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Women Rider

Women Rider's Month

She stands outside, wind whipping her ponytail into an unruly tangle. She grabs hold, wrapping the hair around itself and tucks carefully into her motorcycle helmet. Sliding the helmet down over her head, she adjusts the visor, secures the chin strap, and gives her leather chaps one last pull before climbing onto the leather seat. When she swings her leg over the steel beast beneath her, it is not the shoulders of another rider she grabs onto for support. Instead, she steadies herself with the handle bars, finding her usual position on the front seat and stands the bike up. Key turned on, throttle switch flipped, the bike roars to life as she expertly flips back the kickstand, eases down on the throttle, and disappears in a cloud of dust down the highway.

In an industry geared typically toward men, women riders are stepping out of the background and taking their place as the fastest growing segment on the motorcycle scene. Blazing past stereotypes of the typical biker babe, the industry is quickly catching on.

May is the second annual Women Rider’s Month. Choices for women have increased dramatically; there are more resources for women rider than ever before. Leather, helmets, even gloves and other women’s gear are more than just novelty items in a quaint section of the leather shop. More and more, these resources for women riders are designed for the function and comfort for a population of serous riders.

What draws a woman into this world of roaring machines? For many, it is the same as any other rider, the freedom of the open road and the thrill of commanding a working piece of art through the dips and valleys of the highway. The world is just a little more open to the feminine side of the motorcycle world.

Intelligent and driven, these classy chicks nurture their inner divas and carve out a special niche in the biker world. While some still prefer the passenger seat, women riders are as diverse as the rides they love. Professional women and stay-at-home moms alike share the road and blaze the way for their sisters and daughters to follow in the same tracks.

This May, celebrate the women bikers who share a piece of the open road. Cheer on the pink skull caps, the curvy leather clad rider who loves the life as much as her brethren. Slide your left hand down in an enthusiastic biker wave as they blow the cobwebs out of the baffles in a cloud of dust, and pink leather.

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The 5th annual 2009 AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference 
was held in Keystone Colorado August 19 -22. This years theme: ‘Riding to New Heights’. 

There were 1,000 avid motorcyclists in attendance. The event was sponsored by Harley
Davidson and Buell. 

The beautiful Keystone Resort and Conference Center, with the Rocky Mountains in the background, provided the perfect location for four days of training sessions, riding, seminars, riding, speeches, and yes, more riding!

Celebrating the dramatic, and continuing, increase in the number of female riders and the role they will have on the future of riding, this conference was an testament of the AMA’s dedication to representing all riders no matter what, or how you ride. 

The keynote speech by Ashley Fiolek, the defending Motorcross Association National Champion and X Games gold
medalist, who was born deaf and was the first woman to compete on the Honda racing team. 

Fiolek told of her challenges in breaking into such a male dominated sport. She stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with those who believe in you and your dreams and will support you in the pursuit of those dreams. After Fiolek’s passionate speech the crowd, many of whom were moved to tears, gave her a standing ovation. 

Throughout the 4 day event, punctuated by social events such as the Rocky Mountain Barn Dance and the International Street Party, there were many inspirational speakers such as: AMA’s President and CEO Rob
Dingman, newest member of the AMA’s board of directors Maggie McNally, Leslie Prevish the great-granddaughter of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson, Jan Plessner Public Relations Manager for Kawasaki, and Leslie Porterfield the land-speed record holder and 2008 AMA Female Athlete of the Year. 

AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa summed up the event like this: “The AMA is appreciative of all the speakers, guests and sponsors who helped make the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and
Buell, possible,” “We had an incredible time in Keystone, and I’m sure I speak for all the attendees when I say that I came home more optimistic about the future of
women and motorcycling than ever before.”

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