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The Women's No-B.S. Beginning Guide to Motorcycles - Part Three

By Janet Green

Can I Really Do This? That's a question a new rider might ask as she's perched on a bike in a parking lot, rumbling in neutral but ready to drop the shifter down into first. Women are raised to be "pleasers" - seeking approval, building consensus, making sure everyone's happy. Doing something like riding a motorcycle is completely out of character for many women, and they'll often have second or third thoughts along these very lines before they ever get started.

Well, the answer is YES, you can do it!! Or at least, you have my permission to try! (Like you needed that!) The hard truth is, riding motorcycles isn't for everyone. Here are some things to consider to see if it might be for you.

Healthy body: Are you physically capable? You don't have to be able to bench press 300 pounds, by any means. But you can't really be physically frail and have confidence that you'll be able to hold the bike up. Try visiting a dealership and sitting on their smallest street bike. Can you raise it off the kickstand? Can you walk it forward, and walk it backward, while straddling the seat? (Try these things only with the help and permission of a sales rep.) If you can't, but you still want to be in the wind, you might consider trying a trike.

Healthy attitude: Can you keep a promise to ride safely and responsibly? Remember, it's not just your own life at stake. Hot-dogging on a bike (or worse, riding under the influence) can ruin many lives with one bad move. Also, can you accept the level of risk involved with riding, and are you prepared for the worst with up to date life insurance, a living will, etc.?

Healthy desire: Do you want to ride? Really want to ride? You've got to want it. If you're learning because someone else wants you to, or for some reason you're half-hearted about it, you won't practice. You'll get lazy. And you'll end up with a very expensive boat anchor languishing in your garage.

Janet Green is the editor and chief biker chick at Biker Chick News, a popular web destination for women who ride motorcycles. For her complete ride journal, plus news and links of interest to women who ride, visit http://www.Bikerchicknews.com.


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