New book captures the spirit and diversity of women riders

by on September 14, 2009
in Women Riders

This guest post is by author and photographer Christina Shook, who has just released a photographic essay book called “Chicks on Bikes.” The book captures the stories and pictures of women riders from all walks of life, but the essay excerpted here captures the essence of what we all have in common – a sense of sisterhood.

Sisterhood. A community. Of women. Not a sewing circle, not a women’s auxiliary club, not a mom’s club. There is a community of women bikers. Today women have formed organizations for every interest under the sun, no longer limited to domestic, nurturing or supportive activities. These women have taken up a lifestyle that is still a largely male domain and claimed their space and culture within it.

Few groups have the high-impact visibility of a pack of women riding up on their bikes. Few events have the singular sense of power that wells deep within as dozens of women roar their engines at the beginning of a group girl ride. It is a screamingly , throbbingly, wonderful feeling. It’s awe inspiring and fascinating to behold.

There is a sense of non-competition in a group of women, an unspoken sisterhood without the need to prove you’re daring. Women ride a little safer, a little smarter, a little kinder. To be on the road simultaneously alone and part of the pack is to have a firm sense of self and belonging. Every decision on the road must consider both self and group. Riding down the road with a mother, a sister or girlfriends combines the sense of the feminine with a sense of power. It spells out strength, pride, power and independence.

There are millions of women on motorcycles, and numbers count. There is strength in numbers. There is a kinship all motorcyclists share born of hardship and joy. Women motorcyclists have existed since the days when women wore dresses and rode side saddle. There are women motorcycle clubs that drink beer, swagger and ogle men. Some ride for causes such as breast cancer or children’s health issues. Some are Christian groups that go riding after church on Sundays. there are countless groups that represent every lifestyle imaginable.

They will all tell you it’s different from riding with the guys. there is a sense of pride and sisterhood, and this is why they ride with the girls.

To learn more about Christina and her book, visit Get your copy by clicking the “Order” tab on her website. You can also read her blog, – she just got back from the Women and Motorcycling Conference in Keystone, Colorado – and follow her on Twitter ( for tweets related to photography and motorcycles.