MOTORCYCLES ARE NOT FASHION ACCESSORIES
By: Morbid Maiden
When I was asked to write this article, my initial thoughts included enthusiasm and excitement. Upon subsequent reflection, I realized that many people who may read this article are most certainly not going to feel the same way. Regardless, I believe in expressing oneself, even in the face of adversity and potential backlash, and especially when the message to be conveyed is one of such importance as that to be discussed herein. Thus, I committed to writing this article, and I will spare no one’s feelings in the process.
Ladies, I have a serious announcement to share with you. Motorcycles are not fashion accessories. This may come as a shock to many of you, because I see the way you pose with your motorcycles and the clothes/gear that you wear when you ride. The former seems to predominate over you actually riding, and the latter just makes the rest of us cringe.
So it was not that long ago that I decided to attend an all-woman’s motorcycle campout and ride. I usually steer clear of gender-segregated events, but my curiosity got the better of me. And besides, I knew that I was already harboring some negative preconceived notions about such an event, and it would be very dishonest of me if I were to voice my contempt for an event that I had never attended. So, I packed up my camping gear and strapped it to my sissy bar, purchased my ticket, and decided that I was babe enough to ride out.
I decided to join one of the meet up groups that formed for the main purpose of gathering a group of event attendees who lived near each other, so we could all ride together to the event. Now, I want to point out that up until this point, I had only ridden with men. I was not necessarily opposed to riding with women, but I just did not know any females who rode, and I tend to get along better with men, so I never really gave it much thought at all. But now I do – every time I am invited on a ride. And the remainder of this article will illustrate just why I now hesitate to ride with women who I do not know.
The meet up itself was uneventful and fine – most of the women were very welcoming and friendly. It was the actual ride to the event that was an issue. I will not sugar coat this - many of these women should not have been riding motorcycles on public streets. Many of these women should still have been practicing in empty parking lots. I am not a hater, by any means, but my reasoning is that many of these women literally put the lives of others at risk, by selfishly joining a large group of riders on machines that are dangerous enough on their own. Well, the motorcycles themselves are not really dangerous, as the risk really lies with the lack of protection that exists if an accident were to occur. But I have digressed.
Other than incidents where I get cut off or experience some type of close call while riding, I always feel very safe and comfortable on my bike. I have put over 10,000 miles on this particular bike just these passed 10 months, so I know the way she moves, the way she feels, and the way she purrs. I have ridden many mountain roads with large groups of men, with the twisting roads, traffic congestion, and less-than-ideal weather conditions. Yet, I have never felt nervous or uncomfortable. But once I rode with a group of women, on flat roads in ideal weather conditions – I did not feel nearly as safe and comfortable, through no fault of my own.
The pre-ride safety speech included something about “not passing.” As a result of my having decided not to be an asshole that day (the rest of the weekend was anyone’s guess), I was staying in my lane and not passing anyone. However, I was unlucky enough to be stuck behind a woman who could not seem to keep up with the freeway traffic, or handle her bike in general. As a result, myself and the ladies behind me almost got separated from those ahead of us – those who actually knew the way to the event. In order to try to avoid a repeat of this annoyance, after our first stop for gas, I made my way towards the front of the group so I could ride with the women whom I determined earlier actually knew how to ride and how to do so at an acceptable speed.
I find it unacceptable for someone to put other people’s lives at risk, just so she can try to be cute and fit in. I hope that if any of these women are reading this, that they are getting pissed off, because I was pissed off and I hope this makes them think twice before hopping on a motorcycle and riding outside of the confines of an abandoned parking lot.
Fast forward to the portion of the event where they were giving out an award to the woman who rode the furthest to get to the event. I have mad respect for the two women who rode from Florida to California for this event. You ladies deserve the award. However, there was another woman who actually went on stage to try to claim the prize, mentioning how she traveled from Northeastern Canada to get to the event. After the crowd cheered, myself included, the woman had a chance to speak in the microphone, and let it slip that she actually trailered her bike. She did not ride from Canada. The host took back the award and gave it to the women who actually rode the furthest. But I was experiencing second-hand embarrassment just witnessing this incident.
On a different, yet still related topic, what is with all of the gender segregation and man-bashing? During the course of this weekend event, I heard many women talking shit about men and how awesome it was that there were no men at this event. I would bet my paycheck that many of these women are the same ones who get offended if a group of men have an “all-male” motorcycle campout and ride. These same women would then refer to these men as “sexist pigs,” among the other common adjectives used by feminists when engaging in man bashing.
A word of advice, ladies: If you want men to see women as equals, if you want men to include women in their group motorcycle rides, then maybe you should learn about inclusiveness and how not to be a whiney cunt, rather than your current state of hypocritical feminism that so many of you embrace. I have said it before, and I will say it again: feminism had its place and its usefulness in society. But those times are in the past (save for a few issues, here and there). If you want equality, then stop going out of your way to draw a thick line of separation between the genders. The more you push for these “women-centric” motorcycle events, the more you are separating men who ride from women who ride. These events are not bringing men and women together, these events are focusing on women who ride, and who apparently need a special place and special circumstances to ride, so they can later share all of their girl power with the world via social media.
I have accepted the fact that I will likely receive some very negative feedback on this article. But nothing I have said is a lie. So if you are angry, please do everyone a favor and direct your anger where it actually matters – towards those women who care more about using motorcycles as fashion accessories, rather than a means of fun, freedom, and transportation; those women who put fashion first, and common sense/safety of others, last.