Women Riders

Observations, Goings-on and Sarcasm

Written by  May 31, 2011

Every week I scan the web for bike events I might be interested in attending. By the middle of June, there are at least ten every weekend; I once counted fifteen in a single weekend last summer! And that’s only what gets listed. Sometimes I find out about something through friends or from flyers passed around.

One event I was directed to I found through a Facebook posting a friend had made. Her post had nothing to do with the event, per se; she was letting us know her significant other was playing guitar with a band during the festivities. The event, Hotrods and Harleys, took place in Rahway, New Jersey on May 14, 2011. With camera ready, we headed out to Rahway to check this thing out.

Several blocks are closed off in town, and the streets are lined with cars, vendors, and at least three live bands. Delicious smells of food wafted through the air from the myriad ethnic booths. There were a lot more hotrods than Harleys, but bikes of all makes and styles were well represented. So were MCs.

Not sure if I am being more observant or things are changing, but there seems to be a lot more members of 1%er MCs out and about at “family” events. There’s hardly ever just one MC represented; if you see one group, another will appear. I’ve been told this is to sort of “neutralize” each other. Personally, I never got the whole “brotherhood,” “sisterhood” conformity mentality of motorcycle clubs. But then again, I never understood the need for fraternities or sororities either, which, in many ways are just like MCs except with BMWs instead of Harleys.

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May was both Motorcycle Safety Month and Women Riders Month. Finally, after about 100 years, state DOTs are aware that there are actually motorcycles on the road and embraced the month with safety reminder billboards, inclusion of literature about bike safety in their publications and, to some extent, their spring road repairs.

Women Riders Month is primarily a Harley-Davidson promotional event. Dealerships across the country had events geared just for women riders or women who want to be riders. New Jersey hasn’t jumped on this, however; only one dealer in the entire state listed anything. Way to go, New Jersey!

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Speaking of Facebook…Not since the early days of message boards has one entity so permeated our lives internet-wise. No matter what your hobby, interest, curiosity or desire, if it is legal (and sometimes if it isn’t), it’s on Facebook. I completely expect that in the coming months, the powers that be will find a way to include chatrooms on it. I am willing to bet every one of us has made this statement: “I really have (insert here) to do, but I have to check my Facebook first.”

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I’ll be so glad when June and July get underway. One of the reasons for this nonsensical column is that I have been utterly swamped with other work. A gallery showing, a street fair weekend, a wedding, volunteering to photograph a veteran’s escort Memorial Day weekend have all but interrupted my sleep. Next month, I’ll have something more meaningful and insightful to write. Promise. Well, unless of course I see or hear of some bike events I simply MUST attend. I do have my priorities, after all.

By Louise Reeves