Monday, February 15

Woman Seeking Women

It has been a long time between posts and I've missed you. I've been embracing the winter fully by doing my daily long, cold walks with a camera in hand.

As I continue to seek balance in my so-called life, I appreciate your patience. Neglecting this blog, unfortunately, is but one of my many outlets spiraling through gaping dark holes and disappearing forever. A backlog of incomplete or unedited posts await my attention. Some days pass by pleasantly—even enjoyably. Other days--too many days in fact--drag by with the energy that would make a sloth look like a speed demon.

While my hectic life has left little time to indulge the things I want most to do, day dreaming has proved a viable distraction. I've ridden off into the sunset during more than one business meeting. The ride calendar is filling up with tons of legal fun! Aligned with my previous blog about riding with purpose, I've come up with several projects that I'll need several life times to complete. I know that I'm probably far more project- and goal-oriented than many would care to be, but hey, different strokes for different folks, right? Very few things compare to two wheel riding. I do it for the sheer joy of moving through space; whizzing pass buildings and trees; and, inhaling smells both good and malodorous. It is fun and solitude on my terms.

Last season, my travels took me to many Underground Railroad Stations, National Historic Sites and Monuments; I enjoyed every outing. This season, I will continue picking these sites but I'm my pleasure sensors with some new projects.

One that I am announcing here now was sparked by reading motorcycle magazines. You may have noticed that some of them are aimed at the male reader. To many of these rags, the fact that women have increasingly joined the ranks of riders hasn't seemed to catch on. Yes, an increasing number of mags publish stories about and by women riders. Glad to see better inclusion. Still, the ads in some of these same magazines haven't evolved much. Typically, the women in the ads are sprawled, skimpily-clad, on or across the motorcycle.

The clothes they wear—or should I say, the clothes they are not wearing—scream volumes about who these ads are meant to attract.

I read these magazines too. Forgive me while I rant a bit. Sorry men, but I'm annoyed with poofy-haired, leather bustier wearing, Barbies with spike heeled, thigh high boots and pouty mouths, and grossly inflated adipose tissues staring out at me! Rather than continue getting mad, I'm taking action.

I'd like to proffer a counterpoint. So, I'm eagerly seeking women.

I'd like to interview a different kind of woman on a bike. For the upcoming ride season, I'm looking for women who ride solo. I prefer that they reside in the Midwest. They must also be ATGATT (all the gear, all the time). If you a woman who rides solo and lives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, send them my way.

I will ride to meet up with her, interview her and take some photos of her and her ride partner, that is, her motorcycle. By “ride solo,” I mean, she rides alone 99% of the time. Before anyone debates me about my requirements, let me explain. I don't believe it is a challenge to find women to interview who ride. Such woman have become rather commonplace.

Women who prefer to go it alone will be a challenge I look forward to interviewing. Think about it, given women's socialization to stay near home, to never travel alone, to find protection with a male, that any woman rides alone is noteworthy. I know why ride alone. I'd like to know about those who other women who swim against the current.

Why do they ride alone? Where to do go? What bike do they ride and why? Do they camp alone or stay in hotels when they travel? Is riding alone choice or circumstance? Are they committed solo riders or just biding their time until the right riding partner comes along?

My hope is to eventually turn these interviews and images into a multimedia story accessible via the WWW. Eventually, I'd like to stretch beyond the Midwest. Details remain foggy at this stage but the planning is underway.

I will recruit on a few motorcycle boards and female motorcycle forums. Still, if you know someone, don't hesitate to let me know. Thanks!