INTERNATIONAL FEMALE RIDE DAY
On the first Saturday in May, International Female Ride Day celebrates women motorcycle riders. The day also encourages and empowers other women to get involved in powersports.
Daimler Reitwagen invented the first motorbike with a gas-powered combustion engine in 1885. Motorcycles became a vehicle of choice during WWII, and after the war ended, motorcycle sales in the United States and Europe skyrocketed. However, credit for the increase in sales goes to former soldiers – the primary riders of this mode of transportation. Through the years, motorcycles became more popular with civilians.
In 1970, there were 5 million registered motorcycles in the United States. Most of these motorcyclists were male. As a result, it became quite common for men to operate a motorcycle with a woman going along for the ride. Eventually, however, more and more females began buying and riding their own motorcycles. In 2009, 10 percent of all motorcycle owners were female. In 2018, that number increased to 19 percent. This statistic translates to 1 in 5 motorcycle owners being a woman.
There are many reasons motorcycles are beginning to become more popular for women. Riding a motorcycle is a great way to help women conquer their fears and increase their confidence. Women also enjoy the fact that riding a motorcycle helps them burn calories and stay physically fit. Getting together with other female riders also provides a way to build friendships and connect with others.
Women aren’t just operating their own motorcycle, however. More women than ever ride scooters, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). In addition, women’s interest in powersports is increasing in popularity.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FemaleRideDay
Participate in Female Ride Day by taking a ride and encourage other women to join you. Just ride! Other ways to participate include:
- Learn about famous women motorcyclists, such as Effie and Avis Hotchkiss, Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, Dorothy “Dot” Robinson, and Bessie Stringfield.
- Check out the Itchy Boots YouTube channel, which highlights the worldwide travels of a female biker named Noraly.
- Go to your local motorcycle dealership and look at the different kinds of motorcycles.
- Plan to go to a motorcycle rally.
May is also National Motorcycle Safety Month. Take a refresher safety course, spread the word about motorcycle safety, and encourage motorists and other riders to be on the lookout for motorcycles. Use #FemaleRideDay or #IFRD to spread awareness for this fun day on social media.
INTERNATIONAL FEMALE RIDE DAY HISTORY
Vicki Gray, a lifetime motorcycle advocate and road and race instructor, created International Female Ride Day in 2007. Her purpose is to profile and highlight women who enjoy motorcycling. In addition, her mission is to build awareness of female motorcyclists and encourage women to take up the sport. Today, women in more than 120 countries participate. Motoress, a motorcycling lifestyle community and motorcycle resource, oversees International Female Ride Day.
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