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International Female Ride Day (IFRD)

A Global Event!

By Katmandu with photos by Catherine Palmer
5/11/2024


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It’s been 14 years since I did Ladies Day Out, a local Treasure Coast women’s ride. From 1999 to 2010, the girls got together and we rode out in support of a local animal shelter. Then I got a real job and put the photojournalism on the back burner. Still rode when I could, supported when I could, (like so many of us) and as you probably know, always took my camera with me.



I have seen and heard of this particular event. I wasn’t able to attend or my head, and heart, were somewhere else. I have always been a champion for women riders. So now settled in a small home in a motorcycle Mecca, I can do more to be there for the girls with the jolt for more. Here’s some history courtesy of the this globally known motorcycle riding event, and how the ladies did it up in Daytona Beach this year.



International Female Ride Day (IFRD) is a one-day motorcycle riding event happening each year on the first Saturday in May since 2007. According to International Female Ride Day - Women's Motorcycle Ride Day (motoress.com), “Those years ago, Vicki Gray, the founder of Motoress.com, came up with a brilliant idea to bring awareness to the growing numbers of female motorcyclists: designate one day in May for women riders to simply get out on their motorcycles and ride.“



Above photo courtesy of Motoress.com is Vicky Gray.

“A few years ago, seeing the huge growth in the interest—and realizing that many people work on a Friday—the day was moved to the first Saturday in May.” Motoress and many other motorcycling, road, sport, trike, antique, what be your choice of motorcycle, outlets have spread the word about this International Female Ride Day. This was my first time attending a world-wide riding event. Imagine, women is New Zealand doing the same thing we were doing on this very day.



The goal of the IFRD is to will other women to take up the handlebars. One of the points I appreciated the most was, “Can I ride alone or do I have to ride with a group?” You can ride to a staged designated beginning area or ride by yourself to any event you know about. Or show up with some girlfriends who ride also, toast to all of us brave and beautiful beings and feel your knees in the breeze.



Teddy Morse's Daytona Harley-Davidson, also known as Destination Daytona, began the celebration in style, as always, with a early morning group ride from the dealership to visit our Veterans at the Emory L Bennett Memorial Veterans Nursing Home, which was about ten miles south in a more locale of Daytona Beach. The residents were eager to see these impressive women on all sorts of motorcycles. The gentlemen and one lady veteran lined up early and excited.



This part of the day was the brainchild of Athena Ransom of Vagabond Choppers and Rebecca Young, marketing manager of the dealership who together put forth the call for women riders to join in the day-long event. Our favorite friend of all things righteous, Willie from Tropical Tattoo, along with Mike Erthal both who have been decades long supporters of this nursing home, earnestly worked to make this happen for IFRD and our retired veterans.

 
 A group of 20 gorgeous women riders rode to the Nursing Home, with much inspiration as they all talked freely, hugged freely and got to take pictures with the veterans. It was such a heartwarming experience for everyone as smiles and laughter filled the front foyer. All the armed forces were represented and as you can tell by my photos, memories were made. The staff was thrilled as much as we were to be there.



Then, together, the pack headed back to Destination Daytona for a Ride-In-Bike show. Early May weather did not disappoint, and the dealership’s open arms were around every corner and uncluttered door. The bike show classes included; Big Twin, Sportster, Bagger, Trike, Vintage, Metric, Best Paint and Dealer’s Choice. Once the winner were announced, we were asked to ride up in front of the sand- like sculpture of the dealership’s logo for photographs.



My 1993 FXLR, “Rubber Soul” turned thirty this year. I wasn’t sure about which class, with a ten-dollar entry fee, Vintage or Big Twin, so for another five dollars, I went for both. The girls were thrilled to win, but also to meet other women riders, talk motorcycles, check out some new blue jeans and find a shady spot. I am so impressed with the, ahem, older women, who come riding in on their 1972 or 1973 stock FLH Shovelheads, floorboards, windshields, fiberglass saddle bags and wide glides as they find a tight parking spot. They make it look so easy.



Athena did her magic at judging the bikes that entered as her grandson, Baron, helped with anything he could. He’s five, going on six. He is a delightful youngster who was so gracious with the veterans. Once again, Rebecca and her entire staff put on a top notch show for those that stayed and played. Gift cards were the prizes, and as we all dispersed, we hug and wave and call each other “Sister Friend.”



Learn more about this internationally known day for women riders of all types. Look up the websites listed below. Subscribe to Bikernet.com. We don’t care what you ride, as long as you respect the pack, know the road and watch out for each other.


Love and respect always,
--Katmandu


https://womenridersnow.com

 
Join the Cantina for the fun of it.
Join the Cantina for the fun of it.

 
 
 

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