Pre-Summer Excitement

I feel like its the calm before the summer storm of busy traveling to rallies and events this summer. Im enjoying unseasonable 85-degree weather here in Montana in the middle of May and summer fever is upon me. In two weeks, I leave for Americade where Im emceeing the women and motorcycling panel discussion and will be test riding the new Ridley Chopper. Then, its off to the AMA Women and Motorcycling Conference in late June. Too much to mention in July and August at this point. Besides, I cant think that far ahead. Although, I just signed up to attend the Bike Builders Breakfast in Sturgis put on by builder Billy Lane. Visit his Web site at Scroll down to the bottom and see info about the event that will feature the biggest names in bike building.

I want to put out the word that is looking for qualified freelance writers to contribute to this online magazine. We pay a competitive rate for assigned articles and photos. Qualified writers will have some news/feature writing experience and hopefully will have been published before. Please send an introductory letter to me at

Im also looking to hire a publicist, someone with national media contacts. Please spread the word if you know of anyone. Thank you.

Speaking of the AMA Women amp; Motorcycling conference in late June, my company Solitude Ranch Communications, is producing the official DVD of the event. Our video cameras will be roaming the event all weekend shooting everything that is going on to put together a commemorative DVD that can be ordered after the conference, either there or on this Web site. More details to come, but if you cant attend the event, think about ordering the DVD to see what went on.

Either my antenna are tuned in to this kind of stuff, but within the last three weeks Ive heard and seen proof that women riders are being taken seriously as an influential demographic segment in motorcycling. I heard a Geico Insurance radio advertisement where a woman rider is talking about getting out on her “HOG.” Its great, and a testament to the fact that women are buying their own motorcycles.

I remember a few years ago when I was working on Woman Rider magazine talking to someone at Progressive Insurance (who just happened to be my motorcycle insurer) to see if they would be interested in advertising with the magazine. I was told that their numbers show that women dont make the insurance purchases in the family even if they are the ones owning the bike. Basically, the companys contact with women riders was not significant enough to warrant reaching out to female riders. Hmmph! I thought. Ive been making my own motorcycle purchases my whole life, so have most of my women rider friends. Kudos to Geico for stepping outside of the conversative insurance box. Heck, the company has been doing it for years with its gecko mascot and uncoventional TV commercials.

I also heard an ad on the radio from my local Harley-Davidson dealer, Yellowstone Harley-Davidson, advertising the shop with a bunch of women in the ad talking about going riding. Youre led to believe theyre doing something else, then all of a sudden, they say something like lets ride I would assume for the shock value because listeners wouldnt expect a woman to be in an ad for a motorcycle dealership. Im thinking Yellowstone H-D got the radio spot from corporate and decided to use it. Harley-Davidson corporate has been miles ahead of the pack in marketing specificially to women. I bet they produced a series of ads and made them available to the local dealers. Maybe you heard a similar radio ad in your area.

Speaking of Harley and marketing to women, a print ad for Harley-Davidson Financial Services features a woman rider selling the product. Its a closeup shot of a womans face, shes smiling next to the ad copy. Again, congrats to Harley for showing that women ride, too. I saw this ad in the May issue of the AMAs magazine, American Motorcyclist.

Also in that issue of American Motorcyclist is a great article on some female motorcycling pioneers with some fabulous photos of them. Theres a sidebar article promoting the upcoming conference where yours truly is quoted. Im impressed with the coverage of women riders these days in the AMAs member magazine. Normally, the magazine is so race oriented and mostly does not speak to me. But with the upcoming conference, Ive noticed something featuring women riders in several of the last few issues.

I want to publicly thank Mark Tuttle, editor or Rider magazine for mentioning in his editors column in the June issue. Weve got some great press on the launch of this online magazine, but Mark went above and beyond by running a big portion of the press release in the prominent editors column of Rider.

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