Though the AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference ended three weeks ago, women motorcyclists are still talking about it on Facebook, sharing photos and connecting with new friends online.The four-day celebration of women riders, held July 26-29 under warm and dry blue skies in Carson City, Nev., was structured much like previous years’ events in that there were ample opportunities to meet new friends, reconnect with old ones and learn about various aspects of motorcycling.
“The seminars, along with all the wonderful women I met, provided me with the tools and motivation to do more than just what feels comfortable,” said Lonnie Mercer, who traveled to the conference from the Denver area with her twin sister, also a rider.
“I always enjoy coming to the conference to see the many women rider friends I’ve made south of the border. It’s kind of a reunion of sorts,” said Liz Jansen, a rider and author from Ontario, Canada, who was there promoting her book, “Women, Motorcycles, and Road to Empowerment.”
Women rode in from all over the United States and Canada—some solo, some in groups of all women, and some with their male significant others—to scenic Carson City in western Nevada, situated near Lake Tahoe with the Sierra Nevada mountains forming a beautiful backdrop. International women riders were in attendance as well, with the FIM Commission for Women in Motorcycling represented by riders from Switzerland, Poland and France.
The 2012 conference was the sixth large-scale women’s event that the AMA has organized in the last 13 years, and hundreds of women attended this year’s special celebration that is part conference, part rally, and part trade show.
“It always amazes me when I’m around groups of female riders—the energy and enthusiasm for the sport are so tangible,” said Tricia Szulewski, a journalist who attended on behalf of RoadBike magazine. To mark its commitment to recognizing women riders as a viable market segment, the AMA introduced a special “Woman Rider” version of its membership card, which new AMA members picked up at the conference.
“This was another fantastic gathering of women motorcyclists,” said AMA Board of Directors Vice Chairwoman Maggie McNally. “I am awestruck by these women and their inspiring stories. They represent the most exciting development in motorcycling over the last decade.”
Carson City rolled out the red carpet for conference attendees, with room discounts from its hotels and discount coupons from restaurants and merchants in the welcome bag.
Women remain the fastest growing segment of motorcycle riders, with one in four riders today being female. Click through the photos below to make them larger to see the rest of the story in pictures. Also, wed love your feedback on the conference. You can post a comment at the end of this story, but if youd like to be involved in a conversation about it, visit the WRN Forum and post your comment there. If youre new to the WRN Forum, youll need to register. Its easy to do.