Women Changing the Motorcycling Landscape 2022

Women are Changing the Motorcycling Landscape 2022

By Off-road, On-road

I have been frequently asked: How did you become a motorcyclist? The enquirer often has a puzzled look on their face which, if expressed in words, translates to: you just don’t strike me as the motorcycling type. Well, women are entering the motorcycling industry at the greatest pace of any demographic at the moment! The reasons are as diverse as the women themselves, however many say that it is about freedom and the sense of independence; they were told they would never learn and so they were determined to prove they could, or perhaps they had always wanted to ride a bike! 

I learned how to ride on the farm in rural Manitoba. It was largely a practical skill because an extra small motorbike or two on the farm meant that anyone could hop on and go deliver a message, lunch or coffee to the ‘back 40’ where our dad was cultivating a field and one did not always need an extra pickup truck or to walk the distance. There was no texting! 

The Honda 90 was my first bike so I had to learn to shift and we made paths in the ditches or on the fields to ride in the evenings for fun after the chores and other farm work was done. My cousins and I had hours of fun riding and I loved it more than anything else! My brother was the first one to get a motorcycle for leisure riding on summer trips. This went a bit counter to the farm lifestyle because summertime is a busy season on the farm and most farmers do not take summer vacations. However, my older brother also loved riding more than almost anything. I remember the smell of the freshly cut grass and smoke from a bonfire as I rode on the back of his bike in the evening just before sunset. We rode every evening! 

It was not until I had my own career, money and adult life that it occurred to me that I too could get my license and buy a motorcycle for leisure. Even then, one of the male instructors said: I had you pegged as one of the people who wouldn’t get the hang of riding a motorcycle but you surprised me! REALLY?, I thought! Well, whatever stereotype he had in mind is what women have described many times. Gradually the landscape is changing and there are more women in leadership in the motorcycling industry, including organized associations, training and riding groups. In the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to serve on the provincial Board of Directors for the CMMG (Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups) and learned from the best about lobbying for the rights of motorcyclists and understanding how legislation can impact the safety and wellbeing of travel on a motorcycle. In January 2022 I was elected as the President of the CMMG. While this is a huge undertaking, there is an energetic set of new Board Members who are enthusiastic and committed to promoting the motorcycle industry in Manitoba! 

Recently, motorcyclists would not have been eligible for the two insurance rebates in Manitoba without the CMMG lobby. In addition, insurance rates have remained more reasonable with the CMMG engaging a lawyer to represent all Manitoba motorcyclists at the Public Utilities Board (PUB) hearings. 

CMMG also promotes safety, information and resources to motorcyclists across the province. As a Coalition of numerous motorcycle groups, this is the organization that is consulted about proposed legislation that could impact motorcyclists. 

CMMG also publicly promotes May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and this year the National safety message is: Watch Out for each other! I have had the privilege of representing Manitoba by serving at the national level on the Motorcycling Confederation of Canada (MCC) Board of Directors. Currently, I co-chair the MCC Road Riders Council. We are working on engagement strategies for road riders nationally and also actively promoting continuous skill improvement opportunities from across Canada with the belief that advanced training prevents accidents and injury, keeping riders and others road users safer. Quebec is carrying out a longitudinal study that is showing preliminary results illustrating this principle: continuous training throughout the lifetime of a motorcyclist prevents injury and accidents! 

The MCC has also been actively engaging with the international motorcycling community through multiple collaborations. FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is an international organization that brings riders from all regions and types of riding together. FIM Beyond Sport is the on-road, off-road, and adventure riding side of the sport. This includes priorities such as international tourism resources, support for continuous skill development and engagement in the sheer enjoyment of whatever type of motorcycle riding matters to you. 

I am thrilled that my daughter and her women friends are becoming motorcyclists as they join the growing demographic of women riders. Additional work is still needed to decrease discrimination and increase access for other populations. Manitoba is growing in its inclusivity in motorcycling. The Motosocial gatherings throughout Winnipeg welcomed more than 300 different types of motorcyclists and offered a good example of inclusiveness prior to the pandemic in Winnipeg. Even during the pandemic, motorcycling interest is growing! While we wait for the community to be safe to gather again, stay safe, and ride within the provincially recommended guidelines. 


The Coalition of Manitoba Motorcycle Groups | CMMG 

Motorcycling.ca | Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) 

Women in Motorcycling | FIM (fim-moto.com) 

Beyond Sport | FIM (fim-moto.com) 

Motorcycling.ca Blog article - group of motorcyclists riding by a lake with beautiful fall colour

Riding Tips for Fall

By On-road, Safety

The following are good riding tips for fall. Rides in October in Canada always have to be viewed as maybe the last ride of the season. You just never know when snow will cover the roads or it gets so cold you don’t want to ride. With that in mind, treat every autumn ride as your last ride of the season.

Shorter daylight hours and higher temperature fluctuations require greater planning for your routes. When judging your route, “an inch on the map” may not be a good rule to ride by. Plan your rides to get you home before it gets dark and the temperature drops.

You should also plan your riding gear to accommodate changes in the weather. Layering is the best approach to being comfortable. If one of those layers is electric, all the better. Carrying a second pair of warmer gloves is good planning if you don’t have the luxury of heated grips.

When you ride, please be aware that cold roads don’t offer the same traction as warm or hot roads. This is especially important for those running really aggressive sport or race compound tires. Some of these tires operate over a very limited temperature range that cannot be generated on a cold, straight road. Be careful, especially for the first few kilometers or after a long straight stretch leading into a twisty section. As always, watch out for wet leaves covering the road.

While you’re out on your ride, stop by your favourite bike shop and fill your fall shopping list including; fuel stabilizer, smart battery charger, bike cover, bike cleaner, etc.

Fill up with gas on the way home. A full tank minimizes the vapour area where condensation accumulates so your tank doesn’t rust. Otherwise, you might not get out for another ride.

Here are two more important riding tips for fall. Keep your bike clean in the autumn. You just never know when your hose will freeze up. You never want to store a dirty bike. A quick 20 minute wash will turn into an all day clean-up after the dirt has been caked on for 4 months. Wax or use motorcycle protectant on all surfaces except tires. If you have ridden on a road that has been salted a wash is mandatory.

After your last wash make sure to warm your bike up to evaporate any water and condensation.

Many motorcycle dealers offer great storage plans that include winter maintenance packages. It’s a good time to pre-arrange your storage.

Stay tuned for winterization guidelines.

motorcycling during the pandemic - Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada - image of a motorcyclist wearing his helmet, sitting on stairs next to his bike, looking sad

Motorcycling During the Pandemic – Safe At Home is Best

By MCC in the News, News, Off-road, On-road, Safety

Canadian riders thinking about motorcycling during the pandemic: MCC supports the position of the International Motorcycling Federation. FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is the global governing body for motorcycle racing. We think the following release is the correct global response to what is obviously a global health emergency:

On April 1, 2020 FIM announced its #RidersAtHome initiative. The campaign encourages all types of riders around the world, from professionals to everyday commuters, to share messages of support and to behave in a responsible manner to take care of each other. In the official release, the FIM said, “Even though riding is still permitted in some countries – the FIM is requesting that ALL riders keep their motorcycles parked in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that could take up valuable healthcare resources during a period when they are already under great pressure.” Read More

Take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge

By Off-road, On-road, Safety

Show Your Support for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

After a long, cold Canadian winter, motorcyclists are eager to get back on the roads. Warmer spring weather signals the start of the motorcycle season –  that’s why May is officially recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) wants all motorcyclists to be visible on the roads, in the hopes of reducing crashes, especially at intersections where almost 50 per cent of motorcycle collisions occur.

“Motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility,” explains Dave Millier, MCC Chair. “We’re encouraging everyone to take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge because behind the helmet, motorcyclists are mothers, fathers, children, and friends.”

Read More

Five ways to support motorcycle safety in your community

By Off-road, On-road, Safety

 Everyone plays an important role in motorcycle safety. Even if you do not ride a motorcycle, chances are you know someone that does. That’s why at the MCC we believe motorcycle safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Behind the helmet, motorcyclists are mothers, fathers, children, and friends. Please help others think about motorcycles this riding season. Increased visibility and awareness will improve the chance of motorcyclists being seen on the roads and trails this year. Read More

The evolving face of motorcycling in Canada

By News, Off-road, On-road

Women Riders Council celebrating 10 years in 2017

For women motorcyclists, riding is freedom. Often an activity they may not have thought of doing, riding a motorcycle allows women to challenge themselves, gain skills and build self-confidence. Riding is also a social activity for women. It’s a way to build community and camaraderie by bringing people together to experience the joy of riding. Read More