Long before motorcycle companies declared women the new emerging market, a few of them were relentlessly promoting the sport to their sisters through speaking engagements, writing, reporting and the creation of female rider magazines. Genevieve Schmitt is one of them, and using her television producing background coupled with her passion for riding, she became very fast a major force in promoting motorcycling to women. Genevieve is an Emmy-nominated news magazine TV producer for her work on E! Entertainment Television, worked as a full-time producer for ABC’s Good Morning America and also in the early 90’s for the syndicated news magazine show EXTRA. Then, she transited to print and founded the Woman Rider, a national all-brands motorcycle magazine that published quarterly from 2000 to 2004. Being a leader on the subject of women and motorcycling, Genevieve has been quoted in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles over the last decade including The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, BusinessWeek, also appearing on The Fox News Channel on a segment on women riders on “Geraldo At Large.
A little fact not known by many is that Genevieve was the first female reporter to ride a motorcycle on TV and to report on the lifestyle when she worked from 1997 to 2003 for the Speedvision Cable Network (now Speed Channel) on the show “Bike Week”. She also rode an ATV around on TV reporting for “ATV Magazine Television,” a show on the Outdoor Life Network from 2002 to 2005. Her company, Solitude Ranch Communications LLC, publishes online Women Riders Now and Trike Riders Now capitalizing on interest in that booming female market. Her company also develops programs and consults with powersports companies to help them reach women riders. She also tours the country speaking at motorcycling events including ladies nights, dealer open houses, and motorcycle rallies. Her speeches are designed to inspire women to take up motorcycling for the first time, or inspire current riders to spend more time in the saddle by creating new riding goals. Her answers to my interview after the jump.(pictures copyright Rene Bruce)
Cyril. When you were a teenager you wanted to become a? Genevieve. A news reporter.
Cyril. Tell me about your first time on a motorcycle? Genevieve. My very first time on a motorcycle was on the back of a boyfriend’s old Honda when I was in college. I remember sitting in the passenger seat on my first ride and turning my head to look to the back and my sunglasses flying off. We turned around to look for them but they had already gotten smashed on the road.
Cyril. If you were not active in the motorcycle industry, what would you do? Genevieve. I would be in the fitness industry teaching Pilates as I just received my Pilates teaching certificate.
Cyril. What is the last music you downloaded in your iPod? Genevieve. Mark Knopfler, I can’t get enough of his voice.
Cyril. What are you afraid of? Genevieve. Distracted drivers
Cyril. What is your type of biker? Genevieve. Anybody who likes to ride on two wheels, no matter what kind, I can appreciate that person and enjoy getting to know them. I believe everyone has a story.
Cyril. What is the person you would love to meet? Genevieve. I would love to have met Mother Theresa
Cyril. Preferred motorcycle to ride? Genevieve. A cruiser, mine. I love my bike.
Cyril. We are having dinner together. Steakhouse, Italian, Thai, Sushi, French or Vegetarian? Genevieve. Sushi
Cyril. Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Genevieve. I have pierced ears, you know, the traditional kind for earrings.
Cyril. If you would ask me to build a custom, which style? Genevieve. Old school chopper, with high apes, legs kicked out, long rake.
Cyril. Which film made you cry? Genevieve. I bawled watching The Notebook, both times I watched it. What’s up with that?
Cyril. Name five things you hate. Genevieve. 1- The degradation of our society through the breakdown of the family unit and the infiltration of the media and its effects on the generation of young people today. 2- People who abuse children and animals. 3- Improper grammar and punctuation either spoken or written. 4- Lazy people. 5- Injustice
Cyril. If you would be a season, which one? Genevieve. Is this like Barbara Walters asking if I were a tree, which one would I be? I’d be spring.
Cyril. What do you miss most at home when you are in a rally? Genevieve. My cocker spaniel, Charley Girl.
Cyril. What was the last book you read? Genevieve. The Accidental Billionaires, The Founding of Facebook
Cyril. Where is your favorite vacation place? Genevieve. Spending a week with good friends at a ski chalet next to the ski slopes either in Colorado or Montana and skiing every day.
Cyril. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Genevieve. An expensive pair of shoes.
Cyril. Do you collect anything? Genevieve. I collect anything related to women and motorcycling, figurines, David Uhl and Scott Jacobs paintings, posters, etc.
Cyril. What was your worst buy? Genevieve. I don’t have any. I spend my money very carefully.
Cyril. What was the most embarrassing thing you have ever made? Genevieve. I’ve made a few embarrassing comments in my day, but I can’t recall exactly what they are right now as I would rather forget them.
Cyril. What is the best thing you can cook? Genevieve. I make a great pecan encrusted salmon dish that no one yet has told me they didn’t like.
Cyril. When was the last time you were really angry? Genevieve. I get very angry at any injustice in this world.
Cyril. What is your perfect weekend when you are at home? Genevieve. Hanging out with my husband and depending on the season either hiking or cross country skiing or doing one of the other outdoor activities we love and then coming home and cooking a good meal and then watching a movie. Boring married life stuff.
Cyril. What is your preferred rally? Genevieve. Sturgis
Cyril. What is the worst question a journalist asked you? Genevieve. I can’t think of a specific question, but it bugs me when a journalist has not done his or her research and asks a question that clearly shows they’re clueless about me, my work, and motorcycling.