Life on bikes

Let’s get more women biking

International Women’s Day is a great excuse to highlight some of our favourite articles on and by women bikers over the past year.

There aren’t enough women bikers. We won’t go into some of the obvious reasons why here, although we did cover many of them in our ‘Babes on Bikes‘ series. It questioned much of motorcycling culture’s attitude to women – attitudes that are changing rapidly if the stands at recent bike shows are anything to go by.

Beyond the issues around promo girls and ‘brolly dollies’, women are, of course, having as much fun as the blokes. It’s just that there aren’t as many of them doing so. And we don’t see as many of them in regular motorcycling media as we should.

The good news is more women are getting into motorcycling, and in some age groups, they are outnumbering the men! Figures released by the Department of Transport a few years ago showed that in the over 50 age group, twice as many women as men were taking their test.

Becoming a biker
© Donna Powell | Biker & Bike contributor Donna on a ride out with friends.

In the UK one-in-ten riders are female, but we have some way to go to catch up the US, where almost 25% of bikers are women. There’s still a long way to go when at least half of your mates on a weekend ride out will be women.

To hopefully do something about this Biker & Bike is launching a VERY exciting project inspiring more women to become bikers. We’ll have more on that soon.

Until that project is live, there’s more that can be done to get the message out there. So, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we have selected some of our favourite articles from the last year, which we’d love you all to share with friends who may be jealous of just how much fun some girls are already having.

BOOK REVIEW: HIT THE ROAD JAQ! – SEVEN YEARS, TWENTY COUNTRIES, NO PLAN

Jacqui Furneaux’s story of hitting 50 and going for a motorcycle ride that lasted seven years is one of the most endearing and beautifully-written round-the-world stories you are ever likely to read.

Read the article: https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/book-review-hit-road-jaq-seven-years-twenty-countries-no-plan/

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BOOK REVIEW: LONE RIDER BY ELSPETH BEARD

Hit the Road Jaq! follows in the tyre tracks of the original solo motorcycle adventurer, Elspeth Beard, who was the first woman to do a bike trip around the world, on a BMW R60/6 in the early 80’s .

Surprisingly, it took her 30 years to get around to writing up the trip, a successful career as an architect having taken priority. Thanks to prodigious diary note-taking, every detail of the pain, pleasure and personal development that make up the mostly solo journey are beautifully captured in Lone Rider.

Read the article: https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/book-review-lone-rider-by-elspeth-beard/

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MY JOURNEY TO BECOMING A BIKER

Biker & Bike contributor Donna Powell covered her very personal and frank journey to becoming a biker in a five-part series that brings to life the core themes of being a biker: freedom and friendship.

Astonishingly honest, the series covers all aspects of going from wannabe to actual biker. If you know of anyone who is interested in how to get into motorcycling, whether female or male, Donna’s story is a great place to start.

Start the series here: https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/journey-becoming-biker/

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TRUE BIKER: JEAN LANE – THE GIRL IN THE PITS

Some women are already lucky enough to have spent almost their entire life on bikes already. Jean Lane is one of them, spending as much time as she could on or surrounded by motorbikes, from the early days of the cafe racer scene right through to today when she can’t resist jumping on the back of her daughter Emma’s CBR600R, health permitting.

Along the way, Jean did a stint as a pit girl, but not the kind you’d immediately think of when you hear the expression. Cue tyre changes, naughty fuel and copious amounts of tea and beer.

Read the article: https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/true-biker-jean-lane-girl-pits/

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BABES ON BIKES: PART 2 – WHAT DO WOMEN REALLY THINK?

As part of our ‘Babes on Bikes’ series, we asked motorcycle adventurer Zoe Cano for her views on how women are portrayed in motorcycling.

Zoe said draping a glamorous model over showroom bikes has absolutely nothing to do with whether a bike will be bought. So why do it?

She also pointed out that ‘living our dreams has absolutely nothing to do with being compared to men or following men’s ideas of what motorcycling should be.’ Exactly.

Read the article: https://www.bikerandbike.co.uk/babes-bikes-part-2-women-really-think/

Get yourself sorted:

Anyone inspired to take up motorcycling, for whatever reason, will find geton.co.uk a good place to start.

Make a contribution

We welcome contributions from anyone keen to write about motorcycling. We are especially keen to hear from female writers who’d like to inspire more women to take up motorcycling. If you’d like to contribute, start here.

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