Monday, April 23, 2012

Ladies that Ride

This is going to sound messed up but it seems to me that girls are not associated with "riding" but rather as an accessory to motorcycles.  Whenever I think of girls and motorcycles I think of something like the above images, where some half naked girl is stripped down posing for a picture.  And how about the one that's not even on the bike?? Just laying next to it in something that somewhat matches the bike? In fact Google it, just put in female motorcycle riders and your going to see a bunch of girls that are not dressed to ride properly.  While there is nothing wrong with this I do feel like it has brought about a large stereotype that women are supposed to be seen as feminine and bikes are supposed to be masculine. Times are changing, and with this we are seeing many more women taking the role of motorists.

Now I ask of you, which girl do you find is more attractive?  The female above because she's clearly showing off her ability to ride?(sarcasm) or the girls who actually looks like a rider?  there is no wrong answer here but i feel like as society trains us we want to say the girl in the above picture is the more attractive one, but then there's this deep dark secret about the lady beneath.  What attracts us (heterosexual males) to see that the woman in the below image is more attractive?  She is showing off more masculine qualities but men usually like this, the fact that a woman knows how to control such a machine I think is what brings our eyes to this particular woman.

I did a little research to find out how long women have been recorded riding motorcycles throughout history. Here's what I came up with- "Women who ride motorcycles may seem inherently tough, rebellious, and sexy, but "Women & Motorcycling," a traveling exhibit assembled by the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, in Pickerington, Ohio, is out to change all that. Women have been riding motorcycles since the early 1900s..."  

Bessie Stringfield, an African-American woman who began riding in 1927, when she was 16. Stringfield completed eight solo cross-country tours during her 66-year career, jumped on and off a moving motorcycle with ease when challenged by a police captain who doubted her riding ability, and served as a dispatch rider in the U.S. Army.
Notice how even back in the early 1900's Bessie was still being objectified as a woman by the way she is posing on the motorcycle, as if she had no talent at all.  I think this may have been then starting point for trying to capture what is sexy to men.  America at the time was still dealing with equal rights and segregation so it's kind of surprising to see a woman such as Bessie become so recognized.

1st Woman/or Girl to Win an AMA race ever!
I was at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California attending the West Coast Moto Jam in 2010, when I witnessed the first female rider to ever win a race in AMA (American Motorcycle Association) history.

For those that know Sonoma, knows it wine country out there, and good wine usually translates to good weather.  Needless to say the race day was incredibly hot out when the riders started the race.  There was one red flag early on in the race and the riders were allowed to enter the track again.  Elena Myers only 16 years old at the time climbed her way into 1st position and held the spot for at least a lap before another racer went down raising another red flag for the race.  On the second red flag, the race is called and the leader of the race is announced the winner.  Although it was by default, Elena Meyers went down in history as the first female rider ever to win an AMA race that weekend. She quotes "I got a good restart off the front row and made some moves. I felt like I was getting a little bit closer to the leader with about eight or nine laps to go. I came around the next lap and the red flag was shown again."  People may argue that she may have not been able to keep that pace for the remaining 8 laps but the fact remains that she was in front when the race was called.-- a video clip of Elena on her kawaski-->Elena Myers Racing

I think what it all boils down to is that sex sells, no matter what ever happens sex will always be a very prominent issue in today's society.  But why would we encourage this kind of behavior?  Why make women objects? As a quick note, these girls posing for pictures with their hair and makeup all done up are getting paid to be in these pictures, and if they are willing to do so then who's to tell them they're wrong?

Dykes on Bikes
Something that I feel like I need to address is the fact that Dykes on Bikes is a huge community of lesbian women that ride motorcycles.  I think some of the issue here is that they take on the masculine role of the rider and therefore assume more of a male personality.  These women are seen to be large hairy and usually have a short haircut resembling a males.  Now I want to question, if these are women who ride motorcycles and are taking on the role of a male in the biker community then I want to say that something about society has trained us to believe that men are the people that belong in the drivers seat and their female counterparts are on the back. 

 Some interesting pics of girls on motorcycles

Youtube Vids of Female Riders (Really cool to Watch!)
Female Rider Interview

Melissa Paris Onboard Racing

Women on Wheels. (2001). American Heritage, 52(1), 20.

I would love some feedback on this because it's something I don't know too much about.  How do any girls/women feel about riding motorcycles?

Until next time, Peace out!
Johnny 5-


  1. Keep up the good bloggin!

    Can you please credit me for using my photo on your page?
    Blog ON!
    Brenda Fox
    (Riding my blue chopper)

  2. Put credit where its due! Thanks Brenda Fox for the Google pic of a hot lady rider on a badass motorcycle!

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  4. As a female who rides I'm sick of seeing the images at the top of the story for two reasons: 1) I doubt these women actually ride and 2) Where are the hot, scantily-clad men and cool bike pics?? Seriously though, I prefer the pics of women who actually ride, and my experience of hetero men who ride, is that they agree (but the divide between men who find a pretty woman with a kick-ass personality more attractive than a pretty women who is/seems easy has always been around). And at the end of the day, I ride because I love it (and certainly don't look hot doing it, hello helmet-hair! ...though my fiancé disagrees with me), which I dare say is why most women who ride do it. I'm glad you showcased both, especially the pioneers.