community by having women learn to maintain their own bikes, and open a repair shop that is run by lady riders, with a beauty salon attached to it…a real time saver…fixing two of the most important things at the same time!
Women are becoming more visible in what was once a mostly male dominated lifestyle. They are buying bikes, and some are already maintaining their own bikes, including customization. They are gathering in meetings to plan and discuss things like fundraisers, grouping together for long rides, poker runs, swap meets and bike shows.
I spent time with Laura, who was happy and excited to give Amilee a tour and demonstration…who listened, looked and learned intensely. Anytime now Amilee will be looking for a Harley for her birthday!
As we approach summer, one thing I know both men and women riders on the east coast can agree on. They are anxiously looking forward to warm weather where they can let their hair down, shed some clothing and ride, ride, ride.