Women Riders


Written by  June 30, 2011

I do not want a Can-Am Spyder. I covet one. I dream of ways to find the funds for one. I wonder if I should get the semi-automatic or the clutch and what color. Of course, reality packs a mighty punch, and I’m smacked into remembering I have bills, I have kids in college, I have a low-paying job. So I sigh and covet from afar each time I see one and each time a commercial comes on the television with its ZZTop theme (yeah, tease me more by playing my favorite band).

I was curious about these unusual rides and had seen one or two a couple of years ago in passing. I thought they were “cute” and unique. When I finally got to see one up close and personal, at a charity ride event, it was drawing a crowd. The owner answered the questions thrown his way and then said the magic words in one particular response that had me sold: “You can’t tip it.” Where do I sign?

The website for the Spyder lists the states that are allowing one to get a motorcycle license by using the Spyder for the test (or, in the case of Maryland, a 3-wheel license only). Another let-down: New Jersey doesn’t allow its usage for the test. In three states, California, South Carolina and Delaware, no motorcycle license is required to drive a Spyder, only a driver’s license. I like South Carolina, but I can’t move anywhere. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Wyoming (Wyoming??) are the other states that do not allow the Spyder to be used in testing for a license. But several states will waive the road test if one passes the safety course offered.

The popularity of the Spyder is growing faster than anything I have seen in a very long time. I own a 2001 PT Cruiser and know a bit about a vehicle taking the world by storm. Back when I coveted my car, people were paying double the sticker price and waiting six months or more for their ordered ones (I waited five months but paid a normal price). And, just like the PT, the Spyder has its lusting fans and hating detractors, with both groups including serious 2-wheeled bikers.

Last summer, at Roar to the Shore in Wildwood, NJ, a dealership was allowing test rides, but alas, you had to have your motorcycle license to participate. It was a hoot to see these bikers jerk-start their way into the course, beginning slowly then getting the hang of it. Most finished the course smiling, but elitist comments about it not being a motorcycle were heard. Well, duh, guys!

A few friends who ride, male and female, have said they would like to have a Spyder at some point. With the median age of riders creeping up as well as the advancing age of new riders, this type of vehicle will fill a niche that no other can. Of course, the commercials aren’t aimed at our age group, but who knows?
Maybe at some point, as my own golden years creep up on me, I might be able to finagle a way to own and enjoy something I covet. A girl can dream.

By Louise Reeves