Monday, June 9, 2014

Women Make Better Riders

women-motorcycle-riders
Women make better motorcycle riders because women are able to admit what they don't know.

An important part of being a good rider is humility. Respecting what you do know and don't know are crucial aspects in growing as a rider. The number of women riders on the rise across the U.S., with approximately 27% of all riders being women. But new statistics indicate the amount of motorcycle fatalities are down significantly. Can this be that women are conditioned to accept the humility of being a student more aptly than men?

If that is the case, then we have to ask ourselves why men are so conditioned to have all the answers. I believe this is from centuries of the male dominated hierarchical society in which women were stripped of their rights and treated as the second class. Over thousands of years, women have come into their own, with the help of a few feminists along the way. But men have been trained all this time to be bread winners, providers, and fixers. From boyhood, they are raised to take care of a wife and family, and always have the answers.

In my experience with men I've found that many of them find it difficult to be out-done by a woman, in almost any arena. Few men possess the humility to stand aside and let a woman take charge. Often when this happens, they do so begrudgingly, while still complaining to the other men behind her back. Women leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Corazon Aquino, Marie Curie and Condoleezza Rice have endured the slings and arrows of not only the men with whom they work, but the media as well. A friend of mine, California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, was recently called "slut" by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez on the House floor, who muttered this slur under his breath. She simply ignored the insult, as is customary in these situations.

We've come to expect that men will be insulted by women who challenge them and as women, we find ways to cope with this behavior.

One way is to be humble. This humility has grown to serve women well over the years, and now serves them in an entirely new way. Women respect the power and danger of motorcycles. They also are humble enough to be good students, thus becoming conscientious riders.

Also, women typically don't typically show off in the ways men do. That's not to say we don't have the shortcoming of being competitive with one another, but pulling daredevil stunts isn't usually the way we exhibit our prowess.

Not only are women who ride happier than those who do not, they ride safer than their male counterparts.

All of this boils down to create a new breed of riders. Or does it? Is this only a swing of the pendulum? Will we see women become more careless or dangerous as the years go by?

What do you think? I'm curious, so give me your thoughts.
Sash-Walker-woman-motorcycle-rider

10 comments:

  1. I fail to see how anyone can make a call on something so complex. A single point of view like who is the better rider, female or male, the expertise of the rider has nothing to do with the sex of the rider. We all ride our own way, and none of us should ever think they are better than someone else. One of the reasons I refuse to "teach" someone how to ride. Why should I impart my (probably wrong) advise to someone, knowing that they will sometime down the road, pass that lesson to another. This leads to people thinking they are better equipped mentally or physically than someone else. People ride, male and female. If anyone out there thinks their style of riding is better, or worse than someone else, should park the damn bike. If you have the attitude that because of your sex you are a better rider, you should sell the bike because immaturity will kill you, self centered egos, and the sexist attitude will probably cause you to take someone along the casket parade with you.

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  2. Comment number 1 is the perfect example of what you talked about, Sash, with the mentality of men vs. women riders.

    I agree men feel threatened by a female rider. This mentality affects every aspect of life, from my own experience.

    I believe that the female rider today is a new breed of rider. They bring a whole different aspect and perspective to riding than previously. Female motorcycle racers for example. It's a whole different mindset.

    Personally, riding has given me the confidence for life in general.

    As you, Sash, have written, riding is so liberating and empowering. We get out there and escape all of our stresses. Many times, even work out something that has been weighing heavily on our hearts/minds. From what I gather from male riders is that they're out there for the challenge of the technicality of the ride, etc. It's probably an escape... but, do they really work out the hard questions while out there. I don't know, I never hear any of the male motorcyclists around me talk about that aspect of it.

    Riding helps me to be a better person... because it humbles me, it liberates me and empowers me. Do men experience this as well?

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  3. The Headline was an attention getter. The first sentence of the third paragraph degrades the article into man bashing. You further this notion into the fourth paragraph.

    So, I question why you take a perfectly good opportunity to make a maybe valid point off the road and into the gutter? Seems that is what Mr. Poulin objects to and I'll suspect he has company.

    The fatality statistics get lost, but should be a focal point. With the percentage of women riders increasing this shouldn't be a surprise. If for no other reason outer than the testosterone ruled male brain of many new riders. I would offer that when a woman starts riding she respects the machine and her vulnerability being on the road. This leads to less risk taking and learning how to really ride before going 'balls to the wall', as it were. Every year here there are 5 -10 new male riders, usually on crotch rockets, who get killed and all, or most, include speed and/or alcohol as factors.

    I, personally, am not threatened by women riders in any fashion. I think we need more of them. I have helped get 3 different women into riding their own and still encourage others to ride.

    To Ms Edwards, the ride for a man or woman, from my experience, is the same. An escape, liberating, calming, working out the hard questions, and empowering. Not surprising no male rider has ever talked you to about it. Society would call them weak and the brotherhood would revoke his man card, the sisterhood would make him a laughingstock. If you want humble, just ride solo across the AL-Can Highway on the way to Alaska. Picture being less than a speck on a map of the area and that is humbling and awe inspiring all at the same time.

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  4. Sash, you did a wonderful job articulating your point putting in enough disclaimers to ensure you were not talking in absolutes. This is hard to do as a writer, and I applaud your efforts as well as your growing talents as a writer and thought leader in motorcycling. And what was so funny to me was the fact that the points you make as they relate to gender are illustrated so well in the tone and criticisms in the comments preceding mine. Your writing couldn't have elicited any better responses! Well done my friend.

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  5. Some good points you bring up here. You have a rational, very well thought out opinion.

    Tommy

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  6. Hi Tina,

    I thought this was an interesting piece...thought provoking and at times maybe a little a baiting. Are women better riders than men? For now, probably so. Unfortunately with time, as they become more comfortable and mainstream, they'll likely wind up just like the men.

    I'm glad to see more women riding their own and I e don't have a problem with having a woman lead a ride. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what sex you are you need to be confident in your skills but not cocky...because cockiness will get you killed.

    Thanks for stirring the pot and keeping us on our toes.

    Cheers,
    Curt

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.

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  7. Hi Tina,

    I thought this was an interesting piece...thought provoking and at times maybe a little a baiting. Are women better riders than men? For now, probably so. Unfortunately with time, as they become more comfortable and mainstream, they'll likely wind up just like the men.

    I'm glad to see more women riding their own and I e don't have a problem with having a woman lead a ride. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what sex you are you need to be confident in your skills but not cocky...because cockiness will get you killed.

    Thanks for stirring the pot and keeping us on our toes.

    Cheers,
    Curt

    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've always been fascinated about the differences between men and women and how they think, respond, and react to different situations. As an instructor, I need to tailor my teaching style toward each individual, and there definitely are differences between how males and females take in information and respond that support your article's findings. However, I would never make a definitive statement and declare that women are better riders than men - and I definitely wouldn't title an article this way. I think that this title is an obvious attention-grabbing blanket statement that will put men on the defensive right away and doesn't give any clout to the actual topic, which I believe is supposed to be about humility. Can you imagine if a man wrote a blog and titled it "Why men are better riders than women?" It would create an uproar because this is no longer acceptable in our society. I think we need to be very careful about crossing that double-standard line so that the actual meat of a good article like this has some validity.

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  9. We could really get into semantics here -- but Sash did not make any declarative absolute statements about all women riders. She said women "make" better riders. She didn't say women "are" better riders. By saying "make" - she is couching her words here implying "has the capacity to be," in other words women possess all the components to be better riders than some men. Yes, we could round and round here on semantics, but Sash herself is a woman of whom speaks -- "admits she doesn't know" and is "humble." Nowhere does not speak in absolutes. If she did, she would have used the word are, not make. Make is a "couching" word used specifically for a certain purpose.

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  10. womens also still exist become great riders
    :-)

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About Sash


People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)