This week thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are hitting the open road in search of one destination - Daytona Beach, Fla. Every year since 1937, the town plays host for more than 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts during Daytona Bike Week, which serves as the unofficial start of the motorcycle riding season.
While Americans will see thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life behind the handlebars this week on our highways and byways - they might be surprised to see a growing number of women in the saddle of their own motorcycles.
Women now account for 23 percent of all U.S. motorcyclists, as well as about 12 percent of new motorcycle sales for Harley-Davidson.
To celebrate women who have already accepted the calling of the open road, as well as to inspire even more women to participate in the sport, Harley-Davidson and its nationwide dealership network are staging a series of initiatives over the next several months including Garage Parties, Women Riders Month in May and the first-ever Biker Boot Camp for Women.
Karen Davidson (Great-Granddaughter of Harley-Davidson co-founder William A. Davidson) says: "We're very proud of the efforts we've made as a company to pave the way for even more women to turn their dreams of riding into reality.
""But we know there are still thousands of women out there who dream of riding their own motorcycles, which is why we're committed to inspiring them to take the first step, as well as providing them with the necessary tools and support they need."
Daytona Bike Week activities take place through March 12. Activities for women include demo rides and interactive motorcycle displays at Daytona International Speedway, as well as a women's area featuring bike lift seminars and Jumpstart at Riverfront Park on Beach Street.
Women riders also hit the road for a good cause on Tuesday during the Women's MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Ride. Karen Davidson led more than hundred female riders from Riverfront Park to Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson to support those affected by neuromuscular disease.