Every year since 2007, International Female Ride Day® has brought together women from all over the world. They don’t share the same background, and they usually don’t share the same asphalt. But they do all share the same love of riding—and the same goal of encouraging even more women to join them.
What It Is
A globally synchronized ride day that recognizes and celebrates female riders from any country and from any club, no matter what they ride. This year’s was in partnership with Indian Motorcycle.
When It Happens ?
Because of the pandemic, this year’s IFRD was August 22. But next year it’ll be back on its regular date, the first Saturday in May. Check motoress.com for details.
How It Started ?
Although Vicki Gray’s father didn’t ride, he did fly planes. He loved the speed, the turns, the rush. And so did Vicki (above). Instead of in the air, though, Gray found those thrills on a motorcycle. She rode her first bike at age 16, and she never looked back. Soon she was racing bikes, and then, teaching others as an instructor.
She knew there were other female riders out there. There had to be. But it was hard to see them. They were rarely featured in dealership brochures, and there were few communities for female riders to interact.
In 1998, she decided to fix that problem by starting a website—the first was called Race Girl, then she created Motoress—as a resource and a way to provide support for female riders. On the site, you’ll find riding news, tips and techniques, and bike and gear reviews. But Gray still wanted to do more.
As she saw it, women’s opportunities to ride were limited, and that meant that the opportunities for other women to see women riding were limited. “It’s not easy,” she says. “If you take a woman who has a career, a partner, children, a house, things to do, it’s very hard for motorcycling to become a priority.” So, she created a day that would make it one.
The first International Female Ride Day® took place in the summer of 2007. “I wanted to stop the cycle of positioning women as if we were just starting to ride. Women always have ridden,” she says. The problem was, there weren’t often seen riding. Gray saw an easy solution: “I asked women to just get out there—to show everyone how many of us there are.” The first year was limited to riders in Canada and the U.S., but in the second year other countries joined in. The U.K. Australia. Kenya. Each year after that, female riders in other countries got word of the day and joined in, too. Thirteen years later, the movement is worldwide. “Women are doing the very same thing I am, at the very same time, all over the world. It almost gives you goose bumps. It’s a thrilling connection,” she says.
“International Female Ride Day® has propelled a lot of women forward into motorcycling. They see an example. That was the whole purpose. I tell women that they are role models. And their message, as it’s always been, is inclusion and diversity. It’s strong, it’s powerful, and it just keeps going,” Gray says. “It’s unbelievable.”
How to Get Involved ?
To look for a ride in your area next year, contact your local dealership or check Facebook. If you don’t see one, no problem. Just start your own. It doesn’t matter where you ride, for how long, or with whom. Grab a friend or go solo. And be sure to post a pic from your ride on social media and tag it either #IFRD or #InternationalFemaleRideDay.
International Female Ride Day® is a registered trademark of Vicki Gray