Photo taken during the Blackbridge Harley-Davidson dealership's International Women's Day Event "Inspire Inclusion" of three attendees standing next to a poster for the Grand Rive Hog Chapter 9995.


The Blackridge Harley-Davidson dealership in Cambridge held an International Women’s Day (IWD) event exploring this year’s theme: “inspire inclusion”. They targeted current and aspiring female motorcycle riders, advocating for more inclusion of women riders in motorcycle spaces.  

“Everything we do is committed to uplifting and curating the motorcycle culture and community,” Erin Mitchell, general manager, said.    

“We’re very focused on [motorcycle] culture and making sure that regardless of your age, gender, experience level, or ethnicity that Harley-Davidson and learning to ride motorcycles is open and accessible to everyone,” she said.   

Blackbridge’s IWD event advocated for the inclusion of women in motorcycle riding and culture by providing educational workshops that would be valuable to new riders.   

One workshop involved teaching women to pick up a dropped bike. Many women expressed concern that, if they were riding in the middle of nowhere and their bike dropped to the side, they would not be able to pick it up and keep riding, as bikes can often weigh as much as 600 lbs. In the workshop, women were taught how to pick up a bike and were invited to try picking up a bike themselves to build confidence in their own capability.   

“Instilling belief and teaching the skill set that makes women more confident in their ridership is really important to us,” Mitchell said.   

The event also had a workshop that taught women bike maintenance.  

“It can be really intimidating if you’re not familiar with the mechanics of bikes,” said Mitchell. “How do you make sure that you know how to handle yourself if you have a breakdown?”   

There was also a Fitment workshop that helped women figure out what bike was right for them, and challenge ideas women may have about not being able to fit or operate larger bikes.   

Overall, the event tried to show women that they can be included in the riding community.   

Mitchell said that one issue is that women are not commonly portrayed in motorcycle advertising and, when they are, it is often in a way that is not accurate to real life. The women in these ads will often be portrayed as new rather than experienced riders. In addition, though local women commonly do long-haul solo rides or ride in all-women groups, they are rarely portrayed as doing so in ads.   

Mitchell encourages women who are interested in riding to find a place to get their license that is known for being welcoming and inclusive, such as Rider Training Institute and Learning Curves. She also recommends getting involved with a riding group such as a Litas chapter.   

“I think the first [step for women who are interested in motorcycle riding] is to not be intimidated and know that you can start at any point in time. It’s never too late to learn how to ride if it’s something that you’ve always been curious about, and there’s ways to do it safely and confidently and to build up your skill set as you go,” Mitchell said. “There’s lots of women out there who will support you in that journey.”