More than 200 Female Riders Set to Dispel Biker Stereotypes on Journey to New Orleans
By WI Interns/DTU Fellows
Two hundred twenty-five unapologetic, fearless and trend-setting female bikers, brought together by Black Girls Ride (BGR), will ride nearly 200,000 miles, collectively, from more than 5 states for the largest African-American music and entertainment celebration in New Orleans July 5-7. The rides, powered by Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot© represent the growing emergence of African American and female motorcyclists in the country.
Black Girls Ride Founder Porsche Taylor has made it her mission to increase the number of female motorcyclists across the nation, provide safe riding adventures and inspire riders through safety education and celebration.
“This is the ultimate girls’ trip,” BGR Magazine Founder Porsche Taylor said. “We are celebrating our femininity, individuality and showing the world that there’s an indescribable feeling of accomplishment and freedom that women get when they conquer their fears on a high-quality motorcycle.”
Taylor’s passion for riding mirrors that of legendary biker, Bessie Stringfield who crossed the country in the 1930s – solo on a motorcycle. Born in 1911, Stringfield’s life comes to life on the pages of the 1993 book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road written by Stringfield’s protégé and eventual biographer Ann Ferrar. Stringfield eventually became the first Black woman to ride a motorcycle in every one of the connected 48 states—a solo cross-country ride she undertook eight times during her lifetime, as well as riding abroad in Haiti, Brazil, and parts of Europe.
As reported in a 2018 Motorcycle Industry Council study, female motorcycle ownership doubled in the U.S. in the last decade, with nearly one in five motorcycle riders being female. Among African-American motorcycle owners, women dominate at 53 percent over men, according to another 2018 survey of American consumers.
The majority of the riders, some of which will be riding Indian Motorcycles or the three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot vehicles, will make the multi-state journey from five states: Texas, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. Other riders will come from as far as California. Riders will either make the joy ride solo or in a group. The 225 riders will bring their mission to the largest African-American female festival in the nation.
“Polaris has fueled the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years,” Polaris Marketing and Customer Engagement & Growth Manager Joey Lindahl said. “Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot are proud to support and celebrate the growing national sisterhood of riders as they blaze new trails in the industry.
“Women continue to break barriers and defy stereotypes in motorcycling, and the sport has brought us together like never before,” Taylor said. “Our fellow biker sisters come from all walks of life. We work in boardrooms and classrooms across the nation but on the free road, we are one. We are a family.”
This article originally appeared in the Washington Informer.