Largest Harley Womens Parade Ever

500 women ride together in Daytona

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor

To celebrate the increase in women riding their own motorcycles, Harley-Davidson organized a womens parade taking place during Daytona Bike Week 2008. The parade was the culmination of the “Get Down to Daytona” contest where six winners submitted videos talking about their riding mentors. The winners rode in from Atlanta with Karen Davidson stopping in Daytona on March 4 to lead the parade of about 250 women through Daytona.

To participate in the ride, women had to collect donations for MDA. Contributions totaled more than $67,000. I was there covering the event, shooting both still photos seen here, and videotape. Click on the images to view a slideshow. Enjoy!

Clouds loomed overhead threatening a storm as hundreds of women riders gathered in a parking lot near the Daytona Speedway.
In true female fashion, the women chatted with one another meeting new friends, comparing motorcycles and riding gear.
Everyone was happy to pose with their motorcycles for a picture.
All smiles on her Street Glide.
We were thrilled to see 76-year-old Betty Fauls, daughter of Motor Maids co-founder and motorcycling pioneer Dot Robinson, show up on her mothers pink Electra Glide sidecar. Betty told us she hopes to keep riding at least until the age her mother stopped, which is 82. Bettys been riding 60-some-odd years.
We hate to say this, but surprisingly, we saw very few Sportsters in the parade. Most women were riding the Big Twins.
Lots of TV cameras showed up to document the historic women’s parade and interview the riders. This reporter is from a local station.
Michelle Smith from Speed Channel’s American Thunder show was there doing interviews.
Reporter Rebecca Dahlgren from Harley-Davidson Online interviews the women for a segment appearing on Harley’s Web site.
Karen Davidson being interviewed by members of a VNR crew (video news release) for a story that will be distributed by satellite to TV stations all over the country. Karen led the ride of the six winners of the “Get Down To Daytona” contest from Atlanta to Daytona.
Leslie Prevish, Harley-Davidson’s Director of Women’s Outreach, is also being interviewed. She led the contest ride and parade alongside Karen. Leslie and her team are responsible for putting on this whole event.
Athena Ransom (center), leading female bike builder and owner of Vagabond Chopper Company in Pompano Beach, Fla., posing with some fans.
The parade ended at the Ocean Center in Daytona where Harley has its new product display. Outside, on a stage, the winners of the “Get Down to Daytona” contest speak about their bonding experiences in emotional speeches.
Nancy and Willie G. Davidson, alongside daughter Karen standing on stage as the winners of the “Get Down To Daytona” contest are announced.
Harley-Davidson had a women’s booth as part of its display inside the Ocean Center.
At the women’s booth, ladies take surveys, pick up brochures, and learn about the seminars happening during the week.
Harley reps were on hand to talk with the women about the various models. This woman is trying out this Fat Boy.
This is how I rode in the parade – backwards – so I could videotape the women riding by me in the parade for a segment soon to post on WRN. Thanks to Athena Ransom for riding me.
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