People often ask me why I ride. Thanks to Tom Roderick ‘s Top 10 Reasons Why Women Should Become Motorcyclists, I found ten instant answers. Maybe I should print the article out and bring it with me next time I go to the gas station.
I even found the article more amusing because of its disclaimer: “Just remember, ladies, this list was written by a man (who really tried not to mess it up too badly), so an open mind and a sense of humor is encouraged.”
In case you’re also considering riding, or are just curious, let me share the reasons with you, along with some of a girl’s comments (which are just mine; other women are may see differently.)
“1. For The Same Reason Men Do, Because It’s F’ing Awesome”
This is the most accurate part of the list. Being on a motorcycle is an awesome, exhilarating, fun, spiritual, physical, challenging experience. On the bike, I don’t just see the world around me. I experience myself as part of it and as asserting who I am in it. Riding is my metaphor for freedom.
Riding is also awesome because of a host of practical reasons. The motorcycle consumes less gas. It’s also easier to find parking and I get to my destinations much faster.
“2. Be Sexier, Happier And More Confident”
While this comes from survey results released by Harley-Davidson, which I would tend to take with a grain of salt because this information also serves as their advertisement, I have to generally agree. Riding has positive effects on how I feel about myself. I’m not an expert, so every little improvement and every new learning, is for me, a success worth celebrating.
“3. Be An Inspiration To Other Women”
I haven’t really thought about this until now, but it’s true!
I visited a friend one day, and the daughter of his friend’s neighbor saw me arrive on a motorbike. The little girl was shocked. With big round eyes on her face, she exclaimed, “You’re a girl!” I pointed to her bicycle and told her that she doesn’t need to be a boy to do the things she’d like to do. All she has to do is practice.
Other women riders have also inspired me. I admire Elena Myers who is the first woman to win in AMA Pro Road Racing. She’s a young woman with a fun personality who keeps her Facebook updated. She’s open about her feelings of defeat and victories. She’s a winner who shows that life is not just about the trophies.
Liz Jansen is a new discovery. I’m excited about her blog and podcast. She explicitly hopes to empower other women.
“4. Reduce Wrinkles, Tone Your Thighs And Firm Your Buttocks”
I wish. I must admit that this part isn’t very true. If you want to improve on your thighs and buttocks, riding a bicycle might be a more effective way of sculpting your figure.
But, riding does involve the whole body and a lot of muscles too. We can never just drive motorcycles; we can only ride them.
(Which is also why I don’t drive my husband crazy.)
“5. Be the Be The Coolest Soccer Mom Around”
I’m not yet a mom and I don’t know if I will be but this sounds like a good plan.
“6. It’s Riding A Motorcycle – Everyone Should Do It”
In my country, motorcycle riding is often associated with working and lower classes. It is also often associated with criminal activity. For this reason, we often experience discrimination on the road, too many check-points, intimidation, and a lot of other awful stuff.
If #6 were to happen, many biases could be overcome. Yes, I hope more people would at least try riding. It’s a good way to develop alertness, respect and compassion.
“7. Reveals Men With Ego Problems”
A guy once told me that he chased a girl as soon as a red light turned green just because he couldn’t accept that a girl on a motorbike went ahead of him. Really serious ego problem here.
“8. Men Dig Women Who Ride”
I’ve often encountered extreme reactions. Some men seem to hate that I ride (#7) while some men find it really cool (#8). I must admit that I appreciate the positive attention, but I consider this to be just a bi-product, since my main reasons are #1 and #2.
“9. Stock Up On Leather Apparel”
Leather. Yes, there’s always a discount somewhere, and not everyone has a reason to wear it. Riders always do… well, okay, not exactly always. In my country, we only have two weathers: sunny and rainy. Both aren’t the best for leather.
However, I could still pull off wearing leather without looking entirely stupid. After all, I can still say that leather is for safety, right?
“10. Do Something Most Females Don’t”
Being unique is indeed one of the many perks, but this is double-edged. It’s both interesting and annoying.
Until now, the riders I know call everyone “Bro.” I still haven’t found gloves that are really my size. And, people still call me “sir” before I remove my helmet.