March 4, 2016

Why International Female Ride Day?

While having lunch with my girlfriend yesterday, the topic of International Female Ride Day came up. We both agree it's a nice gesture to get together as women and encourage one another to ride, but I don't quite understand why we need to celebrate such an every day activity.

It seems equivalent to National Taco Day. I eat tacos almost every day simply because I love them. I don't need a special day to celebrate eating tacos.

"You ride a motorcycle? That is so badass! Girls on motorcycles are 100 times hotter than girls walking down the street! Every time! "
- my friend Robert

It's hard to explain to people that I don't ride a motorcycle because of how other people see a woman rider. I know there are women who think guys who ride are hot. I ride because I love riding. It's not as convenient as driving a car, but even in the bad weather and on the rough days, I still prefer riding.

I don't ride to look cute or hot or to be badass. Riding a motorcycle is not the most badass thing I've ever done. It is certainly not the hardest thing I've ever done.

As a child, being powerless and betrayed by my mother was hard. Losing my unborn child and my first love because of her was hard. Raising a mentally ill daughter has been terribly hard. Separating from Steve has been very, very hard. Simply surviving the storms of life has been far more badass than twisting my throttle in any rainstorm.

Riding my motorcycle is one of the best, most enjoyable things I've ever done for myself. I believe it was one of my first steps in independence. It has been a vehicle in which I've regained pieces of my true self that I seemed to have lost along the way.

For me International Female Ride Day will be simply a celebration of riding, like every other day. Every time I get on my bike I'm grateful for the opportunity to ride. It has nothing to do with being female. I'm not minimizing what it means to others. I'm simply clarifying what it means to me.

So yes, I'll be celebrating riding on IFRD because if I want to go anywhere on the last Friday in May I will be riding.


  1. I'm sure you've read all about the origination of this special event..but just in case here is what I found: International Female Ride Day© is a global campaign for women motorcyclists who own, ride, or have access to a motorcycle or scooter. The globally synchronized day invites around the world to simultaneously – “JUST RIDE”.

    By participating and riding on International Female Ride Day- this once a year globally united day, women underline and demonstrate their passion, ability and enthusiasm for motorcycling. Each women participant is a role model contributing to the activity by building awareness of female motorcyclists. This worldwide unified presence further demonstrates across all cultures , the fun and enjoyment women from all diversities share in this wonderful activity of motorcycling!

    The event occurs on the first Saturday (formerly Friday) of May each year. Women participate by simply being on their motorcycle to “JUST RIDE” …

    … to work
    … to meet a friend(s)
    … to a fitness class
    … to a local motorcycle retailer
    … to a country road
    … to take an off road or track day course
    … to a shopping mall
    … to your friends charity event …and so on.
    The day invites women to be on a motorcycle. It is not an organised ride nor is it a ride for charity per se. There is no directive other then to getting out there, on your motorcycle, scooter or trike. It’s a simple action designed not to dilute the ride day’s core message- of highlighting women motorcyclists.

    It isn’t surprising however, that numerous organized activities occur. Clubs, groups, organisations or solo- women incorporate their own purpose or theme. Often these events include a locally preferred charity or quite simply, the solidarity of camaraderie!

    This campaign was introduced by Vicki Gray director of MOTORESS to ensure the growth of women in motorcycling. The only request is that women get out on their motorcycle, scooter or trike and “JUST RIDE”!

    Motorcycles of all brands, types, styles, capacities and forms are included. It’s an all brands, all forms, all ages event. Motorcycles for street, off road/dirt or scooter, sport, duo-purpose, cruiser, touring, trike are invited to join in.

    This is one day devoted to women riders! Women of all ages, of all experience levels demonstrating their personal passion, pleasure and camaraderie through motorcycling.


    And we do ride every day but to me it seems like some women like to have their own "special" day....1st Saturday in May

    1. Thanks Lori. And yes, I read all of that. I missed the change from Friday to Saturday. I wondered about the date being on a Saturday. But even reading the website I missed it.
      I understand about this one day being devoted to women riders. But I don't want to be defined as a woman rider. I want to just be a rider. I appreciate Women Riders Now and the focus that publication gives to the special needs of women. But I believe the if we separate ourselves out as being a "special class that needs a special day" this becomes a disservice to us.
      By pointing out that we are "different" or "special" we are creating a barrier for ourselves. Are we being riders and being women riders?
      I like hanging with my girlfriends and riding with my women friends who ride. But that's because I like to surround myself with positive women. I don't need a special day for that. But like I said, this is only my opinion.

    2. Sash you do know I had nothing to do with starting this day, correct? Just wanted to make that clear in case it wasn't.

    3. Genevieve, yes, absolutely. I know this is a day created by Vicki Gray of MOTORESS. I worded my earlier comment poorly. I meant to say that WRN addresses an audience of women who ride but does not segregate these riders as being special because they are women.
      I believe that having "special days" for particular groups only creates boundaries and segregation from the whole. In my opinion we don't need to separate ourselves from the riding community because we are women. I believe having a day dedicated to women riders does just that.

  2. Sorry for being late in the conversation. I did want to share a couple things from the male perspective in support of International Female Ride Day.

    I've seen first hand how riding changed my youngest daughter opening avenues to confidence she would have had difficulty finding otherwise. And of course the pleasure and joy of being free on the road. Her choice was not easy in the face of concerned friends and family that at some level believed the usual "you'll kill yourself" to the more subtle suggestions that "only bad girls ride". I think International Female Ride Day will help illuminate the range of experience and choices available to women.

    I've spoken to women who ride on the back of their husband's motorcycles but feel their place is there and not on their own machine. And on and on with a range of roadblocks.

    Telling stories about women riders will not only support and celebrate current riders but help inspire a new generation as well.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  3. I don't wish to blend in with men who ride, although certainly I love riding with men and do so often. I absolutely celebrate being a woman rider because I like to surprise and challenge peoples' perceptions of who bikers are. Bikers arent just a homogenous group riding down the road. We're your neighbor, your wife, your mother, your daughter. Far from creating barriers or obstacles for ourselves, I think we as women have a huge opportunity to open up larger conversations about motorcycling, safety, stereotyping, and much more. I love and celebrate being a woman rider every day!

    Janet Green
    Author of e-book for women, GET ON


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