Women Riders

Finding Inspiration

Written by  November 1, 2012

Where the heck did summer go? Seemingly overnight, we went from unbearable heat waves to doubling up on blankets at night. One reason it seems like the summer just disappeared suddenly is my lack of riding in recent months. A slipped disc doesn’t like bouncing around on back roads. And, for whatever reason, this time it is taking longer to heal.

Can there be any sound more sad than that of the activity you love to do but can’t? Instead, I must live vicariously through those who don’t have spines made of cornmeal and spend some time finding out about women who are making a difference in motorcycling. Women like Leslie Porterfield are working every day to inspire young, healthy women to pursue their love of motorcycles. 

Leslie Porterfield is the fastest woman on a motorcycle. She has set three land speed motorcycle records, getting her the AMA Racing Female of the Year in 2008. She became the first woman member of the Bonneville 200 MPH club with her 2008 speed of 209 MPH on an unfaired motorcycle. She would go on to take the Top Speed of the Meet award (man or woman) the following year with a top speed of 240 MPH. It was the first time in its history that a woman took the award. To find out more about this incredible young woman, visit her site at www.leslieporterfield.com.

Have you ever heard the name Shelina Moreda? Like Ms. Porterfield, she is becoming a force to be reckoned with, being one of only three women currently racing at the AMA national level. She began racing only five years ago and by May 2010, obtained her Pro Roadracing License and competed in her first AMA Pro Supersport Roadrace at Infineon. To read more about Shelina, check out her site at www.shezracing.com.

For four days in July, the AMA hosted the sixth annual AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference in Carson City, Nevada. Considering that women had been breaking all kinds of motorcycle records since the first decades of the last century, it is a little surprising that the AMA only started having such an event six years ago. This video gives you an idea of what to expect should you decide to check out the next conference. For more information, go to AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference.

Inspiration is wherever we look if we are willing to open our eyes. Growing up, there was no internet to help us learn about these remarkable women of the past and present who are realizing their dreams, setting records, and shattering barriers. Regardless of our own situation in life, there is a lot we can take away from their stories.

By Louise Reeves