Women’s Riding Essentials: Learning, Socializing, Inspiring!
Most of the time in my life, I spend my time alone on my computer or on my motorcycle, or maybe with other writers, or sometimes in a room full of publishing people. So it was a sweet change for me to be in a roomful of women motorcyclists, and I asked myself, "Why don’t I do this more often?" Well, maybe I will.
Crystal Gurr (of Scuderia West) introduced Jody and Nicole, who are touring around the country for this Women’s Riding Essentials program sponsored by Kryptonite Locks, who were very generous, I must say, in their giveaways at the end of the program!
Nicole Roesch (left) from Florida, is an endurance racer. She entered the field late, in her twenties, and says she’s old now. (She looks about 25 to me!) Jody Perewitz (right) from Massachusetts, is a rider and custom bike builder. She was born into the business, and has ridden "anything with wheels." (Read more about them in the Women Riders Now article.)
They begain with the basics.
Choosing a bike: Comfort equals confidence. Learn on a used bike, one you can keep both feet on the ground on, and just keep trading up.
Learning to ride: Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course. Even if you grew up riding, you’ll find out that what you don’t know far outweighs what you do know. Also, learning to ride in dirt translates well to street riding.
Gear: Buy the best gear you can afford–especially the best helmet. Textile’s great, cool to ride in on hot days, and you’re more likely to keep your gear on. Get hard armor, not the foamy padding.
Theft: Prevent theft–lock it up to a stationary object. (Like, um, maybe a Kryptonite lock? 😉
Keep Learning: There are lots of women’s events: FemmeMoto in October, with novice and intermediate tracks. Dealers bring new bikes for women to ride. Cost is a well-earned $100 for a five-hour session. American Supercamp has a dirt track camp with XR100’s. They provide the gear and the bikes, cost is $650 for the two-day camp. "Lots of fun and physically challenging," said Crystal of Scuderia.
A raffle was held, they gave away about a dozen Kryptonite locks and a pair of Icon boots to lots of oohs and aahs. A few serious bikers swore they’re "real" boots, plus comfortable, gorgeous, and walkable. "Real" meaning with ankle guards and motorcycle soles. Hmmm… I’m tempted. But I didn’t win the boots. I won a little disk lock (left), though.
At the end of the program I hung around to talk with Jody and Nicole as Crystal locked up the store. Both women were amused at the scene in San Francisco. "We’re standing here looking out at the street, and we never saw so many scooters in all our lives," said Jody. And Nicole noted that we must all get really good really fast with the clutch and the brakes, learning in the hilly San Francisco city environment. (Yes, we do!)
"Everybody seems to be wearing really good gear here, too," said Nicole. "In Florida people ride around in shorts and flip-flops, with no helmets."
"And it’s all dark stuff, leather, mostly," said Jody. "Wow, I’d be way out of place in my jacket," she laughed, grabbing her candy-bright pink and white mesh jacket.
All the women who attended the event were riders, but in Philly, Jody said, about half had never ridden. "Every group has been so different," said Nicole.
This was their third stop on the tour. Make sure to see them if they come to your city. (Look for Women’s Riding Essentials on this Kryptonite events page.)