Specific to Women

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by VelvtRide, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    I think it is very individual. Especially when you get into competitive fields where folks are usually self-selected.

    I've got a female friend who holds 2 or is it now 3 Bonnieville Salt Flat records. She also enjoys wrenching and has won awards for her hand built bike, the one she set one of her records on. I had a sister in law who rightfully wore the t-shirt "if you can read this the bitch just passed your ass." Competitive doesn't begin to describe her though she has mellowed as she's gotten older.

    Then there were the women racers from the 30s and beyond: Dot Robinson, Theresa Wallach, Margaret Wilson (logged over 550,000 miles during her lifetime).

    But then this isn't about racing and notable women adventurers from recent years are Sherri Wilkins who rode around the world solo. Danielle Murdoch who rode 45,000 miles from Australia to Africa. 17 year old Natasha Moss who rode through 15 counties to raise money for charity. Cathy Birchall who rode in 31 countries - solo. While these are more extreme examples the number of men who have done the same sort of riding is also limited.

    Women on motorcycles doing adventure riding isn't new with ladies like the Van Buren sisters were among the first of either gender to ride coast to coast, traveling aboard an Indian Power Plus in 1916. Their achievements included summiting Pikes Peak. Not to mention Bessie Springfield who rode cross country solo on her Harley in 1930 and continued to do so 7 more times. BTW, she was a black woman her cross country trips included the deep south.

    There are some issues that maybe unique to women in terms of safety when traveling solo but frankly they are probably somewhat less than those of any woman traveling alone.

    FWIW, this is an excerpt from a rant I posted on another forum when someone was denigrating a bike as "a girl's bike" as if women were inherently less capable of riding.
  2. bykergrrl

    bykergrrl Been here awhile

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    Amen. Personally I am no longer interested in defending or explaining why I ride. If someone has a problem with me riding I consider it their problem not mine.
  3. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister

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    Been riding a lot of years, like about 40+, well before it was cool to be a female rider - but being a rider was still cool as far as I was concerned and it still is. There are a lot of different female riders and reasons they ride.

    Over the years things have changed a lot for women, it's a lot easier now. I admire those women and men back in the early 1900s that really knew what adventure riding was only they called it riding then. Kick starting a bike and being able to do your own work was the norm. I like the magic button and dependable bikes.

    The difference between men and women riding? Not a lot for the majority (I think). For me the difference is I have short legs and lack of upper body strength. It wasn't so much a problem in the 60s & 70s when the bikes were made a little closer to the ground and not with the sky high seat heights they come with now. Then again my choice of bikes has always been the ones that are naturally taller rather than the cruisers with the lower seats. For touring I wanted a sports touring bike, for street I want a dual sport, for dirt - well I went with what I was told is a kiddie bike, a Honda 100. I have only owned one bike that I could flat foot and I do get tired of worrying about if I will fall over each time I stop. I don't want to break a hip. :D

    It used to be when I would stop at a gas station there would always be someone that wanted to chat and with the comment of "do you ride that big bike all by yourself?" That was after I pulled in alone and was gassing up with no other bike around. I always thought that was funny. When I camped I always had people coming around to check out the female on the motorcycle which resulted in a lot of invitations for meals with other campers. Men on motorcycles have people talk with them too but not as much as a woman alone. As a woman alone I appear to be a lot more approachable and for me that has been fun. I have met some interesting people along the way.

    After all these years I'm not approached as much as I was in my younger days. I don't know if it's because now I'm just a older woman on a bike rather than a young gal on a bike or if it is because people are more used to women riding. :dunno

    As far as competition goes, I don't have a competitive bone in my body. I prefer to take my time and enjoy the flowers along the way.:flug
  4. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Ladybug, mostly I ride a scooter since I have a hip issue that when it flares makes it hard to swing a leg over though I do have a motorcycle as well. The number of folks who ask me at stops "did you ride that all the way from Texas by yourself" is amazing. The "scooter" is a 500cc Aprilia that can go into triple digits when when I choose but it doesn't fit many people's idea of a long distance tourer. Though it is considered a tourer in Europe. I do get approached more when I'm riding one of the scooters than when I'm riding the Honda motorcycle. Then again many folks think I'm nuts riding 250cc scooters from Hyder, Alaska to NOLA and my upcoming Florida to Washington state. I have to admit that sometimes I am competitive though usually with myself but other times I want to cruise along with my camera enjoying what's around me.

    FWIW despite being 5' 7" with a 31" inseam too many of the bikes I'd like are too tall for me particularly with my hip issue which is why I have a CTX instead on an NC750. I prefer the standard riding position but compromised with CTC700 in-between standard and cruiser for the ability to ride on a day when my hip flares. Full cruiser makes my back hurt. I think the biggest challenge for women is as you stated height and weight of so many bikes. The return of more midsize bikes is a step in the right direction. It isn't just women who have issues with sweat height my husband has a shorter inseam than I do.
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  5. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

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    I am a short guy who didn't know what his 'sweat' height is.
  6. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Back from the 2016 Scooter Cannonball ( http://scootercannonball.com ) where I placed 6th out of 35 starters and the highest placed female in the competition. I was also the only woman of the 5 riders who rode both to the start and home afterwards. 4 of the 5 women who started were in the top half with 12 and 13th place riders were also women with Scooterista riding a vintage 1979 Vespa P200 two stroke. She completed every single leg and did all the optional dirt sections with good cheer. I skipped the optional dirt sections but ended up riding 70 miles of dirt roads on the last day of my return home ride. The fifth woman ended up helping driving the support truck after a mix up with support drivers on her team so I'm not sure we should count her as competing. If you want to know more I've posted pretty much every day on my blog as did several other competitors.

    FWIW, in 3 weeks I rode from Houston to Amelia Island, Florida to Mukilteo, WA to Breckenridge, CO for a total over nearly 7,000 miles replacing the belt, rollers, variator and oil before leaving the Seattle area on a 244cc scooter. Feels good to not have ridden for a couple of days now but it won't be long before I'm back on 2 wheels even if just for a short ride to town. ;)
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  7. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Auto correct and your "sweat" height is the seat height of what you ride vs your pants inseam.
  8. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Isn't it proven that women have more stamina than men? Perhaps they can excel at touring more than racing?
    I find a peculiar (to me and some other men) aspect to a woman riders mind/brain/attitude/character they seem to be able to change their mind at or without will and it doesn't bother them.
    For example: we have a plan TO STOP BY 5PM. No she says lets keep going headed for home. 3am the next day and we arrive home having ridden through the night and early morning.
    OR: we have a plan to stop at 3pm and get a campground, but 'we' decide to ride until 6pm and get a hotel.
    OR: we have a plan to ride to a specific campground which is a 36 mile detour (one way) but when we get there the woman 'doesn't like it'....there's nothing wrong with it to me, it has showers.
    MOST guys I know say 'fuck it' let's stop or 'fuck it' lets go, or 'fuck it' lets sleep here.
    For an overnight stop of ten hours I've never heard a guy say (after riding 400 miles and then another 36 down a one way road you have to come back on) "I don't like this camp ground it has no trees, I'm not sleeping here"
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  9. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    I have a 23" inseam .. I seem to be shrinking :yikes

    This is why I started to ride trikes..
    As when I wanted a bigger CC engine I couldn't reach the ground..
    I had lowered my nighthawk ..And it never handled the same after that...

    It's a woman's prerogative to change one's mind :D

    When I camped in the desert there are NO trees .. Just a pergola ... IT worked for me . When it's 110* out..
    Showers to cool off with is a plus !
  10. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

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    Several of the inseam challenged riders I know ride trikes or can-ams for that reason, not all of them are female either.
  11. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    Plus I'm 5' ... But strong as an OX :D
    Being a farmer...

    My mate said why do you small gals ride big things ..
    10' long trike, 16 Hand - 17 Hand horses,
    1 ton 4 door duly... :lol2

    I told him, it makes us feel 10 feet tall and bullet proof :augie
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    That's why Colleen rides a BMW R1200GS!
    Well there is the leather and red hair....any excuse to look cool.
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  13. VelvtRide

    VelvtRide i can haz a motrsykle?

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    So glad this thread is still going after nearly 10 yrs!
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  14. LadyDraco

    LadyDraco KillerSmileIHazIt !!

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    How the heck have you been ?
  15. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister

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    Nice to see the thread with some activity on it. Hopefully some more tips will be added. I'm headed out for a ride and I will see if I can come up with things I do that might be of interest to others.
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  16. HeatherHooligan

    HeatherHooligan Class War Hooligan

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    Just discover this thread. Very nice! I am pretty much dead center average for height and such for US women . I ride a KLR and a vintage Yamaha 400xs. The Yamaha is just as heavy as the klr but the low seat height makes it super easy for me to ride. The KLR was more of a challenge but not too bad because I have long legs for someone who is 5'6". My inseam is 30". Knowing how much lowering links can negatively effect the geometry of the bike, I opted to customize my seat for a better overall height and for comfort - the stock seat was horrible. It took two attempts to get it just right but was so worth it. I used black glitter vinyl and it makes my ugly old KLR a bit more fun and a joy to ride.
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  17. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    This thread has really dropped down the page!

    I am thinking of buying one of those nifty little tubes that will let me pee without taking off my layers of gear. I know that this has been discussed here previously, but is there a consensus on which is the best one for our needs? I am currently leaning towards the Shewee, but would like to hear other opinions if you have one :ear
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  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    What's all this about women with short inseam? A lot of women have long legs. Colleen is exactly the same height as me yet she has 32" inseam and I have 28"!
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  19. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    I have one of those, but have not used it too much. When I used it, I was always worried about not getting the upper part positioned exactly right (I did, though). You still have to take off a certain amount of layers, though it probably gets easier as you get used to using it. At any rate, it doesn't cost that much, so it's probably worth trying.
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  20. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

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    I am a guy but riding in the cold with 8 layers of clothing. I think I need one of these.

    28 inch inseam on a good day.
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