Women Riders Celebrate in Milwaukee this Weekend

Harley-Davidson's female riding event wraps up

An estimated 1000 women from all the U.S. rode to Milwaukee on their motorcycle for Harley-Davidson#8217;s Celebrate Women Riders event, a two-day rally designed to recognize the thousands of women riding their own motorcycles and inspire others to do the same. Women are the fastest growing demographic of new motorcycle riders representing 12 percent of new bike buyers, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. Harley-Davidson reports that 14 percent of its new motorcycles sales are to women.

Milwaukee was shrouded in fog on Saturday morning as women rolled into the Harley-Davidson Museum for the opening ceremonies.
Even though this was a Harley-Davidson event all brands of motorcycles were welcome.
We observed that many of the female riders rode in on large touring motorcycles like the Harley Street Glide shown here.

#8220;It#8217;s awesome to see all these women,#8221; said Pam Andrella who rode in from Akron, Ohio, with 10 other women. “And the women weve run into along the way have been so nice. The camaraderie is amazing.”

Pam Andrella on her 2005 Softail Deluxe.

Approximately 650 people pre-registered for the two-day event held at the Harley-Davidson Museum with another 350 people arriving over the course of the weekend. The event officially started on Saturday, May 22, with opening ceremonies emceed by Leslie Prevish, manager of Harley-Davidsons Womens Outreach, along with Karen Davidson, director of creative merchandise for The Motor Company, and great granddaughter of company co-founder William A. Davidson. Karen shared her enthusiasm for seeing so many women riding in from all over the country and talked about the Harley-Davidsons Pink Label MotorClothes collection where a portion of proceeds go to breast cancer research.

Karen gets the crowd excited about the event during the opening ceremonies.
The crowd watches Karen Davidson as she shares her experience growing up around Harley-Davidson. The Harley-Davidson Museum is in the background.
Leslie Prevish welcomes riders to Milwaukee.

There were many scheduled activities including seminars that included the ever popular “how to lift a motorcycle” demonstration; how to do a pre-ride inspection of your motorcycle; and for non-riders a chance to sit on the motorcycle simulator and see what it feels like to ride a motorcycle.

The thrill of the throttle: Leslie Prevish looks on after demonstrating to this woman how to shift through the gears and turn the throttle on this motorcycle simulator that gives people a chance to get a feel for riding a motorcycle.

The highlight of Saturday was the evening parade with approximately 500 women motorcyclists riding through downtown Milwaukee with a police escort guiding them. “It was a sight to see that many women on motorcycles all revving their engines and honking their horns,” said Genevieve Schmitt, editor of WomenRidersNow.com. “It gave me goosebumps!”

More than 500 women took part in the parade. This is the staging area.
Women riders cruise through downtown Milwaukee. Men were allowed to ride in the parade but only at the end behind all the women.

“I#8217;ve been anticipating this since the first time I heard about in the winter and now that its finally here I#8217;m so excited to see everyone,” said Yolanda Robertson who lives in Milwaukee. “Im looking forward to more of these kinds of things to come in the future.”

Yolanda Robertson on her 2005 Harley-Davidson Road King.
A family affair: Lizann and Jim Nelson with daughters Marie and Michelle from Milwaukee all ride motorcycles. They rode to the event on their Sportster, Buell Blast and Road King, shown in the photo. Michelle rode two-up with her dad.

Sundays schedule included a morning yoga session on the front lawn of the museum; a bike blessing; and a seminar by national speaker Debbie Gardner whose presentation empowers and educates women on self defense in a riveting 2 1/2 hour entertaining program.

Faces in the crowd at the Saturday night Street Party: WRN editor Genevieve Schmitt with friends Cris Sommer Simmons, author of The American Motorcycle Girls (left) and motorcycle mechanic extraordinaire Athena “Chickie” Ransom of Vagabond Chopper Company.

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7 thoughts on Women Riders Celebrate in Milwaukee this Weekend

  1. A big group photo was taken at this event, outside of the Museum. Is that photo available anywhere??

    1. You can find it here on the Harley-Davidson Web site women riders section.

  2. This was the first big ride for me. I enjoyed Milwaukee very much. Fourteen hundred miles round trip. So many women on bikes — who would ever think. One thousand! Wait until next year. Men you are going to have to move over.

  3. Thank you for covering the event. A friend and I rode down from Eau Claire (about 800 miles round trip) and we had the best experience. We met some fantastic women riders and Milwaukee treated us well. We will be back next year for sure!

  4. This was my first time to go on an all girls trip. Three of us Dixie Divas rode to Tennessee where my mom joined us for the trip. The four of us rode our bikes approximately 2000 miles round trip. We are looking forward to coming back again next year. My favorite part was when I rode with hundreds of other ladies on the ride together throughout the street of downtown Milwaukee. We tied pink ribbons on our bikes to show our support for the fight against breast cancer. Also, I had the great opportunity to meet Genevieve. Awesome!

  5. This was the first for me. First time in Milwaukee, and first long trip. We rode about 1250 miles round trip. It was awesome so looking forward to the next one.

  6. I was there and it was great! The article is good too. I’ve got some pix and I can only imagine others do too. Any thoughts on pointing to a site where we could all share our pix of the event? Many of mine were overexposed but they are here: Picasaweb.google.com

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