Motorcycle Mamas and Papas?
by
Alex Pesacreta
September 20 , 2006

 

Past Columns

January 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

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 club information.

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 and why.

However, when the article appeared in the Thursday, September 7th edition of the Star Ledger, I was less than impressed.

The 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.

If you would like to comment on this article send your thoughts to spokeswomenmc@hotmail.com.

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