Monday, December 21, 2015

MOTORCYCLES ARE NOT FASHION ACCESSORIES


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. 

12 comments:

24Cycles said...

Like all movements they pass. People run out of money make babies get real jobs. Freedom only last as long as you can get away with it. Then you have to be productive. Non the less I will still be here...

Whiskey and Eyelashes said...

I definitely support the women's movement as much as I can however that doesn't mean I promote unsafe, egotistical and reckless behavior. Great article and well said. The people who get upset are the ones that need to practice more in their driveways before hitting the road. Proud of you for writing this! -Leticia Cline

mark smith said...

Really enjoying this current series of articles Allen is running here on LadyHump. When will the "people" realize we need each other and like Allen has been saying "big corporate money" is pulling this shit off. Please continue to bring light this topic.
And thank you Morbid Maiden for sharing. This is the kind of reality that must be put forward for the newbies and piss-poor riders!
At any rate, motorcycling in general needs to come together on a grass roots level (read "not born free") to stop the ultimate decline of two-wheel transportation. Do you know that in some countries motorcycles are considered polluters. "Come together, Right now..."
Thanks,
Wizard Colonel

RedLightWrithing said...

This is an issue of new riders vs. seasoned riders. Not women vs. men or events with just women or not. To sum it up in that context is just wrong.

Why not talk about guys in tees and Vans riding? No one ever talks about them. No one gives a shit cause they are guys. Do you ever think twice about a guy wearing a flannel riding? Ever? His skin will fall off just the same as hers. As soon as a girl does it, OMG she's doing it for fashion.

A new rider shouldn't be in a group ride. Simple as that. But to say she's doing it for fashion????? To shame an event that is empowering to women riders. For what? What about the hundreds, yes hundreds of girls that went that were in full gear and know how to ride? Babes ride out... The Litas... All those girl riding groups that start with hot, sexy, vexin, whatever bullshit. Yeah they have a brand and only post "hot" girls. But didn't Harley Davidson just do that with the Highway Runaways. Guys eat that shit up. When in truth, there are hundreds of us that are normal fucking people in full safety gear.

I'm the last person you'd call a feminist. Most of my life I've called myself a girl who hates girls. But I have been faced with the most sexism I've had in my entire life in owning and riding a motorcycle. I've been told I'm too short, that I can't handle a bike, that as a girl it's too dangerous to ride, that I can't handle a Harley...etc. All the times I come out of a store and get "didn't think a girl was going to walk up to that".

All women events give us a chance to be ourselves and not have to be cool anymore. I don't know who you're hanging out with but not once have a heard men bashing. All the girls I know are married to men that are extremely supportive.

If your bottom line is new riders should get more training before doing group rides or long treks, then yes. Don't put others at risk but to go about saying we're all doing it for fashion just demeans hundreds of talented, safe riders that are at these events.

Also be more supportive...We all start somewhere. I guess you just came out of the womb a great rider along with all men. Give positive suggestions and advice rather than complaining.

mark smith said...

? RedLightWriting ? - What does "the proper riding gear" have to do with Morbid Maidens article? In this case proper gear has only to do with whether a lousy ride makes contact with me. I never want anyone to get hurt, damaged or killed on a motorcycle, but we have to look out for ourselves. You talk loudly about your ability and you may be a fantastic rider, but just by the way you came off there I wouldn't ride with ya... does that make me sexist? No! I'm looking out for my hide [I don't know you]. Morbid Maidens opinion is not grounds for an argument, simply an observation of the current ability levels and attitudes of some riders. - Wizard Colonel

RedLightWrithing said...

"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."

- This say it's the fact that it's a women, not a new rider(s)

"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."

- Instead of it being a new rider, since she's a girl she's just trying to be cute and fit in

"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."

- Only cause they were women was it bad not cause they were new riders

I talk about full riding gear and safety but all this talks about is riding as a fashion statement and the fact that the girl was on the ride to look cute. It's all stated wrong. The focus should be about how new riders need to learn. Instead it focuses on not riding with women because they are women.

It should be about suggestions on how to improve your riding as to not put others in danger. This is putting down both women and the event and it's misplaced.

I'm not saying I'm a great rider. I'm saying the event is full of talented women that don't give a fuck about fashion, looking cute, being cool or whatever the fuck is said about this event. Instagram shows a one sided hot girl story, riding in pasties and going topless. And that just isn't the reality.


https://instagram.com/p/9enunKR3V7/ - seems like a photo someone would complain about yet here it is.

mark smith said...

Look, I feel like motorcycling won't survive if we can not come together for the sole purpose of saving Motorcycling. I don't care what you ride or what you wear. A lot of people hate motorcycles more than you hate certain opinions. Guess what? They are still and will always be coming after our "Right" to ride.
One should never touch some topics and this gender thing is as bad a racism. I'm pretty much sick of hearing women describe their talents. When men do that they are considered arrogant and pompous. I think you get where I'm coming from. Quit making a big deal of this. Watch out for yourself, wear the gear you feel is appropriate and quit acting like we should be impressed that you ride a motorcycle, while being a woman. Women on motorcycles is not a new thing and they will continue to ride just as men do. Chill out.
By the way, I love women. Especially my bride of 40 years.
Wizard Colonel

RedLightWrithing said...

I'm pretty sick of being told I can't ride or don't know how to ride because I'm a woman. Not by you sir but by the everyday schmuck I run into on the street. So a poorly written blog certainly doesn't help.

Until you're told you can't ride cause you're a man, you just won't get it.

Just *yesterday* I was told I was going to die by a guy at Cyclegear because I was a girl. That my bike was too dangerous for me. Coming from a sport bike rider of all people.

So hearing a fellow woman do it, really bums me out. I wish it said ride for the right reasons, ride on the street when you're ready, don't go on group rides till you've ridden long enough, wear the right gear, and here is how you can get there.

Instead it says riding with men is better. It makes the huge mistake of summing it up on gender. It could have said riding with seasoned riders is better. I would have no beef with that. But it doesn't.

I also see a bunch of IG posts with "I'm so excited" which doesn't match the above sentiment about going to such an awful, segregated event. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me. Especially the token take your shirt off to the desert pose that all the "cool" girls do. If you want to preach, preach. But when I see historical IG posts of the exact thing you're complaining about, I'm gonna call bullshit.

mark smith said...

RedLightWrithing, you are correct, I will never know what it is like to be a women. But in my life time I have been told things that I was not. I also do not see motorcycle "culture" through lady eyes. This really isn't a gender issue. This is about being confident in your own ability [OUT IN THE WORLD]. People hate and for no good reason... F' them. I was told I was ugly when I was a kid and for awhile I believed it. Then one day I realized that I actually was ugly and that was the day I said, "F' them!" I can't change so why listen to them.
There are things that people do with motorcycle that would kill you RedLightWrithing. Are you offended by that statement? I'm just trying to look out for you while not really knowing you. You may be one of those people who can do crazy things on a bike and get away with it. I have no idea. If you were would you think I was talking down to you, not realizing?
I have no argument with you [RedLightWrithing], but maybe sometimes people are just looking out for you. Just sayin'.
Thanks for the discussion,
Wizard Colonel

RedLightWrithing said...

Not offended at all. Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous...for all genders. I appreciate when people look out for me, thank you.

There's just a difference when I'm told I will personally die because I am a girl. That's all.

I think everyone should support each other and educate one another on the dangers riding and how to ride safely. I don't agree this was written in that vein. It focuses on it being a woman rider not a new rider. It also says riding with men is better instead of saying riding with seasoned riders is better.

It was meant to say riding is dangerous, only ride when you're ready and don't do it for the wrong reasons. However, it's very poorly stated.

We're on the same side, Wizard.

mark smith said...

I've been told by my wife that I was going to die because I was a man, LOL! I get what you are sayin', however I don't know Morbid Maiden so I can not speak for them. I hope I haven't drug this out and made it worse for you.
It's obvious we feel that motorcycling is important. It's also obvious that until we can get along, we (the motorcycling community) can not work together.
Motorcycles have inherent risks, but riding them is also not "very dangerous... for all genders". I'm gettin' in way too far here...
Thanks again,
Wizard Colonel

Jeff O said...

Shut up and ride.