“We want to change the way you think about motorcycling…” -
Michele (Mickey) Reutty
I spent a few hours staffing the Women’s Center at the Javits International Motorcycle Show on Friday, January 22. Many of us have taken time out of our lives to do this, knowing it is important for women to be represented and visible.
Sue Slade and Gin Shear were already there, meeting and greeting. They are legends among women in motorcycling, both as motorcyclists and as entrepreneurs.
I was standing there with Louis Fiorito, Regional Director of Sisters in Spirit, and other Sisters-in-Spirit, as Sue started orienting us as what we were there for---promoting the International Women’s Conference that will take place in Canada in August, as well as the numerous seminars being given in the “Women’s Center” at the show.
At one point she said, “We are also here to get women to think about moving into the driver’s seat. Though we (women riders) are probably at this point 25% of all motorcyclists, about half of those women were “hidden riders.” Some women ride without having a license, some ride motorcycles belonging to others. The statistics don’t reflect this reality. This is why when the figure of “11% of all motorcyclists are women” is bandied about, it is more than likely wrong.”
Sue went on to say that we needed to serve as models to those women who were thinking about riding.
“If you don’t see someone who looks like you doing something, you don’t think that goal is ‘do-able’.”
I couldn’t agree more.
The topic had actually come up at our first Executive Board Meeting.
We spoke about recruiting new members. Some of our members have expressed the concern that if we get too large, we will lose that “homey” feel our members enjoy. Yet the point was made that unless we had a critical number of members, we could not survive.
We talked about the many ways to recruit. Many members have come to us via the website. And from that conversation, Carmela, our Membership Chair, and her husband, Jim, created a beautiful new pamphlet that we distributed at the Javits Center.
But we all agreed, nothing will attract a prospective member more than our group riding our motorcycles, looking happy and driving proficiently.
We also discussed the wearing of our colors.
I encourage all of you to wear your vests proudly whenever and wherever you can and represent your club well, equipping yourself honorably, through your actions and your words.
Because, like it or not, we are all role models.