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More info about the Global Women Who Ride Project

My initial proposal for the Global Women Who Ride project has received some pretty enthusiastic responses and I’ve gotten email from lots of really amazing women who want to be a part of this project. This makes me so happy that I have no words. Looking at some of these womens’ achievements and credentials is humbling and inspiring! The first round of interview questions has gone out to riders across the world. I’m so looking forward to hearing back from them.

For those of you who might be visiting this blog because you were linked to the project, I thought I’d write a little bit more about this idea and try and explain what I am trying to accomplish and why. When I look at contemporary motorcycling literature and media, I find very few women being represented or in positions of influence like writers, editors, test riders, product testers etc. This is of course in large part because we are such a minority. And yet, I long to see other people like me and to hear their stories. I know that there are amazing motorcycling women out there with whom I’d love to sit down and talk over a cup of tea (or beer!) and listen to them talk. And I know that most of us want to hear each other’s stories and learn a little more about the other’s life. So my aims here are manifold. I want us all to have a platform to tell the world about our experiences, I want to make women motorcyclists more visible to the motorcycling industry, to advertisers, to non-motorcyclists, and to the world, and I want to create a global community where we all learn from each other and get a deeper understanding of each other’s lives seen through the lens of this shared passion of ours.

In my mind, no experience is too small or unimportant. Whether you just got your license and picked up your first bike or you’ve been riding for 50+ years, I’m sure you have had experiences that others would love to hear about. When you’re writing about your experience, think of someone geographically far away from you. So for example if you live in Canada, think about a Japanese rider reading your interview. The most mundane detail of your life and rides would be hugely fascinating to her! And vice versa. Even within the United States, as someone who lives on the West Coast of the United States, I’m intrigued to understand what the life of a rider in New York City or San Francisco must be like. And that’s just geography. Even within the same country or state, we have incredible diversity in our experiences, whether it’s because of the type of motorcycle we ride, the kinds of rides we do, whether we race or not, whether we wrench on our own bikes or not. In addition, our various “real-life” identities like race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, profession, marital status, economic status, disabilities, if any, all subtly affect the way we motorcycle, how safe we feel out on the road, the amount of leisure time we have to ride our bikes, the kinds of group motorcycling activities we get involved in, the extent to which we join online motorcycling communities etc.

Finally, I am very keen on these not being “fluff” pieces. Most women I know are intelligent, hard-working people who have rich lives, ambitions and dreams, and complex interactions within the socio-political landscape. They all have a very real impact on their immediate environment and the world. I’d like to highlight this side of the women I profile, and some of my questions reflect this. In my mind the ideal interview will be a combination of fun stuff like your bikes, rides, gear, favorite stories, and somewhat serious stuff like your thoughts around community, female friendship, activism, experiences with online motorcycling forums and communities etc.

This interview series will begin on my blog. I will start with posting an interview per week and work my way up to doing one every 2-3 days. (I do have a fulltime day job, which unfortunately restricts how much I’d like to do.) As I post them, I will continue to try and find women in more countries as well as those with more diversity of experience. Maybe 6 months to a year from now, I hope to have enough interviews to start pitching a book idea. I think a beautiful coffee table book would be a fitting end result for this effort! This will be the difficult part as I don’t have much experience with the publishing industry outside of getting some of my articles published. If nothing else, I will at least create a beautiful eBook that people can read on their tablets until a publisher picks it up.

If you’ve read this far and you like what you’ve heard and would like to participate, email me at womenwhoride at red-baroness dot net (replace “at” with @ and “dot” with . to form a normal email address).

I look forward to hearing from you!