As the flag dropped, I was off with sheer determination and perseverance, racing a Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 flat track bike on a makeshift track in the middle of the Croatian mountains. With focus in my eyes, I raced my challenger with everything I had. It was a scene straight out of the ‘Harley and the Davidsons’ docuseries (if you haven’t seen it yet, this is a must watch). There were a few differences of course, including some serious gear and high performance bikes, which were a stark contrast compared to the earlier flat track bikes used back in the early 1900’s. Starting in second gear, I slowly made my way around corners, hoping to keep the bike from sliding out. I used every skill I had been taught that morning by champion racers Ruben Xaus and Grant Martin, and while I didn’t win the race, my personal goals for the day had been met.
Even better than that were the positive accolades I received even before I left the track. I could hear the cheering from my fellow racers, I could see fists pump the air, and then I was congratulated by a local Croatian man who was thrilled to see me out racing. Apparently news spreads fast, and when Harley-Davidson comes to town, you make plans to check it out. This man patted my back so many times that I lost count; I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but the smile on his face was big enough to make me smile just as widely in return. A few women who watched the race came up to me, and thanked me for representing the girls club.
As nervous as I was to race that day, I pulled on a leather race suit, strapped the metal plate to my left foot, hopped on a pretty heavy 750 Street Rod, and gave away my flat track virginity. No, wait, I earned it, and I showed that bike who was boss. No front brake? No problem! I adapted pretty quickly and found my groove on the track. It was a fun day, and by the end of it, my fellow racers and I were exhausted and sweaty, but with huge smiles plastered across our faces.
The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity. When you get an invite to ride motorcycles in Croatia, you don’t turn it down. With little more than an itinerary and a list of gear to pack, I hopped on a plane to Europe with pretty much no idea of what to expect. A few friends commented when I returned home at how brave they thought I was, and how they could never travel to another country not knowing who would be there. I guess at one point in my life I would have thought the same thing, but then I realized that I would not have experienced half of the things I have in my life if I would have just stayed in my comfort zone.
So as I hopped off that flat track bike, Caylee (photographer extraordinaire) approached me and thanked me for representing the ladies out on that track that day. I learned that she is a badass chick who also rides bikes and races flat track in the UK. Crazy how motorcycles connect us isn’t it?!
Later that day I was chatting with another moto journalist and I commented on how I was the only girl racing that day. He calmly shrugged his shoulders while saying that he didn’t even notice. As we discussed it more, he said that with more and more women riding these days it isn’t as noticeable. At first I wasn’t sure what to think, because I’m used to usually being the only girl in a group of riders, often characterized by bright colors, and other distinguishing features so people know I’m a girl. Why? Well I’m proud of course. I’m proud of my heritage, I’m proud of the fact that my mom started riding in the 70’s when it wasn’t as common for women to ride motorcycles, and I’m proud that my parents chose to raise their daughters on bikes.
There are days where I rock all black, and look well, like a boy I suppose. There are times I’m torn about my identity on a bike. Sure, I’m proud to be a chick who rides, and sometimes I want to shout it out and stand out, but then there are days where I just want to ride, with whoever, wherever and whenever, wearing whatever. To hear that another moto journalist didn’t really notice that I was the only girl there was cool, eye opening, and intriguing, all at the same time.
When I attended the Sisters Centennial Ride in 2016, organized Alisa Clickenger, I remember someone saying, “the day people don’t notice I’m a girl on a bike is the day that I know we’ve accomplished what we set out to do”.
At the end of the day, I just want to ride, and even though I put myself in situations that some may find incredibly intimidating, I push myself to get outside of my comfort zone because that’s what you have to do if you want to make your mark on the world. So ladies and fellow riders reading this, I challenge you to do something different, accept an opportunity, race a flat track bike, travel and ride in another country. We have one life to live, and we need to enjoy every moment. Be proud to be a girl who rides, but be even prouder that sometimes people may not notice.
More from the Harley-Davidson Street Rod Flat Track Press Event in Croatia (click pic to enlarge):
Imagine never having to take your hands of the bars to activate your communication device!
Cardo Systems has made it possible by announcing the availability of PACKTALK – the world’s first natural voice-command operated motorcycle communications system. Riders simply say, “Hey Cardo” and the always-on system reacts instantaneously, no longer requiring sometimes tedious and ineffective activation commands. It’s yet another “first” from the company that introduced Bluetooth communication to the riding experience in 2004.
With riding season opening up across the country and riders seeking the most innovative products, we thought you’d be interested in covering the all-new PACKTALK from Cardo Systems.
The PACKTALK line also utilizes Cardo’s proprietary Dynamic Mesh Communication technology to create the industry’s most-sophisticated and dynamic motorcycle communications system. Unlike Bluetooth communications, Dynamic Mesh Communication-powered devices are interconnected, thus allowing a group of riders to seamlessly join, leave or change positions at a distance of up to five miles without causing a breakdown in communications, while the self-adjusting network automatically works to keep the riding group connected.
Natural Voice Operation: Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the bars. Just say, “Hey Cardo” and tell it what you want, it will do the rest.
Dynamic Mesh Communication: A next-generation intercom that makes your ride simple. Set your intercom group once and forget about it.
Waterproof: No matter what you throw at it, the IP67 certified unit will take the beating and keep you connected rain, shine, mud, dust or snow.
Explosive Sound: Powerful, high-definition speakers and specially tuned audio processor deliver a sound experience like no other.
Cardo Systems, the global market leader in wireless communication systems for motorcyclists, today announced availability of the next generation of its ground-breaking PACKTALK system at specialty retailers and Cardosystems.com. The world’s first natural voice-command-operated motorcycle communications system, PACKTALK BOLD utilizes Cardo’s proprietary Dynamic Mesh Communication technology to create the industry’s most-sophisticated and dynamic motorcycle communications system.
Introduced in Milan last November at EICMA, PACKTALK BOLD represents a new standard in ease-of-use and seamlessly integrates with Apple’s Siri and “OK Google” voice-command platforms. With natural voice-command, riders can simply say, “Hey Cardo” to the system spontaneously and the always-on system reacts instantaneously. It no longer requires a specific activation action such as push-to-talk. Instead, the system allows riders to keep their hands on the bars at all times and is a significant advancement over current systems that required sometimes tedious and ineffective activation commands. With PACKTALK BOLD, Cardo leapfrogs the limited-natured discourse about the ideal button control, and instead adds a new dimension of always-on, natural voice commands.
“PACKTALK BOLD is the world’s most powerful, yet easy to use, motorcycle communication system, and we’re thrilled to bring it to North American riders,” said Dr. Abraham Glezerman – Cardo’s founder and CEO. “With PACKTALK BOLD we’re taking rider safety to the next level: Instead of fidgeting with buttons or wheels, riders can now voice-control their unit on the go in a natural way and without ever having to take their hands off the bars.”
PACKTALK utilizes Cardo Connect, Cardo’s new minimalistic and intuitive mobile app for setting and controlling the company’s entire FREECOM and PACKTALK line of devices on the road. Using natural language commands and the all-new Cardo Assistant App, riders can use PACKTALK BOLD without having to touch any button or remove a hand from the handlebar.
PACKTALK BOLD takes flight via Cardo’s state-of-art Dynamic Mesh Technology, allowing up to 15 riders to wirelessly communicate with each other with the same ease of connecting just two. Unlike Bluetooth communications, Dynamic Mesh Communication-powered devices are interconnected, thus allowing a group of riders to seamlessly join, leave or change positions at a distance of up to five miles without causing a breakdown in communications, while the self-adjusting network automatically works to keep the riding group connected. And with class-leading wind-noise suppression, a rider’s voice always comes through crisp and clear.
“PACKTALK BOLD merges pioneering Dynamic Mesh technology with smoothly activated natural voice commands, to deliver a superior riding experience that simply can’t be understated,” said Dr. Glezerman.
The system uses a single-unit design simply clipped to a helmet and featuring a slick roller controller for easy volume adjustment. Its rider-to-rider range is up to one mile or up to five miles when used in a group mesh arrangement.
Cardo also announces availability of PACKTALK SLIM, an integral communicator packing the same performance inside a 0.25” super sleek and thin shell. PACKTALK SLIM is recommended by HJC. It also fit a host of other premium helmets from manufacturers such as Shoei, Arai, Bell and others.
PACKTALK BOLD and PACKTALK SLIM use Bluetooth 4.1 to easily connect with mobile devices like phones and GPS units, as well as universal connectivity to any Bluetooth communicators. It also features automatic volume control, smart intercom/music mixing, rider-to-passenger audio sharing, FM radio, and up to 13 hours of talk time.
Both PACKTALKs retail at an MSRP of $329.95 for single units and $579.95 for a DUO set.
The new PACKTALK BOLD and SLIM systems join Cardo’s FREECOM and Q-solo lines of Bluetooth communicators. All Cardo units are IP67-certified as fully waterproof, not simply water-resistant like lesser communicators, and all feature a two-year warranty and a U.S.-based customer-support system.
Cardo Systems specializes in the design, development, manufacturing and sale of state-of-the-art communication and entertainment systems for motorcycle helmets. Since inception in 2004, Cardo has pioneered the vast majority of innovations for Bluetooth motorcycle communication systems. The company’s products, now available in over 85 countries, are the world’s leading communication devices for the motorcycle industry.
We are living in an unprecedented era of women empowerment. While we as women still have a way to go before we break through glass ceilings the fact is, that women are doing more than in past decades. Flock to the Rock is a testimony to what women can accomplish and I feel very honored to have been able to attend this empowering event. Women of all motorcycle types and skills attended and the joy and camaraderie were palpable at each workshop and throughout the entire three days. I want to share with you, dear reader, a snippet of each day in the hopes that you are enticed to join the adventure at next year’s Flock to the Rock. I promise that it is an event worth attending!
This year saw an almost 50% increase in attendance from last year’s Flock to the Rock, which is a huge increase! Key speakers were Elspeth Beard and Pat Jaques, both accomplished women in the world of motorcycling. There were door prizes and a larger raffle event, with wonderful items such as KLIM and REV’IT! women’s riding suits, Sena bluetooth devices, ICON jackets, and many other items too numerous to list here.
Thursday opened with an introduction and welcoming speech by Ruth Belcher, founder and CEO of Global Moto Adventures. Ruth is the main host and organizer of the Flock to the Rock event and she detailed what was in store for us in the next two days while attendees ate the delicious dinner that was provided. Ruth then introduced the opening key speaker, Pat Jaques, founder of ADVWoman. What an amazing lady! Pat shared her story of how she came to create ADVWoman, a training skills company “for women by women”. Pat’s journey to overcome those that say “You can’t” was truly an inspiration to all; she is a true pioneer! The evening ended with a Q&A session and door prizes. We all left with a sense of excitement about the next two days to come.
Pat Jaques of ADVWoman
Friday started with a scrumptious breakfast where we all got a chance to sit, eat and mingle with everyone. The first workshop was “Moto-camping Packing” presented by Marissa Rose. Marissa provided all of us with a comprehensive array of items to be used for camping off the motorcycle. Some of the items in Marissa’s presentation were new to me, such as a helmet bag with built in lock and Nite Ize hooks for moto-camping. Marissa’s presentation was lively and very interactive. Her presentation was then followed by “Roadside First Aid” by Erin Graham. Erin is an EMT and firefighter and her presentation included many useful tips to ensure we are prepared for the unexpected. For example, having a small first aid kit prepared that is packable on the motorcycle with a few must haves, like band-aids, gauze, large syringe for irrigation and iodine. After Erin’s presentation, we all broke for lunch.
After lunch, we descended upon the convention center again for the afternoon session, which began with “Off road Workshop” presented by Pat Jaques, who has over 51 years of riding experience. Pat showed us a few simple exercises that strengthen our balance and position on the bike, without even having to leave the garage! Even if you don’t ride off-road, these exercises would still be beneficial to ensure proper balance and less fatigue while riding. Because as Pat pointed out, “Women ride differently than men…because we are built different than men.” Some of the things we need to be aware of is our body position and that we must use the strength of our legs instead of upper body. Pat’s intern, Kris Fant, demonstrated these exercises on a motorcycle and we could all see how these changes could improve our ride.
Friday concluded with the “Chikistan Panel” which consisted of Cassie, Dionne, Elspeth, Liza, Michelle, Ruth, Sheila and Tiffany; there were a total of 12 that went to Pakistan but only the eight were represented at the panel. What an adventure these ladies had in Pakistan! The panel session contained picture slides of the group’s motorcycle journey in Pakistan. Their journey was not your typical motorcycle touring trip, many times they would each ride by themselves and then meet up at the end of the day. They started the session with debunking the misconceptions about the country, for example, the women are kept always inside or that the women do not ride motorcycles. The common theme during their stay in Pakistan is that they didn’t need to speak the same language, love was felt by all there.
Liza asked each panelist, “Why did you decide to go to Pakistan?”
Ruth: To ride with twelve bad ass women and see the local women and teach them how to ride motorcycles.
Elspeth: To see the country she had missed out on before. The trip exceeded her expectations.
Dionne: It was a no brainer!
Tiffany: She didn’t have a choice; Liza made her go!
Sheila: Since she was a kid, she wanted to go because of the K2 (Karakoram Hwy).
Cassia: Looking for adventure and making new friends.
Michelle: Ride the K2 (Karakoram Hwy) and ride with women on her biggest moto trip. She wanted to blow the stereotypes out of the water and piss her family off!
For anyone who wishes to have more information on the upcoming trip in 2019, you can visit RidetheKKH.com. Also, Liza hosts a motorcycle podcast called Motorcycles and Misfits. It is worth a listen!
Saturday arrived with much excitement for all “Flockers”. Not only were we all going to be riding together, but we were all riding at the same time as all our wind sisters internationally – it was International Female Ride Day (IFRD)! We all met for group instructions and layouts at the Seaside Convention Center and then headed over to Astoria for the group picture. The excitement, the laughter, the jokes and the camaraderie that day was intoxicating! We all had our adventures and then converged for lunch at The Columbia River Roadhouse in Washington. I have never seen so many motorcycles in one small space. I met riders that had been riding for only five months and others that had been riding for over 50 years. One of the couples I met, Gayle and Angie Culver, provided the drone footage for the IFRD ride across the Astoria bridge. These lovely ladies met during a past IFRD ride. What did they have to say about IFRD? “It is so cool to know we are all connected in one day all around the world”. Well said!
Saturday evening, we met for the last featured speaker presentation by Elspeth Beard, author of Lone Rider. She spoke of how she came to be the first British woman to ride around the world. Elspeth bought her first bike at 16 and then at 17 she bought her 1974 BMW R60/6. The thought of riding around the world was not taken on a whim. She had thought how wonderful it would be to ride around the world a year before she decided to do it. Elspeth talked about how going around the world did not happen all at once; it occurred in stages. Sometimes she would have to work a little in order to continue her journey. On a private interview with Elspeth, she spoke of how different it was back then to travel. There was no GPS, no instant messaging, no one there to rely on except herself. There was no way to tell people what she was doing or what she had done. She was truly on the edge of exploration! In 2009 she found out that she was the first British woman to have ridden around the world. When asked why she wanted to ride around the world, she said she rode for herself. The experience of finding her way and getting lost is what “Sharpens you up. It’s real … that raw reality is a bit lost with modern technology. When it is just you, you that has to fix the bike, it adds an element.” Elspeth’s experience and story is truly inspirational. I highly recommend reading her book, Lone Rider. She is my role model!
As the day ended, we were all so sad to leave, there were many hugs and kisses as we all said goodbye. It is my sincerest hope that those of you reading this become inspired to join us next year. You will not regret it!
It was love at first site when I spotted this jacket at Revival Cycles in Austin Texas. The tailored fit, the hidden armor, the nice stretch of the fabric, the REVI’IT! Logan Ladies won me over right away. Even though I wasn’t riding that night, I could have easily worn this jacket for the rest of my visit and no one would know it was protective gear. If you’ve ridden, let us know what you think. So far my only request would be to have sizes past XL.
Trying on the REV’IT! Logan Ladies Jacket at Revival Cycles
In addition to generous pockets and ventilation (yay!), here’s more info from REV’IT!:
extra comfort by mechanical stretch
Stretch is always comfortable to wear but mechanical stretch takes it to a higher level. Normally it is the fabric itself that is stretchable; in this case it is the weaving that makes the fabric stretchable.
The loop at the back of this jacket enables you to attach it to your jeans, which prevents the jacket from creeping up: no more exposed back when riding your bike.
moisture-wicking function by COOLMAX® element
short connection zipper
triple needle stitching
The seams have been triple stitched. This means there are three separate seams stitched parallel to each other to provide extra strength and durability.double layered with PWR|shield
PWR | shield is created with a unique knit technique which results in a fabric with unsurpassed cut, tear and abrasion resistance level. This product is equipped with a double layer of PWR | shield for extra safety.
SEESMART CE-level 1 protection
prepared for SEESOFT CE-level 2 back protector insert – Type RV
The back protector pocket in this REV’IT! garment is tailor-made to accommodate the SEESOFT CE-level 2 back protector insert Type RV – an easy upgrade to maximize safety.
10oz Cordura® stretch denim with COOLMAX® elementCordura® denim fabric retains the authentic look and feel of cotton denim, but with added abrasion resistance, and toughness. CORDURA® denim is exceptionally durable without compromising on comfort and style. COOLMAX® fabrics are made of polyester fibers. These special multi-channel fibers form a transport system that moves perspiration away from the skin to the outer layer of the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, allowing the wearer to feel cooler and more comfortable. In this case Cordura® denim and COOLMAX® are combined, resulting in a durable, abrasion resistance fabric that keeps you cool.
The REV’IT! Logan Ladies is new this year, ask your dealer, available at Revzilla for $259.99 in sizes XS to XL.
Dainese presents Custom Works, a service for fully-customized and made-to-measure Dainese motorcycle racing suits and jackets for race and street enthusiasts.
The multi-channel experience begins online with the new 3D Configurator and continues at the store where the personalized garment is delivered to the customer. Custom Works is an engaging process that combines the practicality of digital configuration with the craftsmanship of a unique, handmade product.
With Custom Works, Dainese offers all bikers the quality and know-how it has acquired with more than 45 years of experience in the production of personalized leather suits. For nearly half a century, Dainese has grown, collaborated and shared its goals with the greatest riders of all time, from Giacomo Agostini to Valentino Rossi. Over this same period, Dainese has always pushed the boundaries of innovation.With Custom Works, anyone can have a tailor-made garment and create his or her own unique design, choosing from a vast array of leather colors and accessories, with the option of adding words and images.
The new Custom Works is a fully updated multi-channel experience. Accessible via the Dainese website, the brand-new 3D configurator allows each motorcyclist to personalize his/her leather suit, jacket or pants in real time, with a simple, engaging and interactive digital experience. The customer can see a preview of the garment, change the colors of the various parts, select accessories (plates, sliders), and upload words and images that are immediately visible on the 3D garment.
Once the design is complete, the biker saves the model and books an appointment during which sizes are taken. The purchase is then completed at a Certified Custom Works Center – a network of stores authorized and certified by Dainese to offer the Custom Works service.
The 25 anatomical measurements needed for the personalized garment are taken with the support of a specialized consultant. Special consideration is also given to the customer’s specific needs and the expected use of the product. At the Store, customers can actually touch the technology, materials, finishes and accessories that give life to the most advanced Grand Prix leather suits and that are also used to create the customized garment.
With Custom Works, every customer can wear an absolutely unique Dainese garment.
If you’re going to be anywhere near the Oregon Coast on May 3rd-5th, be sure to check out Flock to the Rock 2018 in Seaside, Oregon. Sponsored by Global Motorcycle Adventures for Women, this second annual event promises to be a fun and informative weekend for women who ride, with workshops and speakers, food and fun.
International Female Ride Day
It also just so happens to coincide with International Female Ride Day on May 5th and there will be a ride up the Oregon Coast to Astoria and up into Washington State.
Modern Moto is one of the sponsors of the event, and I can’t wait to attend the ride and meet hundreds of women riders from all over the world! If you’ve never been to the Oregon Coast it’s an amazing place filled with stunning views and hundreds of miles of rugged and beautiful coast line. This year’s ride takes both street and off-road riders on two similar but different routes that snake up the Oregon coast and into southwest Washington State, then back down the Washington coast before crossing back over into Oregon again.
Elspeth Beard Keynote Speaker
The featured speaker is Elspeth Beard, the first British woman to travel around the world solo. She made her trip in 1982 – well before GPS and cell phones! She’ll be signing books as well as speaking about her adventures on Saturday evening, May 5th at 7pm at the event at the Seaside Convention Center. For more information or to buy tickets to the event, visit the Global Moto Adventures website
Inspired by the millions of female motorcyclists in the U.S. and beyond, MotoChic® combines leading edge design with high performance materials to create safe and stylish accessories and apparel for adventure-loving women.
Wind & Throttle brings together riders, designers and companies that create what women riders need on their ride in the way they want it. It empowers women to wear what fits them best as they ride wherever the wind & throttle takes them!
VnM Sport offers the most advanced motorsports base layer gear on the market. Their ladies compression tops and pants are created by women with our needs in mind, incorporating innovative fabric technologies and unique designs.
Modern Moto is a fashion-centric, gear-focused motorcycle magazine for women who ride. It features everything moto gear related with beautiful photography and real-life inspiration from women with a passion for riding motorcycles.
We stopped by Roland Sands Design and got a peek behind the retail store and in the shop where the magic happens. Already gorgeous bikes lined up waiting their turn to become beautifully unique. Lots of excitement brewing on the gear side as well, new women’s gear in the works! We can’t wait to see it RSD!
AGV AND VALENTINO ROSSI – 1970’s-INSPIRED “SOLELUNA” DESIGN
Valentino Rossi and legendary helmet designer, Aldo Drudi, collaborated to update the design of the AGV Pista GP R in a completely new and unique look compared to Rossi’s past helmet designs. The combination of technical support from AGV and design collaboration between Rossi and Drudi brings together the best of technology, safety and racing style.
Inspired by popular graphics from the 1970’s , the new Valentino Rossi helmet features linear shapes, color blocks that stand out on the shells, and the name of the rider.
Drudi’s creativity brought Rossi’s concept to life: a helmet that he would have worn should his racing career have taken place in the 1970’s, an idea the champion from Tavullia, Italy, has had in mind for years.
The design is a pronounced change in direction compared to the style of the latest designs presented by AGV and Rossi, including the extremely colorful Mexican-themed helmet used during the 2018 Winter Tests. For Rossi, the presentation of new helmets has become a true ritual, full of nuance, and often imitated.
The design of the new helmet is deliberately clean and simple, leaving ample room to emphasize the drawing of the Sun and the Moon, and introduces a change in colors including a refined mattE finishing for the dark blue areas. Visit AGV.
Day 1, ADV Basics class with Black Swan Moto, at Prairie City OHV Park in Rancho Cordova, CA. I am having so much fun, building skills and confidence, and doing things I never thought I’d do. The weather has been ominous - it hailed on us briefly! The best part is there are 2 other women in the classes!