The first weekend in May saw women riders around the world banding together to share the open road, as well as flocking to new rider training courses around the country to help establish a world record–all to kick start Women Riders Month.Harley-Davidson’s Women Riders Month kicked-off with two special events in New York City and Milwaukee respectively in honor of International Female Ride Day on May 1, which was founded by Vicki Gray of Motoress.com to celebrate the millions of women who have already grabbed life by the handlebars. Nearly 100 female motorcycle enthusiasts, including Karen Davidson, the great-granddaughter of one of the Motor Company’s founders, as well as trainer and life coach Jillian Michaels, attended an International Female Ride Day party near New York City. Country music singer Krista Marie led nearly 300 women on a special ride from Miller Park to the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.In addition to current riders hitting the road to celebrate, 1,225 women participated in new rider training the first weekend in May, either through Harley-Davidson’s Rider’s Edge New Rider Course hosted at select dealerships across the country or through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourseSM, to help establish a world record for the number of women trained in one weekend. Harley-Davidson’s Rider’s Edge New Rider Course saw a 59 percent increase in women participation this year, compared to the same weekend last year. This activity supports a larger goal of encouraging 100,000 women to learn to ride a motorcycle.
"The successful rides, as well as the record-setting weekend for rider training, show that thousands of women are taking the controls and learning to ride their very own motorcycles," said Leslie Prevish, women’s outreach manager, Harley-Davidson. "And these initiatives are just the start of Women Riders Month–Harley-Davidson dealerships around the world are planning a number of exciting events to celebrate women riders, as well as encouraging other women to join our amazing sport."Additional programs Harley-Davidson promotes to encourage women to ride:
>> Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country host women-only Garage PartyTM
events, which provide a non-intimidating environment for women to learn more about motorcycling. >> The Motor Company recently updated the women’s section of its Web site, www.h-d.com/womenriders
, with new, inspirational stories submitted from women with topics of Why I Learned to Ride, How I Learned to Ride and Why I Ride my Harley. The new site is the ultimate information resource for women riders as well as those who want to get into the sport. >> Harley-Davidson continues to distribute We Ride, a comprehensive and inspirational brochure on what a new rider or a woman interested in riding needs to know about getting into the sport. Women can pick one up at a local dealership, download it from the Web site or call 1-800-LUV2RIDE for a free copy. >> Share Your Spark: A Guide to Mentoring, a tool kit Harley-Davidson developed for current and aspiring riders featuring information on how to be a resource and support system to others during their motorcycling journey. This tool kit can be downloaded or ordered from the redesigned women riders section of the Harley-Davidson Web site www.harley-davidson.com/mentoring