Women Ride Motorcycles Too
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Women Ride Motorcycles Too

Quick: What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of motorcycles? Leather jackets, right? Maybe testosterone, adrenaline, danger and excitement? And women, of course.

Wait, women? Yes, the fairer sex is getting in on the driving fun, too according to Jezebel.com, the number of female motorcycle owners increased by 52 percent from 2003 to 2008. Traditionally, motorcycle riding has been perceived as a masculine pastime, and any woman rider was merely the damsel in distress perched on the bike's rear, her arms clutching some muscular, rebellious male riding companion.

Well, no more. The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that women own one out of every nine motorcycles, and that number is growing dramatically. About half of women motorcycle riders are married, more than 35 percent have college degrees and a quarter of them work in business or health care. Whether you're a suburban soccer mom, rural farm wife or a single girl in the big city, here's what you need to know and have in order to ride like a pro:

Gear and Attire

Picking out what to wear on your ride is one of the best parts of living a motorcycle lifestyle, and you can easily find apparel made specifically for women. Of course, you'll need to buy a helmet; make sure it fits snugly. Chaps are great for cold weather, but not mandatory, and motorcycle jackets by BikeBandit keep you toasty and top off your whole look, too.

Experience

Don't think you'll be able to buy a bike, get on it once and ride like you've been riding for 20 years. It takes time, patience and lots of practice to develop into the seasoned, suave and sexy rider you want to be. A bike can be a lot to handle; they're big, heavy and clunky, which can pose a challenge for some women. Give yourself time to learn how to properly handle it.

Beginner's Course

Any new rider, male or female, should take a safety course designed specifically for motorcycles. Not only will it teach you about safety procedures and how to recognize and avoid potential hazards (including blind spots), but it helps ease the above-mentioned learning curve, too. You usually get a break on insurance premiums upon successful completion just make sure the course you enroll in is recognized by your insurance provider.

Still not convinced that riding is no longer just for men? According to a 2009 survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of women riding bikes in the U.S. has increased to about 7.2 million of about 27 million overall. Check out noted celebrity motorcycle riders like Pamela Anderson, Angelina Jolie and Marissa Miller, and then consider the marketing efforts by none other than Harley Davidson. Its "No Doubts. No Cages." program caters specifically to women.

So while it's often said that "chicks dig the bike," now you know what that really means.

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