Rules for talking to woman bikers

by on January 27, 2010
in Blowing a Gasket

Although the number of women who ride their own motorcycles is growing (aren’t we up to, like, 13 percent now? I think that makes us THIRTEEN PERCENTERS!), I’m still astounded at the reactions some people have when they learn I am a rider. Most of them are well-meaning, I’m sure. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take a step back and reconsider their words. Here are a few “rules of the road” when it comes to communicating with women bikers:

DO NOT share your gruesome stories right off the bat of friends/relatives/mythical figures who have died in motorcycle accidents. It’s not helpful. And if you do, be prepared to hear about someone she knows who died a horrible death doing that thing you love.

DO ask her what make/model she rides. DO NOT ask her if that’s considered “a girl’s bike.”

It’s perfectly okay to ask her how long she’s been riding her own. But, DO NOT start a conversation with, “Do you ride that big ol’ bike all by yourself?” Because you’re bound to get this in return: “No, I have my big strong husband run along behind and push it for me.” Or maybe this: “Do you see a sidecar, Douchey?”

DO NOT chastise her for riding just because she has children. Anyone who has children could die stepping out the front door or driving their car, so don’t blather on about “greater responsibility.” DO congratulate her for showing her kids that life was meant to be lived doing things you love, and that it’s never too late to discover or learn something new.

Okay, women riders, it’s your turn – what are some of the reactions you’ve had to the fact that you ride your own motorcycle?