In this era of inside voices, Netflix Instant, and the infinite staying-in-excuses the Internet offers, some women are choosing instead to seek freedom and adventure outside, on the seat of a motorcycle. Yes, women are climbing onto hogs from coast to coast in record numbers, and not from the vantage point of sitting behind some dude who is driving them around; the number of female motorcycle owners increased 52% from 2003 to 2008. It's positively trendy to be badass!
Women who ride don't necessarily fit the existing "big dumb bully" biker stereotype, either. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, women own one in nine motorcycles, and that proportion continues to grow dramatically. Just under half of female riders are married, over 35% have college degrees, and a quarter of them work in business or health care.
Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier reports that women across South Carolina are hopping on their own bikes in droves. Some female riders say they enjoy the freedom of riding, the autonomy of being able to transport themselves from one place to another without having to deal with anyone else's needs or demands. Others ride for a cause- like counterprotesting those Westboro Baptist jackasses who hang around soldiers' funerals with signs about how "God hates fags." Still others do it because they want to rev the engine at stoplights and race cars only to reveal, via a dramatic removal of the motorcycle helmet after a humiliating road race defeat of the car unlucky enough to pull up next to them, that the driver of the motorcycle has been a woman this whole time oh my god can you believe it?! (As someone who has spent a great deal of time wearing a motorcycle helmet since being chastised by my friends and mom for going without earlier this summer, I can assure you that the moment the helmet is removed is anything but sexy. Don't believe what that Bush video told you in the 90's. No one's hair looks good after being under a motorcycle helmet.) Still other women learn to ride after moving into a new era in their lives- for example, after ending a prolonged unhealthy marriage. And others ride because it's really, really fun.
Personal catharsis aside, there are practical reasons for women to ride rather than drive. During this era of prolonged recession, it doesn't hurt that motorcycles are much cheaper than cars and almost tear-inducingly easy to park. Depending on where you live, motorcycle insurance will almost certainly put a smaller dent in your wallet than car insurance. Owning a motorcycle gives you a great excuse to buy a kickass motorcycle jacket. And finally, getting a jump start on learning cool bike tricks will almost certainly grant you social currency once we've been taken over by marauding motorcycle gangs in our Mad Max style dystopian future.
More information here.
Women on a roll: More buy motorcycles, take charge on the road [Post Courier]
Image via Igor Sheremet/Shutterstock