I know. That sounds awfully crude.
I guess I'll start this post by laying out some facts. I am a woman. (you probably have gotten that figured out, and if you've come upon this blog by accident, now you know) I ride a motorcycle. (Three actually, though not all at the same time. I work in the theatre, people. Not the circus) I'm not the best rider in the world, and I'm not the worst. I don't ride the most miles of any rider, and I don't ride the fewest. I'm a pretty "middle of the road" adventure rider.
But, I love riding, and I really love helping, encouraging, and empowering other people to ride--especially women. I think it the best feeling, knowing i helped someone learn a skill or overcome a fear, and watching that person get to enjoy riding even more than they already did.
Through Mountain Moto and the Colorado GS Girls, I get to do this regularly, and I get to see more and more women riding. And riding well! Being a part of groups like the GS Girls, Women Adventure Riders, SheADV, and Women In Motorcycling, I get to see a lot of women out riding and enjoying themselves. I also get to see them wrenching on their bikes, designing gear, going to rallies, participating in the GS Trophy, and winning the opportunity to ride through Madagascar or around the world with a small group of riders. It's truly inspiring to see what women are doing.
Motorcycling has always been seen as a man's sport. It isn't that women haven't been riding for just as long as men, but for decades, very few women rode. And for most of them, when they did they would get a pat on the head and a "Hey! Look what you can do. Nice job. Now run inside and make me a sammich, hon."
Uh huh. You know what I said is true.
But these days, the number of women motorcyclists around the world gets larger everyday. I look around and see them everywhere. I think it's awesome seeing women giving themselves the chance to do something so many of us already know is fun.
And women excel at it! Some of them ride as hard and as well as any man I've met. Then again, some women ride to have a nice time, and don't push their boundaries. The exact same can be said of men. Some of them ride as hard and as well as any women I've met, and some ride to have a good time without pushing their boundaries.
The other day as I was perusing trip pics and the like on the GS Giants page, I came across a question a man had posted asking, "Reasons to buy a R1200GS over a Ducati Multistrada: GO" I started reading through the comments--from both men and women--because I've been curious to see what people were thinking of Ducati's new Multistrada. This was a pretty loaded post, as it was posted to a GS specific website.
Some people gave their honest opinions about things such as dealership quality, ride community, accessibility to parts. Some people gave opinions based on the fact they had once been a Multistrada owner (though most of what was reported was not relevant in this case because it was bike specific and the new Multistrada Enduro is really a completely different bike), and someone mentioned he should because Starbucks has special parking for GSs. Hey, even I laughed at that one.
Then, I read one response which brought me to a screeching halt.
"Because you don't have a vagina."
Uh.... Wait, what?
My first thought was that at no time did I ever consult my vagina when purchasing a bike.
Crap! I've been doing it wrong all this time!
Somehow, it never occurred to me that my vagina might prefer a different bike. I guess when I've looked at bikes--new or used, dealership or friend's house--I haven't thought they were gender specific. Dammit! Why don't they paint them pink and blue so we can all tell much more easily??
I know, I'm being funny and silly about it. But honestly, I'm just so damn tired of shit like that. Stop referring to someone doing something badly as doing it "like a girl" or something you think is less capable as being for girls.
A woman I know--who I should mention is a badass rider-- responded with, "Is that due to a seat design issue that would make the Duc less comfortable for a man's balls?"
The guy's response to my friend was, "Don't know. Won't ride one."
Oooohhhh...he's so manly. Oh wait, nope. Just closed minded. Way to make a good showing for your gender. I'm so glad the men I know and ride with are more enlightened than that. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure some of my male friends may have had the same thought or laughed at his response. But, if they did, they were smart enough to keep their mouths shut about it.
That's all I'm going to say on the matter. But if, in the future, you see me bent over in deep conversation with my vagina about whether the bike I'm going to ride is a good one or not, you'll know why. Feel free to take a pic and post it to all social media outlets.