I ride a Harley-Davidson Softail Custom. I also happen to be a woman. It’s no big deal, the fact that I am female and I ride a bike. I don’t ride to prove anything. I am not on a campaign to show how cool or how bad-ass I am (but, I am both, by the way). I simply ride because I need to. It’s something that I have to do to stay healthy and sane. It’s my solace, my meditation, my retreat from the world.
But, here in Utah. Oh, Lordy! I can’t tell you how many people I meet who are amazed by the fact that I am a woman on a Harley. It’s so shocking to them. Maybe it’s the fact that I am–ahem–middle-aged, grey-haired, plumper-than-most, and short. I stand only 5′ 5″ tall. Maybe it’s the fact that I live here and well, due to the prevailing religion, most women are not on motorcycles. They are having lots of babies. One after the other. (I don’t judge.)
So, when I roar up on my massive, purple machine, it’s truly a novelty, a reason to stare, a resulting nudge of one dude to his buddy–“Hey, look at the chick on the bike”. Sigh. It’s just weird. I honestly don’t like the attention. I’m used to California where you see women bikers every day, and no one is practically crashing their truck or running a red light to get a look at you. LOL! In Cali, you can ride below the radar, enjoy your bike and the road without a big fuss being made. You can retreat inside the deeply personal, totally focussed, and meditative state that motorcycle riding produces. Ah, I miss that riding anonymity.
So, for the record: I ride, not because I am a woman out to prove anything, but because I love it. I love the freedom, the absolute pointed, sacred awareness of every element that makes up the fast-moving mosaic. I see everything when I am out there, and I become all of it–the trees, the sky, the road, the bike, the air, the grasses, the hills, the wildlife, the sunshine. It is my chance to quiet the active, incessant mind and simply be in the moment, be aware, be awake, and feel connected. It is my chance at wholeness. Makes no difference that I am a woman this time around. I ride for the ride. What about you? Why do you ride? Come on, spill it. : )