Editors Blog: Meeting With Women Riders

...and drooling over a new Ducati

By Genevieve Schmitt

My last three speaking engagements have taken me to points east, south, and west meeting a variety of women riders. In between I squeezed in a trip to Chicago to attend the national Marketing to Women Conference where I educated myself on the latest trends, statistics and cultural shifts taking place regarding women. It was fascinating!

One of the seminars at the Marketing to Women conference. Leslie Prevish, Harley-Davidson#39;s Manager of Women#39;s Outreach, is on the panel on the left. She talked about how she was involved in the creation of the women#39;s outreach divison at Harley.

Bozeman, Montana
In late April, I was invited to speak at my local dealership, Yellowstone Harley-Davidson in Bozeman, Montana, at the first ever Garage Party there. The turnout was more than was expected and I know through talking with the women afterwards that my speech motivated many of them to sign up for the MSF class and/or buy a motorcycle. Sometimes all a woman needs is a little kick in the pants to get the ball rolling in that direction. My presentation is that kick in the pants.

The folks at Yellowstone Harley expected 60 women to their Garage Party. To their surprise 120 women showed up! What a great enthusiastic crowd listening to my 40-minute presentation.
My speech at Yellowstone Harley-Davidson on “How To Get Into Motorcycling” inspired lots of women to move out of “neutral” and into “first gear” in the learning process.
The best part of giving a speech at a dealership or event is meeting the women afterwards when the come up and ask me for my autograph. I love hearing their road stories and learning what bikes they ride.

Baton Rouge
A week later I headed to Harley-Davidson of Baton Rouge to speak at the first Garage Party held there. Again, a real sucess and my speech entitled “Making More Saddle Time” really resonated with the women judging by the feedback I received afterwards. Many nodding heads during my presentation made me think I hit a chord with a lot of them. They shared they are so busy tending to the needs of others in their busy lives that they have little time to themselves, let alone time to ride their motorcycle. My speech shows women how to carve time out of their busy lives to make more “me” time, time for Myself Exclusively (ME).

The marquis outside Baton Rouge Harley-Davidson that greeted me when I arrived for my presentation at the Garage Party there on May 10th.
One of the stations during the Garage Party at H-D Baton Rouge was all about MotorClothes. Here a woman gets fitted in an H-D jacket and chaps.
This gives you an idea of the set up at H-D Baton Rouge and the women that attended – about 70. That#39;s Renee Green, a Rider#39;s Edge instructor giving a presentation on riding classes.
I met T.W. Robinson, a reporter with LA Rider, a local Louisiana motorcycle TV show, who was videotaping the Garage Party in Baton Rouge. She was such a joy to meet. I asked her to pose by her Yamaha V Star she custom painted in white with pink lips.

Last weekend I was in Denver visiting Erico Motorsports owned by John and Tai Beldock. Erico sells Triumph, Ducati and other European motorcycles as well as Vespa and Piaggio scooters. The dealership is also the best in the country for 2008 according to Dealernews magazines Top 100 Dealer Award competition. Top honors goes to a dealership that excels in all areas: sales, customer service, community involvement, presentation, etc. I was really excited to visit this award winning dealership and meet the owners Ive heard so much about over the years.

Tai (pronounced Tay-a) and John Beldock, owners of Erico Motorsports, in downtown Denver. They#39;re the funnest couple I#39;ve met in a long time. Their enthusiasm for life and motorcycles resonates throughout the dealership.

John and Tai held their second ladies night event and invited me to give a presentation. My “Making More Saddle Time” speech was well received by the 40 women who attended. Coincidentally, that night was also the national unveiling of the new Ducati Monster 696. I was given the enviable task of riding the red beauty into the showroom amidst smoke created by a fog machine to unveil the bike to the public. Men were allowed at the end of the ladies night to see this highly anticipated new Monster. What a great evening it was!

Quite a crowd gathered to watch me ride in on the new Monster 696. I want one.
Dominic, one of the employees at Erico, talks about how every customer at Erico gets an ergonomic evaluation after buying a motorcycle so the bike can be adjusted to the customer#39;s size.
Me, in red, posing with the Harley girls Lynette, Floretta, and Jasmine who attended the ladies night. What#39;s great about these women#39;s events is that it doesn#39;t matter what you ride, but that you ride.
Tai, on her scooter. I think she looks spectacular! She buzzes around Denver on those two wheels that#39;s all decked out in a western theme. Notice the cow horns mounted to the front fairing.

For more cool pictures from my trip to Eric Motorsports including my behind the scenes photos from USA Biker Nation Radio show on which I was a guest, click here to be directed to the WRN Photo Gallery. Youll finally get to see what host Peter Boyles looks like!

1 thought on Editors Blog: Meeting With Women Riders

  1. I read your blog on your tour of the Garage Parties, and I must say I was excited for you. Wishing it were me! But seriously, I have wanted a Monster 696 since I first read about it about two to three months ago. (I tend to pick up a few cycle mags here and there.) I adore Ducatis and cannot wait for the day I can call it mine. So thank you for your article. WRN is a great thing to get encouragement from. I am an EMT and al ot of my co-workers ride, and I am so itching to join them. I am saving toward it.

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