Event Coverage: Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014

Rain didn’t dampen spirits

By Sash Walker

The message of support for women in motorcycling was loud and clear at the Biker Belles celebration, an event organized by the Sturgis Buffalo Chip during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for its fourth year. Designed to bring together women in motorcycling as well as their families and friends, this symposium, ride and reception was well attended by both women and men alike.

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 group photo
This group photo was taken at the morning reception and gives you a sense of the number of people who attended.
Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 the Lodge at Deadwood
The lobby of The Lodge and Deadwood had a few vendors displaying items.

On Tuesday, August 5, the Biker Belles event had a bright and cheerful feeling in spite of the wet and dreary weather. As more and more riders arrived at The Lodge at Deadwood and shuffled into the convention center there, the weather became increasingly uncooperative. With an incredible cloudburst, most guests stopped in their tracks for a few moments and stared out the windows at their motorcycles being drenched.

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 motorcycles rain
The downpour that put a damper on the Biker Belles ride, canceling the “ride” portion of the event.

After visiting the registration table, riders greeted one another, chatted, laughed and took advantage of the Comfort Zone, receiving salon treatments and shopping with vendors. Vendors donated a small portion of their proceeds to the Biker Belles charities.

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 attendees
Some of the attendees including our girl Sash, who covered the event for WRN. L-r: Joan Krenning, Jennifer Walker, Sarah Boyer Little, Sash Walker, Jennifer Norregaard, Linn Fallon and Sharyn Pridham.
Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 Gina Woods
Open Road Radio host Gina Woods showing off the trike she and her team built as part of HER Project: Honor Encourage, Recognize. For more information visit HerProjects.com

All proceeds from the silent and live auctions, scheduled for the reception later in the day, supported Biker Belles charities as well. These are the same charities as in the past the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum amp; Hall of Fame and Helping with Horsepower. Helping with Horsepower is a program that uses contributions to help abused and at-risk young women and girls. The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum is a world-class facility that uses the contributions to expand or enhance exhibits featuring women riders.

As the symposium began, the rain was so severe the ride portion of the event was called off by safety experts and Biker Belles ride captain Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo. “I’ve checked the weather repeatedly. There are storm warnings, intersections washed out and the conditions can change rapidly. I think the best thing for us to do is to make our way to the Buffalo Chip on our own and reconvene there.”

With that announcement the reception was postponed from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to give everyone time to arrive at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip safely.

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 lobby reception
Vicki Roberts-Sanfelipo and her husband, “Pan,” talk to some of the women. Vicki has a motorcycle escort company called Road Guardians and was going to lead the ride.

In attendance were a number of newcomers to Biker Belles, including Jennifer Walker from California. “I ride with family and friends throughout the year, but they are mostly men,” Walker said. “This has been a great opportunity to share stories with other women riders. I love bonding with other women here and can’t wait to attend next year’s ride!”

The symposium featured a short segment screening of “Driven To Ride,” a documentary by Michelle Carpenter about women riders. A panel of speakers spoke on numerous topics and answered audience questions, a great many of which were pointed towards Claudia Garber regarding Harley-Davidson.

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 Claudia Garber
Claudia Garber heads up the women’s outreach efforts at Harley-Davidson. She was part of the panel discussion that focused on a variety of topics related to women and motorcycling.

The celebration continued at the Buffalo Chip with Laura Klock, co-founder and president of Helping with Horsepower, expressing her gratitude. “The rain may have killed the ride, but not the spirit!” Klock said. “Iron Cowgirl Missy still rocked the house! Shes awesome. There was still great food and fellowship. The silent auction was held and the live auction will be held online this fall, so every entrant will receive email notification of the details. Thanks to all who attended. We cant control the weather, but it was still a great event.”

Event Coverage Biker Belles Ride at Sturgis 2014 motorcycle raffle
Each year a motorcycle is raffled off. The motorcycle is significant because it’s a custom motorcycle build project directed by Laura Klock and put together by the girls at the Abbott House in South Dakota, one of the beneficiaries of Helping With Horsepower charity. This sidecar motorcycle is named Star. To learn more about the bike and the raffle click here.

Be sure to read WRNs other Sturgis Rally 2014 stories:
74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Wrap-Up: What You Missed!
Sturgis Rally Virgins: One Newbies View

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