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Women Riders

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Women Riders - I knew that I wasn't alone in my love of motorcycling. So, I reached out with a post to the motorcycle forum on Craigslist, to see if I could find other women motorcyclists who would allow me to post their profile on her-motorcycle.com.

I got some awesome responses, and will be posting a new profile here, at least monthly, if not weekly.

If you are a woman who rides, and would like to share your wisdom, experiences, tips from your novice files, please fill out the contact form and let me know. If you are a woman with a motorcycle-related blog or website, and would like your site mentioned, let me know that as well. I am all for enlarging this community of women motorcycle riders!

Click here for her-motorcycle.com Contact Form, if you would like to be profiled, or have a motorcycle-related site that you would like mentioned on her-motorcycle.com.

That's me, right there behind the camera, taking a photo of a great toaster tank BMW

Meet Joanne - aka GearChic

April 13, 2003. The date my husband (Evan) and I exchanged vows and said I do. While on our honeymoon, Evan discovered coupons for scooter rentals. It was more his fantasy than mine, so like a good wife, I said "sure, whatever you like dear".

I thought it was fun, nothing more, nothing less. After returning home from our honeymoon, my husband decided to research scooters to purchase so we could have something to zip around on back at home in San Francisco. He chose a Lemon Acid, Aprilia Scarabeo Ditech 50cc, 2 stroke which we purchased that September.

Gear ChicLike good moto citizens, we obtained our M1 endorsements by taking the DMV's skill test. And of course, we always wore full protective gear while on our scooter. Including a full face helmet, leather gloves, riding jackets, long pants and close-toed shoes. Safety was always first!

Evan took me to a nearby parking lot where I rode circles around the pavement and learned how to use the brakes. It was pretty fun, but I didn't see myself riding it everyday or anything. Honestly, I found it pretty intimidating. It was heavy, a little awkward and I wasn't sure if it was something I really wanted to do in the first place. I had dropped it once and I think that killed my confidence. But I secretly fantasized about being able to ride it and be the cool, sexy chic who pulled up on 2 wheels, pulled off her helmet and tossed her hair back as onlookers stared and whispered to each other.

I was content as a passenger while we rode around the city, going to the movies, to dinner, and wherever we felt parking was going to be a hassle. Nothing like pulling up to the curb and parking right out front of your favorite restaurant!

Eventually, I decided that I should get over my anxiety of riding this thing and one week while Evan was on a business trip, I took it out for a spin with my girlfriend (who coincidentally bought her scooter a few weeks after we bought ours.) She was far more comfortable on hers, and told me that I needed to get out and just ride it. So we decided to go out, have lunch and ride the crazy streets of San Francisco.

Needless to say, after that I was hooked. I realized how much I was holding myself back by doubting myself, questioning my ability to ride and letting my self-confidence fall down. I started taking it to work everyday and eventually Evan had to start looking into buying his own bike. He was tired of asking me to borrow it and wanted to upgrade to a motorcycle anyway. So we bought a new Kawasaki Ninja 250 a year later. I remember telling him that I was "perfectly happy on my scooter and that I didn't want to learn how to use a stupid clutch anyway." So much trouble! Why would you want to complicate riding by adding in a clutch? It's so much easier to just have 2 brakes and not worry about it getting in the way.

I had the same anxieties about the motorcycle that I did about the scooter. It was 100 pounds heavier than the scooter and I didn't feel comfortable on it at all. He offered to pay for an MSF class (since he took it just before we bought the Ninja) and told me to at least try it. What's the worst that could happen?

Well, 2 things. First, my MSF instructor asked me to start the process of training to become an MSF Ridercoach. I guess she saw something special in me and that's how I became one 6 months later. Second, I passed the class feeling even more confident, happy and successful as a rider. Second, It started me on the path to starting my website and blog for GearChic.com. I love shopping and motorcycles. What better way than to combine both of these passions by starting a website solely dedicated to protective motorcycle gear for women? And, I noticed a huge gap in information when it came to gear. Other than the hundreds of online stores to buy gear, there was virtually no informative discussions about how to shop for it, how it should fit and why.

Gear ChicSoon after passing my class, I started taking the Ninja to work every day and someone had to buy his own motorcycle that Christmas.

Fast forward 5 years, and I've cycled through a 2006 Kawasaki z750s, and am now the proud owner of a 2003 Suzuki SV650S. I've doubled my annual mileage on the Suzuki compared to the previous 2 bikes, and plan on riding even more.

Taking a chance on that scooter has brought me more than I could've ever asked for. It was the starting point for my riding career. If it weren't for that scooter, I never would have made the jump, and it would've been far more difficult for me to go right up to a motorcycle. As a result of the work on my website, I've been asked to speak at several Cycle World International Motorcycle shows, and have been working in the show at the Women's Center, a new resource totally dedicated to women riders. When I'm not working on my website, or teaching MSF classes, I also work part time at Scuderia West, a KTM/Aprilia/Kymco/Victory dealer in San Francisco, selling apparel.

I'm so thrilled to be working full time in the motorcycling industry, I never thought motorcycling would become such a huge part of my life.

Visit Joanne's Website Here

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