Women Motorcycling News – Updated today!

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By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor

Canadas International Women Riders Congress and Festival Names Charity

Chrysalis, a shelter for women and children in Huntsville, Ontario, has been selected by the The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) as the event charity for the International Women Riders Congress and Festival (IWCF) being held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, August 11 to 15, 2010. To date, two on-site activities have been identified which will generate funds for Chrysalis: 1) the sale of an art-nouveau collection of T-shirts which has been donated by Diva Rider Wear, and 2) Megs Ride, a ladies only charity trail ride being organized as part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series

The IWCF will feature networking opportunities, organized tours, educational programs, maintenance workshops, safety programs, a charity trail ride, skills challenges, demo rides and entertainment. Registration is open to both male and female participants. The IWCF is presented by Honda Canada. The growing list of partners includes Open Road Insurance Program, BMW Motorrad Canada, Motorcycle Mojo, Motorcycle amp; Moped Industry Council, Canadian National Sportsmens Shows, Royal Distributing, Inside Motorcycles, Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, and Spyder.Visit the WRN news story about the event for more details.

Polaris/Victory Adds the Cardo Scala Rider Q2 Bluetooth Rider to Rider Intercom Helmet Headset to its Product Assortment
Cardo Systems, Inc., a leader in wireless Bluetooth communications for motorcycle and all-terrain helmet headsets, has a new distribution partnership with Polaris amp; Victory Motorcycles. Polaris is well known within the industry as an expert in design and manufacturing of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Victory Motorcycles specializes in the manufacturing of American-made motorcycles for the touring and cruiser motorcycle enthusiasts. Polaris amp; Victory Motorcycles will become the newest valued addition to Cardos targeted distribution channel to carry the Cardo Scala Rider Q2 Bluetooth headset featuring rider to rider intercom communication up to 1,640 feet. “Adding the Cardo Scala Rider system to our catalog is a natural fit,” says Jason Toso of Victory Motorcycles. “We strive to engineer the best American luxury cruisers and touring motorcycles on the market, and an industry leader such as Cardo is a perfect accessory for our products and our owners, particularly as our touring line has developed.” Visit PurePolaris.com. 69

Ride to Indy 500 on a Motorcycle Tour

Join motorsports veteran, Bill Kniegge of Blue Strada Tours on a very special 8-day motorcycle tour that starts in Charlotte, North Carolina, and makes its way to Indianapolis for the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500. The ride will include great twisty back roads, fantastic scenery, a wonderful overnight stay in a historic hotel, and all the action that surrounds one of the greatest auto races in the world. Once in Indy, the group will stay at excellent accommodations right in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, close to all the excitement. On Saturday evening, guests attend a private Race Preview Party hosted by former Indy car driver Derek Daly. Enjoy drinks and hors d`oeuvres as Derek brings the very latest news on the upcoming weekend. After dinner, guests have the option of heading over to the OReilly Raceway for the annual running of the USAC Midgets at Indianapolis Raceway Park, another true spectacle in racing. Dates are May 26 – June 2, 2010. For more details, visit BlueStradaTours.com

POSTED 3/8/10
Three Cheers for Women Everywhere!

Today, March 8, is International Womens Day. Annually on this day, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local womens craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. What a great day to encourage a friend today to expand her personal boundaries and take up motorcycling.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on March 8 search engine and media giant Google some years ago changes its logo on its global search pages. Year after year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as “Womens History Month.” And this year, Harley-Davidson declared March – Garage Party Month, to encourage women to get in the saddle of their own motorcycle. So make a difference, think globally and act locally. Make every day International Womens Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding. Visit InternationalWomensDay.com to learn more about this special day.

My Further Thoughts…
Along those lines of celebrating International Womens Day, it was exciting to see the first female director win the Best Director Oscar last night. Kathryn Bigelow scored for “The Hurt Locker,” which Ive not seen yet. Normally, I dont like war movies, but I just might see this one because she directed it. And Kathryn looked incredible last night. Shes 58 years old, can you believe it? Her body and skin looks like she could be in her early 40s! I admire women like that who continue to exercise and eat right as they age. Sure it gets tougher as we fight our body and all the hormonal changes going on inside. But taking care of ones self, nurturing your spirit and soul, is whats all about as we age. Aging gracefully… I love that.

And whoo-hoo for Sandra Bullock for winning the Oscar for Best Actress. I often get told I look like Sandra Bullock, so I have a fond place in my heart for her. Shes also married to a my friend Jesse James. I dont call Jesse a friend lightly. Ive known Jesse for years, long before he became famous. Betsy and I used to hang out with him and his buddies. It warms my heart to see Sandra and him together and for her to get all this success for her craft, and for him to finally find a woman thats right for him.

More on the Smithsonian Channels Wild amp; Wacky Show on Sturgis
If you read my blog earlier (posted below) youll know I didnt hold out much hope for the latest cable network promoting show on Sturgis. With a name like Wild amp; Wacky, would you? Ive since learned from Betsy, who talked to our friend Gevin Fax who watched the show, that the part on women riders is well done, and uses soundbites from the interview producers did with me, Betsy, Gevin, and rider and author Sasha Mullins. I dont know about the rest of the show, but Gevin said, were all portrayed well. Thats good. Im excited to get a copy of the show as the Smithsonian Channel is not carried by many cable networks or my Dish TV satellite.

If anyone has a way to tape it and copy it form their DVR onto a disc, Ill pay you for the shipping to me. Im sure Smithsonian Channel will eventually make the show available to buy, but since its still airing the month of March, that wont happen anytime soon.

POSTED 3/6/10
A Deal on Leather Pants for Small Ladies
RoadGear is slashing prices on its women’s Montana Pants from $219.90 to just $35. The only sizes left are for women with small waists: sizes 24 and 26. Visit RoadGear.com.

First Female Certified Harley Mechanic Passes Away
I found out that earlier this week Kay Moneghan, the first woman to become a certified Harley-Davidson mechanic, passed away at 88. This article from a local paper in her hometown has all the details on this inspiration woman.

I’m sad to report the passing of another woman, Pat Reinhardt. Pat wrote an incredible story of how motorcycling felt like flying to her and enveloped all her senses that we posted in our Readers’ Stories section. Pat (at right) sent in a story that we posted on October 22, 2008. A friend of hers, Donna, just informed me that Pat passed away on March 2. Here’s what Donna wrote to me: Pat lived with metastastic uterine sarcoma for two years. She had a number of surgeries to remove tumors from her abdomen and lungs, and continued to work as an early childhood assistant and church organist during her treatment. Late last year, she published a collection of essays “Along for the Ride” about the surprises, humor, and delights in her life, including the 40 years she spent with her husband and soul mate, Bob, and their love of motorcycling. In her essays, she says that she was “not a fan of cancer journals, the ones that read like “why me” whining. She admitted, “I felt sorry for myself once. It didn’t help, so I stopped.”

Pat needed breathing support (oxygen) for a recent few months, and the effort of breathing, compounded with congestion around her heart weakened her. The most recent tumors appeared on her scalp; she and Bob were at the treatment center today to have them “zapped” so that they were less painful. Before she went in with the team, she told Bob that she was tired and ready to let go. She stopped breathing while she was in the treatment room and was, by advance directive, not resuscitated. Pat’s life was also shared with her parents, her father-in-law, seveb brothers and sisters and their spouses, 30 nieces and nephews, and dozens of children whose lives she touched in her career as a children’s librarian, piano teacher, and teaching assistant, along with the friends she made throughout her life.

I’m grateful we at WRN got touched by Pat’s life in some small way — through her story. We wish her family peace and comfort.

Movie Props Up for Auction Including Motorcycles from “The Book of Eli” Movie

If you’re a movie buff, you may want to get your hands on some prized props used in recent movies like The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington that include two motorcycles, and The Blind Slide with Sandra Bullock. Those are two of several movies where props and clothing from the movie will up for auction for all to bid on. Online bids can be taken at iCollector.com with the preview beginning March 13 at 9 a.m. and the live auction starting at 11 a.m. For more information,visit PremiereProps.com or call 310.322-PROP, or 888.761-PROP.

For anyone able to make the live auction — it takes place on Saturday, March 13, at Premiere Props’ warehouse in El Segundo, California. There will be a preview from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., before the auction starts at 11 a.m. The March Extravaganza Auction can be seen on Premiere Props’ 3 camera LIVE broadcast show online. A donation from the auction will be made to the Entertainment Industry Foundation, one of the leading charitable organizations of the entertainment industry. “The March Extravaganza Auction combines items from classic Hollywood and the blockbusters of today,” says said Dan Levin, Vice President of Marketing for Premiere Props. “This is an amazing opportunity for all collectors, whether you are a fan of the Hollywood new school or the old.” [ad 44]

Watch Motorcycle Instructor Christine Firehock on The Food Network

Christine Marafioti Firehock, owner of her own motorcycle school, Christine’s KickSTART Motorcycle Training Series, was invited by Ducati to teach Duff and his bakers on Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” how to ride Ducati’s 696cc Monster using the KickSTART New Rider Skills Course back in October. The reason the chefs needed to learn this is because the owner of GoDaddy.com, Bob Parsons, asked Duff to make him a life size Ducati wedding cake. It is all part of the show that debuted om March 4th and replays March 9, 10 and 21. Check Food Network’s Web site for show times in your area.

The cake is modeled after Bob Parson's Ducati Streetfighter

More Motorcycle Gals on TV
Speaking of motorcycle women on TV, this month on the Smithsonian Channel, our own Betsy Huelskamp is featured in a show called Wild & Wacky: Episode 5, which is all about the Sturgis Rally. A little background. Three years ago, producers from the Smithsonian Channel were in Sturgis filming Betsy, our friend Gevin Fax and others, as well as myself test riding the Big Bear Chopper at the time. I kept emailing the producer many months after trying to find out when the show would air – and never heard back. I hate when people don’t respond to their emails and phone calls. I respond to everyone. (If you don’t get a response from me it’s because I didn’t get your email or phone call or I did and plan to respond soon.)

Talking about the Big Bear “Miss Behavin” I was test riding to producers of the Smithsonian Channel's show during the Sturgis Rally in 2007.
More of the video shoot with the Smithsonian Channel show.

Here we are three years later and we finally find out that the show is now airing — but with a title like Wild & Wacky, I’m afraid to see how they editorialized and edited the footage. A soundbite and footage of Betsy is in the promo piece you can view here. You’ll have to visit the Smithsonian Channel’s Web site to find when the show is airing. The site is quite cumbersome to navigate, and hard to find exactly when the show is airing quite frankly. And since the networks is carried by very few cable stations and Dish TV doesn’t carry it — DirectTV does, but I don’t have it and all my friends who do don’t have the channel — at this rate, I don’t care about watching it.

If someone gets the network and can tape the show or DVR it and send me a copy, I’d appreciate it. I’m not holding my breath on the quality of its content. If I’ve seen one show shot by TV producers depicting the wacky side of Sturgis, I’ve seen a hundred of them. People who don’t ride and don’t have a clue about motorcycling culture think they can come in and shoot the guy with the helmet horns on his head, and the scantily clad women walking down the street in Sturgis and think that alone represents all of motorcycling culture and all of the Sturgis rally. They’ll shoot an entire show around it and hope the ratings come in.

I’m not being cynical here — one could say to me ‘you have no idea what you’re talking about.’ Oh yes I do. I was a network magazine TV producer for 20 years. I got out of the business completely when higher-ups wanted to start showcasing slices of life and twist them in a way that all it does it gets ratings — regardless of how tasteless the quality of the content is. Sex, wackiness, weird sell. I wasn’t into exploiting people and that’s what most reality and documentary producers do these days. Only a few networks and producers continue to produce above-board projects – projects worthy of my television watching eyes.

Motorcycle rallies are fertile fodder for these ratings hungry producers. I’m afraid this Wild and Wacky show on Sturgis is just another in a line of shows that’s way behind its time. Been there, done that. Next! Give me something worthy of my precious time. 71

7 thoughts on Women Motorcycling News – Updated today!

  1. Vehicular homicide! 2009 Pastor George was rear-ended on his motorcycle and killed while stopped at a traffic light in broad daylight in North Port, Florida. It took nine months, but the driver was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. He is sitting in jail with a very high bond. I hope he gets substantial jail time. The guy in Phoenix needs the same! No excuses.

  2. I think most of us have heard or read of the AZ accident. They say “Kill a biker, go to jail.” I agree, but I think this is putting the cart before the horse, once that's taken place, it's too late. I say DMV needs to utilize a whole seperate written exam regarding sharing the road with motorcyclists, to be passed separately as well as the auto driving written test, on all driver's tests for all classes A, B and C, including M1. As the number of riders grows and grows every year, this is all too important not to implement. It could save a lot of lives.

  3. I totally agree with you on your most recent post. I come from a state that let the former governor off the hook when he sailed through a stop sign and killed a motorcyclist! All because he was on official state business! Makes my blood boil!

  4. You are correct to share this tragedy in Arizona. The laws in our nation need to be changed. Unattentive driving needs to be prosecuted like a DUI. The results are the same, innocent lives lost to poor judgement in driving. The person driving the truck needs to be charged with the four deaths. My prayers go out to the injured and the families of all of the riders.

  5. Banning texting while driving will not be usefull about the murders of motorcylists that hurt you so much. Law should ban, heavily punish “distracted driving” and if it kills “criminaly prosecute” the driver.

  6. Hi Genevieve,

    Thanks for writing about the recent accident in AZ. I heard about this a few days ago and am stunned and so sad.

    You took the words out of my mouth on this. We have to stop this kind of stuff NOW. I'm tired of seeing people distracted by their damn cell phones, text messages, CD players and “paper shuffling” while they should be paying attention to the road and people whose lives depend on them! Shame on anyone who does this stuff while they drive. Maybe people need to make promises to stop doing this TODAY!

    Keep up the good work Gen… we need you!

  7. I hate to see shows like Wild and Wacky. It just reinforces the negative stereotypes of the nonbiking world. Too bad. I won't be watching.

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