Roundtable: Why bond with other female riders?


Later this week the three-woman team is hitting the road for our first big trip of the season. We're headed to Babes Ride Out East Coast, an all-women camping rally in New York's Catskill mountains. It's about 1,400 miles round trip and we're in full-blown planning/packing mode!

Babes is a unique organization that puts on all-women-rider events nationwide, and as female ridership has grown, so has popularity of events like these. This will be Shannon's second and Mel and Jamie's third time attending BRO East.

For this week's roudtable, we ask:

Why is it important to bond with other female riders?



Shannon
When I started riding there were not nearly the amount of female riders there are today. It’s really awesome to see the amount of Instagram and Facebook accounts dedicated to women riding motorcycles.

A few years ago, I had my first opportunity to attend an all women’s motorcycle gathering (Babes in Motoland), I didn’t know what to expect but it was purely amazing. I was on a female empowerment high for at least a month after the event.

Connecting with other female riders means getting to discuss things you just can’t talk about with the male MC community. I heard so many stories about similar fears and successes while behind the bars. Stories about working through stereotypes and the hilarious assumptions that have been made about women on motorcycles.

I encourage any female rider to attend one of the many women only events, you will find friendships and bonds that last a lifetime.



Jamie
When I tell people I'm going to a women-only event, I tend to get one of two reactions: "Ooohhh!" (women) and "...UGH, WHY...." (men). For the most part women get the appeal right away, while a certain portion of men are left scratching their heads and asking about lesbians.

Let's start here: At your average bike night, friendly and not-so-friendly teasing is the love language of choice. I've always felt an additional level of scrutiny knowing that I'm one of a small handful of "girls" that might show up. I accept it for what it is, but there is no denying that it's a completely male-dominated dynamic.

In a women-only environment, that pressure to prove you're "just one of the guys" is gone. So for me personally, that's my favorite part of these types of events. Being able to ride in the gates and not immediately feel that heaviness. (There's also the rush of seeing so many women riders assembled in one place, common experiences, all the good stuff most shared-interest rallies have.)

What Babes Ride Out, in particular, has done so well is cultivate positivity among the attendees. We may not know each other, or even hang out, but we share a love of motorcycling. In turn, there's significantly less feeling that the strangers you meet are sizing you up. Which, is pretty damn refreshing. PEOPLE ARE JUST NICE.

So let's just say I'm not saying toxic masculinity is a problem, but if you remove all the men and many of the stupidest aspects of motorcycling also disappear... well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



Melanie
Getting to see and be a part of an event with 499 other motorcyclists is super cool. Getting to see and be a part of an event with 499 other motorcyclists, who are all female, is badass.

It’s like taking a subset and breaking it down even further into even more subsets. You get an opportunity to see and learn why other women ride, and also an opportunity to examine why riding is so important to you. And the viewpoint is from level ground. We all ride and we all are female. You hear fun, crazy stories and you hear versions of the same stories that every female rider has.

You ride away with a better understanding of yourself and the female riding community, with empowerment, confidence, and inspiration to map out your next adventure.



Headed to BRO East this year? Give us a shout! We can't wait to see you there!

Comments

  1. LOVE THIS! Female only rides and events take the pressure off being in mostly male-dominated space and having to be “on” all the time. It’s also a place where we can be unabashed in our need to connect with and support other women. I've felt they focus on connection rather than competition. and No woman has ever asked me if I can "handle the power" of my motorcycle, if a man bought me my bike, or where my boyfriend is to help me load it. <3

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