Yesterday, I spent time at the Lodge in Deadwood with the Biker Belles, the ladies who are celebrating the passion, diversity and spirit of women in motorcycling during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. They gathered for a day of real women, real stories and real fun at the 2nd annual Biker Belles ™ celebration sponsored by the Buffalo Chip. The Biker Belles™ event kicked off at 11 a.m. with registration of a record number of ladies of all walks of life for a series of planned activities. Biker Belles™ was created to raise funds for two South Dakota Charities – Helping with Horsepower and Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Helping with Horsepower is a program that helps young women and girls who are at risk or are victims of abuse. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is a world-class motorcycle museum that will use the contributions to expand or enhance exhibits that feature women riders and their role in the history and culture of motorcycling.
After a lunch, the Biker Belles™ celebration continued by departing from The Lodge at Deadwood for a spectacular ride in the Black Hills ending at the the Sturgis Buffalo Chip for a special Biker Belle™ shindig including food, beverage, shopping, fashion show, silent and live auction along with entertainment by Iron Cowgirl Missy. The ride was led by Ride Captain, and famed Motor Maids member Meg McDonough and friends. It included the most famous role model ladies of our motorcycle industry. Long distance riders like Gloria Tramontin Struck with daughter and Cris Sommer-Simmons, Land Speed Record holder Laura Klock, personalities like Diva Amy, Black Hills native and avid motorcyclist Jessi Combs (a top motorcycle and automotive fabricator who has found success on television with programs such as Mythbusters, Xtreme 4×4, Full Metal TV along with current television hits like All Girls Garage, Overhaulin’), film and television actress Kristy Swanson (held roles including Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Chase with Charlie Sheen; Big Daddy with Adam Sandler; as well as countless television roles, most recently in Psych, One Tree Hill and 3Way) who was riding a beautiful Zach Ness Custom bike and who explained to me that after riding a trike during years with her husband Lloyd Eisler (2-time skating olympic medalist, world champion) she switched to 2 wheels and that doing so feels more empowered while on the road. Apology to all the very nice ladies I met and whose names are not mentioned here. And to answer a frequent question I get, yes your male companion, boyfriend, husband or whatever place he has in your life, can participate to the Biker Belles Charity Ride.
Women have always been a part of the Sturgis Rally and each year they represent a larger number of those who attend the event riding their own bikes. Whatever you call yourself, be it a motorcyclist, a weekend rider, a curiosity seeker just looking for a change of pace with your life, please join the Biker Belles for the 2013 edition. Thank you to all of you. (photography. 1- Hundreds of Biker Belles are not in this picture… 2- Laura Klock, Diva Amy, Cris Sommer-Simmons. 3- Actress Kristy Swanson with husband Lloyd Eisler. 3- Diva Amy, Harley-Davidson Events And Project Manager Christina Kutsch, Cris Sommer-Simmons 4- Mrs South Dakota, TV personality Jessi Combs, Harley-Davidson Director of Women’s Outreach Marketing Claudia Garber.