All-female rides becoming more popular
Sometimes it pays off to take the road less traveled, and women all around the U.S. are getting more involved in the adventuring touring segment and making their own way in the industry.
Alisa Clickenger, founder of Women’s Motorcycle Tours, said she has seen a definite increase in female riders, especially in the dual-sport segment. “From our vantage point, we’re just seeing these women getting into riding and being excited about it,” she said. “We’re women focused on supporting other women following their dreams and living lives they love.”
In the past, at rallies such as the ADVWoman rally, Clickenger said that women were overwhelmingly curious about adventure riding, and dual-sport seminars were well attended. “They were so curious about riding a small biker after riding a big bike. We’re seeing a lot of people that are riding cruisers now buying dirt bikes. That’s our focus,” she said.
In July, Women’s Motorcycle Tours hosted its first ever all-ladies Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route (COBDR) ride and teamed up with ADVWoman’s organizer Pat Jacques to offer a ride that traversed “650 miles through some of the most rugged and scenic landscapes in America on one of the most respected routes an adventure rider can ride.”
The eight-day trip took place immediately following the ADVWoman motorcycle rally in Granby, Colorado, which gave riders a chance to learn new skills from Jacques and use them immediately on the COBDR with Women’s Motorcycle Tours.
The custom-made adventure tour was limited to 10 participants, with four instructors along for motorcycle coaching and mentoring. “We chose to keep it small because of the difficulty of the terrain. We carefully screened those women and made sure that they had the dual-sport experience. We want to ensure everyone’s safety and success.”
Clickenger looks forward to working with Jacques in the future and hopes to expand the number of tours offered per year. As it stands, Women’s Motorcycle Tours offers one international trip a year, one dual-sport ride a year, weekend getaways and a handful of on-road tours throughout the U.S. She said Women’s Motorcycle Tours will also offer more training tours in the coming year, to cater to a wide range of experience and riding levels.
This year’s international Women’s Motorcycle Tour took place in Cuba, and dates are already set for an August 2018 Waterfalls and Wildlife Safari in southern Africa. “We announced the trip early on, so women can save their pennies and come to a tour like this. It’s a big commitment because the tour itself is 15 days.”
By building up confidence and ultimately helping more women to ride more miles, Women’s Motorcycle Tours is committed to bettering the industry. “The more women riders that we have, the more that are saying yes to their kids, partners or families riding. It becomes a family sport if the woman is involved, and that’s what we need for the continued health of the industry.”
The organization has developed a program to visit dealerships and work with them to build a presentation getting the word out to female riders and leading rides. “We help the dealership jumpstart their female riding community, for dual-sport or street. It’s all about community building and creating this experience for women,” she added.
Clickenger’s advice for women in the industry who are considering adventure touring, or riding altogether, is simple: Ask questions and get started. “Reach out to role models because we’re real riders just like you, and we understand the challenges of learning new skills and building the confidence to go places we haven’t been before. Ask questions; ask for advice; join riding communities.”
Women’s Motorcycle Tours is committed to providing women with opportunities to get out of their comfort zones and experience life one mile at a time. “Following the path less traveled is so rewarding, both in terms of the scenery that you view and the personal satisfaction of getting to places where very few people go. It’s so rewarding,” said Clickenger. “If you look, you will find a community of women who will support you.”