Women's Rider Stories
To submit your own women's rider story click here and email us! Be sure to provide a story (200 word max) and a picture of yourself and your bike in jpeg, eps, or pdf format.
Why I Ride...
It's my mother's fault. No, she's never been on the back of a Harley. Her hair was always too well coiffed, her nails too neatly manicured, her clothes too finely tailored to make riding a hog sensible. But, despite the outer trappings of traditional femininity, she was always fiercely independent and taught me that women can do anything they want, even if it's supposed to be something traditionally reserved for men.
I've been around bikes all my life and have owned one for nearly 20 years. For me, a motorcycle has always been freedom: Freedom from the confines of four doors, four windows and a box; freedom from factory air, factory upholstery and the factor radio; freedom from the cell phone and the meetings; from laundry and the dishes; from bills and chores. All your senses are heightened when you ride. You see all around you, you hear life happening, you catch scents of restaurants and the salt air and feel the wind caress your face. With a motorcycle, you can go anywhere at anytime and do anything.
I feel free but not alone. There are countless others who have experienced the zen-like calm of riding a motorcycle and they have welcomed me into their community withopen arms. This is what makes the Harley-Davidson family truly unique.
-Beth Reynolds, a rider
As a child in Arkansas, I can remember loving to ride just about anything that was motorized, whether it was the lawn mower, open-air tractor, or my three or four wheeler. Being outside in the country air exploring the world was exhilarating. I knew early on I would buy a motorcycle as an adult, it was meant to be. Riding for me is the moment where I can actually, without effort, live in the now. As adults we tend to forget how to live in the now during our hectic everyday life. Hours and days go by and we wonder where did the time go? When I ride there is nothing that distracts me, I am totally focused on my riding experience, no thoughts of the past, present, or future. Life is clear; I am 100% at peace. Even after my rides, the energy I feel lasts for hours. The beauty of the world and life is noticed. The wind stimulates all my senses as if it was going straight through me. I am awake and the endless possibilities of life become part of my reality.
-Lara Shelton, a rider
I rode on the back of a motorcycle for many years with my husband. It was a fun way to get around. One day my husband planted the idea in my head that I might want to learn to ride. That was the beginning. I discovered that it is much more fun in the front, not to mention that most of the seats are a whole lot more comfortable for the driver. I started out riding a small “vintage machine” that fit me, but I soon realized I needed a bigger bike if I wanted to ride any distance at all. I am not a big person, so I had some concerns about the weight of the bike. During a discussion someone told me, “you don’t have to carry it, you just have to balance it”. With that in mind I gradually worked my way into a V-twin, and being able to keep up with traffic and the occasional interstate trip opened up a whole new world of getting places.
When I’m riding a motorcycle I feel connected with the bike in a way that is much different than with a car. I like the way everything works together to give me the feeling of being in control of the machineâ€¦not just along for the ride. I use my bike for my daily transportation whenever I can. It’s economical transportation and unless there is rain in the forecast, I ride, including our fabulous “love bug” season. I try to avoid the bug splatter on my face shield whenever I can, but I usually go prepared to ride, even if it means getting a little wet or the occasional cloud of insects.
Motorcycling has become a big part of my life and it grows the more I ride. It is a common interest that I share with my husband, and it has also allowed me to meet new people. I belong to a women’s only motorcycle club, Women in the Wind. Our chapter is very small, but we get together on a regular basis to ride to new places and take some of the roads less traveled. No matter what group I ride with on a particular day, when we stop, there are stories shared by everyone about their experiences and their lives. There are a lot of things about riding for me that make it fun, but one of the most enjoyable aspects is the camaraderie. I still smile when another motorcyclist rides past me and gives me that hand out as a greeting. Ride Safe. Ride often.
-Theresa, a rider
My husband has owned a Fat Boy motorcycle for a few years and I have always enjoyed riding with him. I will have to admit, it was hard to really enjoy the ride when all I was looking at was the back of his head. In August of 2008, Jim's Harley was having a Ladies Garage Party. My husband encouraged me to attend, so I did. I was the recipient of the free Rider's Edge& Course and quickly registered for the All Ladies Course in October 2008. The instructors, Charles and John, were fabulous. They taught me, a very unskilled rider, everything I needed to know. I passed the course with A's in both the written and riding sections. Be known, I have never ridden a motor bike of any kind. I enjoyed the class so much and my new profound skills that I immediately started to ride my husband's Fat Boy. My husband would take me to quiet areas and let me ride. Â Of course, with him on the side of the road. I would ride a little ways, then return. He said that I rode like I have been riding for years. Within a few months, November 2008 to be exact, I purchased my very own Fat Boy! We have been taking rides almost every weekend. I absolutely love the feeling of the stress-free ride and look forward to every weekend. I have also done a few charity Poker Runs, which I find very interesting.
Sandi Anders, a rider