Sunday, January 13, 2013

You aren't a Bro!!

As a female rider I have had to deal with a lot of different views on being a woman who rides.  I have had men stop me and tell me that my bike was too big for me or that I shouldn't be riding alone.  I have had women stop next to me at a light and give me a thumbs up or a shout out.

Some of the best are little girls who stare at me.  Over the summer I had an SUV pass me on the interstate with a little girl staring out the window... her mom showed her how to give me a peace sign (I have one on my helmet) and she did... I of course gave one back.  A few years ago when I was out on a day ride I stopped at a gas station to get something to eat.  While standing in line for food this little girl in her Sunday best just kept staring at me.  She was with her dad and when they were about to leave she whispers something in his ear.  As he walked past he told her I was a woman who rode a motorcycle and how cool that was.

I have been called sir more times than I care to admit... and well honestly that has happened my entire life.  I have never understood that concept.  It doesn't matter what I wear or if I have hair or not most people's first reaction is to call me sir.  Sometimes it drives me crazy and when I was in the midst of my Eating Disorder I would take it to heart and feel I was somehow less of a person because they couldn't tell that I was a woman.  Honestly it upsets me most because someone can't take the time to even look at my face before saying something... no eye contact is ever made... especially in the check out lanes.  I had one woman a few months ago who needed help getting something from a top shelf at the super market and called me sir... when I said sure and reached up to get it for her she realized she was wrong and felt really bad.  She apologized over and over again saying she should of looked at me before asking.  I told her it wasn't a big deal but yet sometimes after a day of being out and being called sir all day really begins to drive me crazy.

When I am in my full winter gear on the bike I feel that I am genderless... I guess in a society where men and women were equal I would be genderless... but of course in this society men ride motorcycles... especially when the weather isn't perfect.  So I am not genderless in my winter gear... I am a man.  For those of you that believe this myth of society... I have ridden thru rain, snow, tropical storms and edges of hurricanes.  I have ridden from temperatures as low as in the 20s and I ride all year round.  I have over 70,000 miles on my motorcycle and I ride solo except the handful of times my parents and I got out for a ride when I visit.  I went on a ride in 2009 over 5800 miles and 19 states... solo.  This trip I have ridden from upstate NY to Northern NM pulling a trailer.  That is over 3500 miles so far.  My license plate frame says it best... Deal with it girls ride too... except I think it should say women but that is a different story. ;)

Anyways... why I am saying all of this... Along this new journey I get stopped by a lot of men who want to take a look at my trailer... rarely any women.  Some men look at me like I am crazy, some men are quite supportive but on my way thru New Mexico I met a guy that was really just priceless.

I stopped to get gas and this guy on the other side of the pump says "Nice trailer, Bro"  I tell him thank you and the look of shock on his face was priceless.  He then says "You aren't a Bro".  I just get on Blue and as I am lifting up the bike to begin riding again he finally picks up his jaw from the ground and tells me safe riding.  I laughed for the next hour.  All I could think of was the best part of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy...

Nothing like being a bit outside the societal box to get a bit of empowerment.  

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