Since the early 1990’s, the number of female riders has increased exponentially. For all manufacturers women are their new “emerging market.” Depending of the brand, female buyers and riders may represent 10 to 18 percent of the clientele. And even during these long recession years there is no perceived economic, social or cultural reasons while this trend will not continue during the next decade. Quite the opposite, and it is a topic that I would like to develop in future posts.
Writers have noticed too and more books are written by men and women focusing on these ladies enjoying motorcycling for the simple and unique pleasure of casual riding but also embracing many other linked activities like racing, publishing, raising money for diverse charities, promoting the sport to other women, building motorcycles, painting them, engraving chrome or designing parts and gear conceived for them.
But who are today in North America the most influential women of our industry? In Biker Chicz of North America, Edward Winterhalder and Wil De Clercq have compiled in-depth profiles of twenty-two fascinating women who ride motorcycles. Each chapter features an individual whose life story is compelling, intriguing, fascinating, and inspirational. If all share some attributes like freethinking, intelligence, courage, tenacity, each of them had a very different life itinerary but leading them all to become bikers. Whatever the reason why it happened, choice, lack of money to buy a car, encouraged by a male partner or to overcome adversity, etc. all these women with very different backgrounds, educations, professions and personalities (either loners, mothers, artists, singers, rebels, etc) share the same values about life and what should be true relations between human beings.
Although I know personally some of the 22 women featured in this book, I thought I would not learn much about them. As a matter of fact some details I discovered make perfect sense to explain why they are so involved, one way or the other, in our industry. I see Biker Chicz Of North America as an inspirational tale for all women who have thought about riding but never took action, but it is also a book that all male bikers should read to understand, appreciate and respect even more all female riders that they meet on or at the end of the road.
Written by Edward Winterhalder, whose previous books and producing TV work made him one of the world’s leading authorities on motorcycle clubs, the Harley-Davidson biker lifestyle, and the creator and executive producer of the “Living on the Edge” docu-reality TV series and the “Biker Chicz” docu-reality TV series. He was assisted by Wil De Clercq a freelance writer/editor and visual artist. 320 pages. Order online by jumping to Biker Chicz Of North America.
The 22 Chicz: Cris Sommer-Simmons, Mandy Rossmeyer Campbell, Lucky Belcamino, Gevin Fax, Becky Brown, Betsy Huelskamp, Gina Woods, Laura Klock, Deborah DiMiceli, Vicki Roberts Sanfelipo, Pepper Massey, Sasha Mullins, Lorrie Penteluke, JoAnn Begey Bortles, Lauralee “Freedom” Conklin, Meg Mc Donough, Marilyn Elmore Bragg, Catherine Katmandu Palmer, Gloria Tramontin Struck, Banshee “The Lost Soul”, Andrea Perrino, Danni Stockley.