At the Bike shed Festival, I spoke to Eleanor Gecks about the growing trend of females taking to two wheels.
Eleanor, who owns a Harley Davidson, is passionate about riding and has been liberated by motorcycling because of the freedom it provides her.
I think I can speak for most motorcyclists when I say there’s no other feeling quite like riding. There’s something unique and meditative about the experience. Banal day to day worries disappear, the niggling negative voice in your head is suppressed. And your focus is on the present.
So, why aren’t more people – in particular women – hopping on the happy wagon? Is it a deeper societal issue in western culture? Truth be told, I don’t really know. However, as of late there seems to be a growing trend of female riders, which could not only be beneficial to the women that jump aboard, but also to the motorcycle industry as a whole.
Here’s what Eleanor had to say: “Biking is more popular than ever, yet despite the recent trend of more women getting into riding bikes, the motorcycle industry is still a male-dominated one. Motorcycles should be easily accessible for anyone who wants to ride, and a more diverse demographic of riders means more diverse products from manufacturers. It means more people enjoying the freedom of two wheels that we love. So when will we catch up and outnumber the men?
In the UK I’ve seen women riders stick their finger(s) up to the status quo. Young and old they have been jumping on two wheels. Female only events have begun popping up, memberships to women only-biker groups have soared and last year saw the biggest increase of women taking bike tests! This is great news for other women are interested in taking the plunge or for those who currently ride on the back of their partners’ bikes and think “I could do this”.
But what I’ve found most interesting when looking into this is how women around the world are championing women’s rights by the simple exercise of purchasing a motorbike and becoming a female rider. In countries where women are banned from riding bikes, there are even female-only groups and events popping up, risking harassment and even arrest. My dream is to meet some of these heroines of the biking world. But for now I just want enjoy my Harley and be an inspiration to my friends, who when I first started riding said I was mad! Some are now taking their CBTs, others have taken their full test and are asking me what bike they should get. I feel a sense of pride when I see another women on the road, but especially so when it’s a friend of mine.”
After meeting with Eleanor it became even clearer that biking is more than just going for a raz. For many people, motorcycling is a form of empowerment and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
What do you think is the best way to get more women riding motorcycles?
Let us know in the comments below.
Find out more about Eleanor by clicking here.