|Las Amigas in Nevada|
When folks see a group of women riders, or a lone rider, they are surprised and curious. Questions, the reasonable and the ridiculous, roll out of their mouths.
“Hah! A bunch of women?”
“Where are you going?”
“How much does that motorcycle weigh?”
The first cross-country bike trip I took was with my friend Sharon in the early ‘90s. Starting out on Honda Helix scooters, we rode west to dip our toes in the Pacific Ocean. Then, we headed east to do the same in the Atlantic. I remember one question: “What are you going to do if it rains?”
Naïve, we laughed and said, “We will get a motel, sit down, and read our books.”
|Beth and I coming home in the rain|
Always, my first response is, “Strangers have jumped out of their vehicles and off their porches to help me pick it up!” And that’s true. It’s happened more than once. I could take you through the alphabet with names of places where folks have come to my aid. But, at almost every women’s motorcycle rally, there are demonstrations and opportunities to practice picking up a downed bike. Even a Gold Wing.
“Can you change your own oil or work on your bike?”
I have to quote and agree with one motorcycle buddy from years ago who said, “That’s why I have a job. So I can pay a mechanic to do that.”
I can check tire pressure and put air in, check the oil, and, thanks to my friend Sylvia, refill the coolant reservoir. Once I even changed the battery, with Judy beside me reading the directions.
|Getting TJ's bike started; Sylvia in the saddle|
A lot of women riders have the knowledge and skills to do their own motorcycle repair and maintenance. If anything goes wrong with a bike, Sylvia, can figure out the problem and most often fix it. There have been times when Sylvia’s just laid hands on an unresponsive Big Red and she starts! The women I ride with, Laurie, Virginia, and Sylvia, amaze me with their skill, determination, and guts when tackling the mechanics of motorcycles.
|PattyB in Glenwood Springs, CO|
“Did you ride that thing all the way here?”
This question is one that is tempting to answer with sarcasm. Believe me, those kinds of retorts flash through most women’s minds. But, we refrain from speaking them aloud out of decency toward the speaker and as a matter of insuring our own safety. But, when we gather over dinner and a beer, the comebacks and laughter flow. “Well, I rode it half-way and pushed it half-way.”
Every motorcyclist I know welcomes the opportunity to talk about his or her bike. So, go ahead. Just ask your question. What is it that you’ve always wondered?
~ xoA ~