Women Riders Expo: Getting Better Every Year

Something for everyone at L.A. Harley-Davidson

By Teri Conrad

Whether you call yourself a biker babe, biker chick, or simply a woman motorcyclist there was something for everyone, including the guys, at the Second Annual Women Riders Expo held at Los Angeles Harley-Davidson in South Gate, Calif., in early May.

Women riders enjoyed the array of vendors set up in the parking lot area.

There were a variety of vendors displaying items for sale for both women and men motorcyclists. The “Bongo Boys” provided musical entertainment, and a light lunch was set up courtesy of L.A. Harley-Davidson. Joy Medved, founder of Joy of Motorcycling, was also on hand demonstrating how to pick up a downed motorcycle, and sharing information about the safety courses and traffic violators school her organization offers.

Heidi Calhoun has been riding for eight months after moving from the back seat. Her bike is a 1999 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

New rider Heidi Calhoun came from Yorba Linda. She obtained her license after taking the Basic MSF course and highly recommends the class as a starting place for other women wanting to learn how to ride. #210;The more you ride, the more comfortable you feel. I love it!” she said.

Debbie Hemsworth rides a 2004 Harley-Davidson Road King. She has custom purple leathers and personally-dyed purple leather boots. She is actively involved in a variety of organizations and is a Road Captain for the Simi Valley and Venture HOG chapters.

Debbie Hemsworth, who resides in Ventura County, Calif., and has been riding for 22 years, decided to attend the Womens Expo after reading about it on WomenRidersNow.com. “Ive come a distance to get here, but its definitely worth it,” said Debbie, who also attended last years event. “We have one woman with us who just passed her MSF course, and shes excited to be riding.” For those considering learning to ride, Debbie advised, “Practice, practice, practice.”

Joy Medved of Joy of Motorcycling Traffic School demonstrating how to upright a downed motorcycle.

Peggy Gramm and her husband, Irwin, from Bloomington, Calif., are both members of the Victory Riders, a Christian chapter of motorcycle riders. Peggy enjoyed watching the bike-lift demonstration by Joy Medved. “It was very interesting, and I wanted to try lifting it but wasnt sure I could do it,” Peggy said.

Keynote Speaker Genevieve Schmitt, founder of Women Riders Now, delivered an empowering speech sharing five “nuggets of wisdom” she learned the hard way.

Women Riders Now Founder, Genevieve Schmitt, was the keynote speaker at the Women Riders Expo sharing words of encouragement with the women riders. “This Expo is our way of opening the doors and breaking down barriers, to show all of the cool things there are available for women out there,” said Sheila Vail, marketing manager of L.A. Harley-Davidson. The event, which was free of charge, provided a great opportunity for women to meet and mingle and share riding tips and success stories.

Teri Conrad is a freelance writer and motorcycle enthusiast who lives in Southern California. She has been published in Iron Horse, Ride Texas, Biker Ally, Adventure Sports Outdoors, and Accelerate magazines. She can be reached at celebritywriter@cox.net.

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