When you think of stereotypical images of motorcyclists, you usually think of burly men clad in leather vests, jeans, and riding chaps rolling down the road, sometimes with a woman on the back of a bike. While the majority of motorcycle riders are men, women are a fast-growing segment of cyclists. Many of them are tired of seeing the world from behind a male rider, and are rolling out on their own rides.
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To discuss the growing segment of women motorcyclists, an event called the 2016 Biker Belles Symposium took place earlier this month. The event started with a ride through the stunning Black Hills of South Dakota, and then moved into a panel discussion on the theme “Two-Wheeled Transformation.” After the panel, there was a silent auction to support local charities, and opportunities for bikers to learn more about the best way to take advantage of their awesome ride.
BMW recognizes the importance of women riders, and sent Sarah Schilke, the National Marketing Manager for BMW Motorrad USA, to the event to participate in the panel. While she works in the marketing office for the automaker, Schilke has always been a passionate biker, even before taking the job with BMW’s motorcycle arm. Before joining the German company, she worked with other motorcycle brands like Schuberth Helmets, the American Motorcycle Association, and the International Motorcycle Shows. According to her biography on the Biker Belles site, Schilke is an original member of the International Motorcycling Federation Commission on Women in Motorcycling, and the first woman to join the Motorcycle Industry Council’s Board of Directors.
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We think it’s great that BMW is investing time and effort into female motorcyclists. Perhaps soon we’ll start to see even more women rule the road from a bike.