Girl power: Female motorcyclists take to the roads – British Columbia

It’s International Female Ride Day today and women around the world are getting behind the throttle and revving those engines.  

Right now, only one in eight motorcyclists in B.C. is a woman, but they are the fastest growing demographic of riders in the province.

And it’s not just riding. More women are owning dealerships, working as mechanics, selling gear and taking a leadership role in the motorcycle community.

But in many cases, the industry and market for women-specific gear hasn’t caught up with demand.

“A lot of companies aren’t understanding the power that women in motorcycling have,” said Becky Goebel, the organizer of Vancouver’s version of the women-only ride.

Becky Goebel, the organizer for Saturday’s event, is one of Vancouver’s best known advocates for women riders. (Women’s Moto Exhibit)

‘We’re such a little powerhouse’

Riding with men is fun but, Goebel said, riding with just women has a unique vibe.

“When we ride with all our girls, we’re such a little powerhouse,” she said. 

Another Vancouver-based woman advocating for change in the motorcycle market is Doreen Walmsley. She is the CEO of the Ducati dealership in Richmond, the only woman to own a Ducati dealership in North America.

Walmsley said she’s been called a pioneer before but doesn’t feel any different from the men she works with. As a woman in a leadership position though, she recognizes her ability to influence the industry.

“I see a lot of Ducati advertising aimed at men,” she said. “They have the pretty woman next to the bike but they are not actually trying to get women on the bikes. I would rather see them on the bikes and I’m trying to change this attitude.”

Doreen Walmsley hadn’t ridden a bicycle in decades when she first got her license but, now, she owns four bikes and regularly races at the track. (Doreen Walmsley)

‘Sense of freedom and being in control’

Riding didn’t come easily to Walmsley. The first time she got on a motorcycle, she was in…

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