News Feature

IFRD: celebrating a quintet of the kickass women riders we know and admire



May 5, 2018 | Rahoul Ghose

photos (bottom left to top right): rahoul ghose | mark peacock | austin 'sugar' johnson | anjuli azim

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  You are on your own. You are not protected by two tons of steel, rubber, foam padding and safety glass. Neither are you steering two tons of guided missile toward other cars, people and property. If you are prepared to accept the responsibility of your own actions, then motorcycling can be both safe and thrilling. Riding is an art as well as a craft and no amount of explanation can take the place of experience. 

-- Theresa Wallach, Easy Motorcycle Riding, 1970
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Today -- May 5, 2018 -- is International Female Riders Day, an event geared to getting women riders out to celebrate two-wheeled life around the globe. Female ridership has been on an upward trajectory for the better part of a decade and is truly one of the industry's big hopes in reviving declining sales. We think IFRD is also a great excuse to honor some of the diverse and accomplished women riders we know and respect. They come from a wide range of experiences, some fairly new to the riding scene ... some seasoned veterans. Some see riding as a route to female empowerment ... others defy the gender classifications and just want to be considered 'riders,' thus achieving true equality. We choose to let them speak their own personal truths.

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"What do I say about being a female motorcyclist in 2018?

For me personally after 20 years of riding and ten years working in the industry the struggle to prove one’s self continues, not just as a woman, but to oneself more so.

As I learn patience and confidence in my place in motorcycling, I find myself a stronger rider and voice. As a motorcycle film curator for The Vintagent I’m immersed in stories of riders past and present every day.

As a hell driver carrying on a long tradition of daredevils and traveling performers, I’m struck by the overwhelming dedication of the men and women who devote their lives to keeping history alive for very little gain.

I’m thankful for their stories and their support every day."

CORINNA MANTLO | BROOKLYN, NEW YORK |  
Owner: Via Meccanica Custom Vehicular Upholstery
Curator of Film: The Vintagent
Hell Driver: Lucky Devil Hell Drivers Thrill Show
Founder, Curator & Host: Cine Meccanica
Founding Member: The Miss-Fires CC/MC
Founder: The Motorcycle Film Festival
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"I’ve been riding for 20 years. It’s what I love and do. Still, to this day, I enjoy it more and more each time I start my motorcycle. Riding now is a whole different world. The biker world has changed quite a bit since I started. Being a female biker is so rewarding and powerful! In this day and age male riders respect women more. They want to ride with me, enjoy my photography (especially of them), and never have left me stranded. 2018 will just get better! I’ve already been asked by several clubs and riders to travel with them ... what an honor. My suggestion to new female riders is keep on keepin’ on! Good people will surround you. There are also many women’s clubs out there to hook up with. It’s a different world now -- acceptance, respect and loyalty is given freely to women riders. Don’t be afraid, there’s always someone to take you under their wing. Just take your time learning! Ride on, ride safe, and have a great time! Be proud to be a woman! We can do anything a man can do, and better at times! ... no offense to all the men out there! :) Be safe and enjoy the warm weather of spring and summer!"

DEBBIE FITCH | BALTIMORE, MARYLAND |  
Owner/Photographer: Debbie Fitch Photography
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"Being a female rider and enthusiast in 2018 means what it's always meant: freedom. On the bike you're just another rider. And whether it's when you pull up and strike up a conversation or pass someone on the track, you're just another motorcyclist, and that power that brings people together is transcendent, and it's in all of us.

It's inspiring that motorcycles are both meditation machines and community builders, so it makes sense that this camaraderie would break boundaries because motorcycles are for everyone and are about possibilities and open roads."

STACIE B. LONDON | LOS ANGELES |  
Creative Collaborator
Privateer Racer - Triple Nickel 555
East Side Moto Babes

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"Honestly, IFRD is just another day, kinda like Mother’s Day. Every day should be Mother’s Day if you’re a mother. I’m not sure why women need to be singled out because they decide to ride a bike. As an excuse to party, yeah? Bring it on! Bikes are gorgeous, sexy, but dangerous machines, and it takes a certain mix of crazy and bravery to ride. Your body is very vulnerable out there! I would prefer an 'International Ban on Texting While Driving So You Don’t Kill A Biker Day'.

The main difference of being a woman rider now is the explosion of women riders. I started riding in my twenties, in the ’80s. It took me a minute to realize I could be the rider, not always the passenger. I am psyched that more and more females just bypass that realization -- and it’s actually just a choice, like what kind of bike do I want? Another groovy thing is the gear companies making stuff that fits us and what a big market that is.

Women are getting better at -- although they shouldn’t have to -- schooling the negative attitudes out there, which are not exclusive to the biking world. Hopefully, with growing awareness, empathy and self realization, those attitides (towards women riding) will disappear altogether."

GRACE ROSELLI | BROOKLYN, NEW YORK |  
Artist: Grace Roselli Studios
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"I became a rider two years ago and it was at the same time as I made a drastic professional career change.

That was an important mark for me and as cliché as it can sound it made me feel powerful, fierce and unstoppable.

Nowadays riding is a peaceful moment. I focus on the road, the sound of pipes, I empty my head and I'm ready for the world again.

As a female riding a motorcycle I will always feel that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to -- my motorcycle is my symbol of power and serenity."

SUSANA RICO | LISBON, PORTUGAL & NEW YORK CITY |  
Owner/Photographer: Susana Rico Photography


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For more on International Female Ride Day visit the official website and social media properties:     

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