A chronology of bikes, roads, rallies and anything and everything motorcycle related

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Fearless Females

With all the hustle and bustle that comes with finishing up the school year, I haven't been able to post in a few weeks.  Thankfully though, all the papers, presentations and midterms are over and its safe to say I survived my last semester of school.

To get back into writing this blog, I decided to do some Google searches to find a topic that I hadn't talked about yet, and a very obvious one came up - females and motorcycles.  It turns out that today there are over 4.5 million female riders on the road (about one in every ten riders is female) and female riders are increasing annually by 28% compared to male riders that are only increasing by 7% annually. So what makes a fearless female stand out in this historically male dominated riding world?  

The Van Buren Sisters
Female riders have been making a statement for almost a century now. In 1916 Adeline and Augusta Van Buren, two sisters in the United States, made a name for female riders by riding from New York to California on Indian motorcycles.  This feat helped to break the gender stereotypes held around bikes in this time period, as the sisters were the first females to make this coast to coast journey.  

In the 30s, there were two women working towards a more female friendly riding world.  Bessie Stringfield was the first African American motorcyclist and competed in eight solo cross-country tours.  She then went on to join the U.S Army, working as a motorcycle dispatch rider which required her to ride through the Southern states in a time when racism was very prevalent.  Then there was Dorothy 'Dot' Robinson, who started the group "Motor Maids". This organization encouraged women to try motorcycling and was the first women's motorcycle club in America.  Dorothy was also the first female to win an AMA national competition, which broke down more barriers for females in the competitive world.  

Jolene Van Vugt
Almost a century later, the riding world is a lot more welcoming to female riders, but women are still working hard everywhere to make a name for themselves and prove the gender stereotypes wrong.  Jolene Van Vugt, who's Canadian, has been named one of the top females in the riding world. She currently holds four Guinness world records, and has a TV show and a 3D movie.  She was also the first female to backflip a full sized dirt bike and was the first CMRC Women's Canadian National Motocross Champion.

So whether they're known for pioneering women's rights almost a 100 years ago, or holding records and continuing to break stereotypes today, females have always been making a statement in the riding world.  As the amount of female riders continues to increase, it can be almost guaranteed that the riding world is going to see a lot more fearless females doing some pretty great things.  

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Bikes, Beer and Babes: The 2012 Niagara Motorcycle Show

In past posts, I've mentioned different motorcycle shows and events that I think are worthwhile attending and how they can be the perfect way for you to find a bike thats the right fit for you. This week on Facebook I was invited to the 2012 Niagara Motorcycle Show, something I wasn't even aware that existed.  After looking at the shows website and FB group it looks like a pretty awesome event to check out if you have any interest in bikes, beer or babes.
Nick Lee

For $20 you can you buy a one day pass to the event which is held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, or for $40 to you can get a three day pass.  The event is running from July 20-22 and has various components to it.  The event is classified as a trade show and along with its 250 venders there will also be live entertainment, celebrity appearances, stunt riders, a charity poker run and demo rides. If you're looking for a little customization like perhaps painting your motorcycle pink as I discussed two weeks ago, there will be custom shops present, along with leading manufactures and retailers.

Wall of Death
Even if you don't have a bike, or have no interest in purchasing one this event is still worth checking out.  Theres a food court, beer tent and even an award winning stunt show that I'm sure anyone can appreciate.  The "World Famous Wall of Death" will be present, which is a stunt show that has been running for over 30 years and has entertained thousands of spectators with its gravity defying act, along with Nick Lee and his famous 'World Burnout Tour'.  There also is going to be a 'Miss Niagara Motorcycle Pageant' which will feature 12 girls competing in various competitions to win the title 'Miss Niagara Motorcycle' and be featured on the cover of this years Niagara Motorcycle Calendar.

The event welcomes people of all ages, experience and both riders and non riders to come out, so whether you're there to shop for a new toy, appreciate some of the best bikes in town or just to drink a beer while watching a stunt show or the pageant, the 2012 Niagara Motorcycle show is sure to offer an afternoon or two of entertainment that anyone can enjoy.