It’s here again, the fifth year where we all get on our motorcycles or scooters, together, and “JUST RIDE!” Did I know five years ago this idea would be global? Did I believe it would be embraced by women around the world? Absolutely, yes I did. That was the whole idea from the get go.
You see, International Female Ride Day was created by a female rider- yes that would be me. It was created from the heart of a woman, passionate about motorsport and with women’s best interests in mind. Five years later, it may be difficult to believe with the manner this events expanded global strength; that it is not a marketing ploy. Indeed the industry supports it as they do the woman rider segment; and yes there are industry leaders that would like to make the campaign their own (and believe me, what you don’t see is the fight, my fight and the work involved to ensure this action remains as full ownership to women riders. It’s by no means an easy task!) But it is purely about women motorcycle riders– all ages, all skill levels, and all forms of riding styles! Women agreed with the concept, its freedom and it’s very simple request – “JUST RIDE”.
Triumphantly International Female Ride Day has unified us across numerous cultures, in motorcycling- riding together on this first Friday in May! And now, after the prep and promotion is complete, I have the chance to reflect and while I do, I imagine women in Moscow, in Yellowknife, Cape Town, San Jose, and Montreal who are on their motorcycles/scooters this very same day. Emotions stir and you must feel it too!? I remember the first photos I received in 2007– every woman in each photograph donned the biggest smile. That’s what motorcycling does.
This campaign is for women who enjoy riding motorcycles. It’s about creating awareness, inspiring others and simply showing we do it; we always have and we’re darn good at it. There is no fee, no subscription, no cost, simply be on a motorcycle. Women riders are still the minority – for many reasons – be it choice, perception, culture, and social values. In earlier years there were larger hurdles such as not being permitted to partake in racing. But those who ignored the rules and competed, often won, without a podium, trophy or acknowledgement – simply because they were women.But over recent decades motorsport boundaries are being broken and “firsts” captured by women again and again!
I’ll be riding with you today as we show ourselves in force around the world and share in our camaraderie for the activity, the thing I love most in life, motorcycling. I’ll especially think of “Bikerni” India’s young women rider enthusiasts. They’re still faced with challenges and cultural restrictions such as not being permitted to ride to work or respecting evening curfews. But they worked it out and will all “JUST RIDE!” because really, it’s all we simply want to do.
From my motorcycle to yours, thanks for riding along!