Back in May, I was contacted by a reporter from the Star Ledger who
was interested in writing an article about women in motorcycling. She
had found the Spokes-Women while searching the web and contacted me
regarding an interview. We had the reporter attend one of the club meetings,
speak to me and a couple of the members and we also provided her with
At the time, I felt that the interview went well. We discussed Club
history, philosophy, membership and its' diversity, our annual charity
fund raiser (chocolate sales), our targeted charities, where we ride
However, when the article appeared in the Thursday, September 7th
edition of the Star Ledger, I was less than impressed.
headline read "These Are Real Motorcycle Mamas", followed
by "Women's chopper club is revved up to change perceptions".
Is this not the year 2006? How disrespectful that we as women who
ride all brands and models of motorcycles, who spend our own hard earned
dollars, be referred to as "motorcycle mamas". I have never
read nor heard of men who ride referred to as "motorcycle daddy's
or papas". We also do not ride "choppers". At this point
I am surprised that the opening line did not warn the surrounding areas
to lock their doors when we ride into town.
There were other incorrect references in the article as well. The
Spokes-Women's red vest color sets us apart from other motorcycle clubs
(usually a black leather vest). It is not for "safety reasons".
We do not stand around discussing "sewing, chocolate or fashion"
and I can assure you that I have never used the words "fashionable
and pretty" together in a sentence when discussing motorcycling.
I was however, accurately quoted when referring to the diversity of
the women who make up the Spokes-Women. We are a great group of women
who ride all types of motorcycles. We raise money for charity through
our annual chocolate sales and donate those funds to women and children's
charities here in NJ. We have guidelines for membership and promote
safe riding. We are a family who share a common passion for riding motorcycles
as well as friendship and camaraderie. We are your grandmothers, mothers,
sisters, aunts and daughters.
I realize that when a reporter is present, anything said is fair game.
I am also aware that newspapers will skew any and everything to create
a headline that will catch the readers eye (and sell papers). However,
as I wrote earlier, this is 2006, not the 1950's or 60's B movie version
of women who ride motorcycles.
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