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Thread: We've come a long way BABY!

  1. #1
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    We've come a long way BABY!

    I was reminiscing about one of the first panels of riders I was on in the early 90's in preparation for which I'd searched the internet to find information to share a snapshot of women riders. 9 1/2 out of 10 of the sites I visited featured women as decoration. Riding their own bikes? Well, not really.

    Fast forward to this article Chris sent me today:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle2271331/

    The first statistic astounded me:
    Many women are overcoming that trepidation. About 23 per cent of Canadian riders are female, says Jo-Anne Farquar, director of communications and public affairs for the Motorcycle and Moped Industry Council.
    And I loved how the article went on to really note the importance of good gear - not just "pretty".

    Which caused me to wonder, what changes have you seen?

    Voni
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  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Next step.... more women mechanics.
    Kevin Huddy
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  3. #3
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
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    Working on it! Not motorcycles, but our 22 yr old daughter is a 4th year apprentice auto mechanic! Not what we expected, but we're SO proud of her!

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clowry View Post
    Working on it! Not motorcycles, but our 22 yr old daughter is a 4th year apprentice auto mechanic! Not what we expected, but we're SO proud of her!
    Once she learns everything about cars, bikes are easy!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    A Harley-ridin' neighbor of mine has a daughter who recently graduated from MMI's Harley school in Arizona with excellent grades - and the U.S. Navy signed her up as a jet engine mechanic!

    Guys have the brawn, gals have the dexterity!

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    Smaller Hands. . .

    will help a whole bunch! There are only a FEW times during any motorcycle repair job where a man's (usually) greater upper-body and hand strength is required, and maybe you can borrow one of these very SIMPLE tools to help crack that stuck nut. You all have your mysterious ways.

    Also, just an observation that is NOT original with me: Men have "different" egos vs. women. This "difference" can be critical to avoid the biggest "gumption trap" of all -- (big) ego. (Thanks, R. Pirsig) It helps tremendously to admit to yourself that you don't know the answer, or didn't observe something closely enough to do a competent repair, nor admit that "maybe I made a mistake." This basic nature of the human operating system directly affects a mechanic's ability to SEE and UNDERSTAND what she is observing.

    Example: Do you know why it takes 10,000 "tadpoles" to fertilize just ONE egg? Because NONE of the tadpoles will stop and ask for directions. (Old joke. Mod can dump it if offensive.) Yeah, like that.

    Women who ride? Priceless.

    Women who ride/wrench? Omygod!

    Walking Eagle

  7. #7
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Well, back to the OP's intent.... I think. The biggest change I've noticed is that Annie is no longer sitting behind me on my bike; she is now normally in front of me on one of her bikes. Perhaps the most life changing words she ever uttered (other than,"I'm pregnant") were, "I want my own bike." They were perhaps the most expensive words she ever said as well. Riding used to be a hobby of mine and she occasionally joined me for short rides. Now riding is a major part of our lives and was a key reason in our choice to retire earlier than planned. The change in the role of women in motorcycling in our case is significant. Other indications of the growth of women in our sport are all around us. For example, one of the tour guides for a major tour company in Alaska is a young woman. The growth in the number of women riding solo in Alaska has led to her company offering Women Only tours. Yet, it appears that the full recognition of women in biking is still to be achieved. Gear designed for women is still harder to find than it should be and motorcycle companies fail to build and market to women to the degree that makes sense. Women control the purse strings to a very large degree so my guess is that companies will respond and cater to a greater degree to their needs.
    Kevin Huddy
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    Worth repeating I guess. The BIGGEST difference I have noticed since I started riding in May, 1970 is that there are Other women riding their own bikes. I actually can say that from 1970 to 1988..my first stint riding...I NEVER EVER ran across another lady riding her own bike. Maybe I live in the boonies??? It still excites me to see others even today. The rallies really opened my eyes and it s with great pride that I say that our very own Ontario, Canada, Provincial Police Golden Helmets motorcycle squad is led by a woman, Lise Grenier! Woo Hoo!! Added to their normal duties as motorcycle cops, they put on precision riding shows that blow your mind!! Try that in the late 60's!! So we have the Musical ride on horses with the RCMP then the motorcycle Cops, led by a lady.

    One difference that isn't so good for ladies (and some guys) that have inseam challenges is that many of the bikes offered for sale today in the dual purpose or off road sectors are so tall! Yeah...good suspension etc etc but gee I just want something I can touch down on and can lift it when if falls!??I'm not looking to be a pro racer! Why back in my day (LOL)...there were all those great enduros...Yamaha DT1 and it's large family, the Can Am, Kawis for instance. Now us shorty pants have to go and have professionals lower the bikes.

  9. #9
    AVID MotoTours mototraveler's Avatar
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    The difference

    I ditto suecanada. There are a lot more women riders nowadays. When I started riding in 1976 there were only a couple of women in my (then fairly new) MSF class. Now, I think the women riders in the US are also around 20 percent. Manufacturers are starting to take women seriously and know they spend a lot of their own money and influence their partner's spending of money on the sport. We are getting more involved.

    It's nice to finally be taken seriously as a woman rider and someone involved in the motorcyle industry. One of my goals in life is to be the oldest woman rider at a BMW National Rally. (I can't hope much for mileage awards with people like Voni, Ardys and Gail around :-).
    Karen Thomson #30509
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  10. #10
    James suttie's Avatar
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    Globe Article

    Voni, I must say that you and Paul have added so much to the BMWOA over the years. I am new to riding and even newer to the club, but I am in awe of what you have done. I hope I can get to 100,000 km., let alone 1,000,000 miles one day. But hope springs eternal!!

    My question is, how would you in TX, get to read an article in the Globe and Mail?
    James
    Vancouver, BC

    BMW R1200 GS, BMW S1000RR, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Porsche Boxster S

  11. #11
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suttie View Post
    Voni, I must say that you and Paul have added so much to the BMWOA over the years. I am new to riding and even newer to the club, but I am in awe of what you have done. I hope I can get to 100,000 km., let alone 1,000,000 miles one day. But hope springs eternal!!

    My question is, how would you in TX, get to read an article in the Globe and Mail?
    Thanks for your kind words. Motorcycling has surely enriched our lives.

    When I started out by not daring to leave my yard for my first 100 sMiles I never envisioned a million in my future. Surprise yourself!

    As to the article, a friend sent me the link. The internet is a powerful learning tool when you learn to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Voni
    sMiling
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  12. #12
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Daytona


    Elena Myers celebrates her SuperSport Race 2 win in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway.
    Kevin Huddy
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  13. #13
    Unabashed Bike Freak
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    Hi Ladies (and Gents),

    Way back when the crust of the Earth was cooling, my father got me a 1959 Lambretta LD125 scooter. I was in high school when he brought the thing home, and it looked like heaven on wheels to me! I didn't have a driver's license yet, so I rode it around the rather large yard, and managed to break the little pencil-sized drive-shaft.

    (Me) "Poppa, will you fix my bike?"

    (Pop) "Nope, but I'll show you how."

    (Me) "Ewww. Really?"

    So I got gloves and old clothes, and with tons of help, changed out the shaft. That was at least 75 or 80 bikes ago, and I probably worked on 75% of them. At the time I was a bit miffed that my father didn't just fix it for me, but I have come to love and appreciate his wisdom in making me do it. And it's funny, when some guy remarks about one of my bikes, and asks who does my mechanical work, and I smile a bit and say, "Why, me, of course. You think I'd trust anyone else?"

    And here's the thing: after raising a son, two step-sons and a step-daughter, working on a bike is *SO* easy!! Seriously, anybody can do it!

    Besides, it's such wonderful therapy!
    Barb

    R80/7, R75/6
    A bunch of Brits

  14. #14
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    Elena Myers is up and coming, saw her turn a few laps at Indy MotoGP this year. She very well for the amount of seat time she has had.

  15. #15
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Barb! Love your story

    And huge congrats to Elana!

    Voni
    sMiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara Jean View Post
    Hi Ladies (and Gents),

    Way back when the crust of the Earth was cooling, my father got me a 1959 Lambretta LD125 scooter. I was in high school when he brought the thing home, and it looked like heaven on wheels to me! I didn't have a driver's license yet, so I rode it around the rather large yard, and managed to break the little pencil-sized drive-shaft.

    (Me) "Poppa, will you fix my bike?"

    (Pop) "Nope, but I'll show you how."

    (Me) "Ewww. Really?"

    So I got gloves and old clothes, and with tons of help, changed out the shaft. That was at least 75 or 80 bikes ago, and I probably worked on 75% of them. At the time I was a bit miffed that my father didn't just fix it for me, but I have come to love and appreciate his wisdom in making me do it. And it's funny, when some guy remarks about one of my bikes, and asks who does my mechanical work, and I smile a bit and say, "Why, me, of course. You think I'd trust anyone else?"

    And here's the thing: after raising a son, two step-sons and a step-daughter, working on a bike is *SO* easy!! Seriously, anybody can do it!

    Besides, it's such wonderful therapy!
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
    Selected Friends of Wile E Coyote/ A Million BMW sMiles

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