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Texas Raine: July, 2017

By Raine Devries

San Antonio was the place to be on the last weekend in April when the Revved Up Women Texas Motorcycle Expo took place at Retama Park Race Track. Organizers elevated things from the standard garage party concept to appeal more toward today’s women riders by offering networking opportunities, demo rides, and educational events. The highlight was a panel which featured some of the top women from the motorcycle industry including Genevieve Schmitt of Women Riders Now, Sarah Schilke of BMW Motorrad, Kim Knupp of Yamaha, and Polaris’s Amanda Rusin. One talking point became clear quickly: Dealers are not engaging women to the best of their ability as female riders are turning to online sources to purchase everything from the motorcycles to the gear. With an estimated 1.2 million women riders in the U.S. influencing as much as $18.4 billion in sales annually, this is a massive market to be overlooking. Hopefully, the management at dealerships will quickly begin re-evaluating how they are marketing to women riders because, candidly, just throwing the color pink on something and bedazzling it with crystals isn’t going to work… On Saturday, May 6, women riders all around Texas saddled up in recognition of the 11th annual International Female Ride Day. In the decade since this day of recognition launched, women riders have become a true force to be reckoned with and, in Texas, ladies are often making up 50–60 percent of the new riders in motorcycle training classes. Photos and videos have been shared using #IFRD; the 2018 date will be May 5… More than 100 riders gathered on May 20 for the Spirit of a Hero Benefit Ride which kicked off at Earl’s 377 Pizza up in the north Texas town of Argyle; the ride was escorted by local police and a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter to American Eagle H-D in Corinth. Riders raised more than $10,000 and were welcomed by the local firefighters who had extended the ladders on their trucks to unfurl a massive American flag. Bikers enjoyed barbecue and music while they visited with beneficiary Marine Cpl. Brian Aft who lost both of his legs due to an IED blast in 2011… The weekend of May 19–21 was lively in Dallas and riders turned out in force as Oliver Peck held his annual Elm Street Tattoo and Music Festival. Oliver is a well-known fixture in the Deep Ellum area where he is seen riding his classic H-D motorcycles and inking customers at his legendary shop Elm Street Tattoo. To most of America, though, he’s known as the toothpick-chewing judge on the hit TV show Ink Master. Last season’s winner, Ryan Ashley Malarkey, was in town to work her magic during a meet and greet; she was a massive hit with the fans. More than a dozen bands performed over the weekend for the festival at several different venues as the community rallied together to get the event moved from outdoors to indoors due to spring storms moving through. Oliver was also feted in Milwaukee back in April as he is one of the tattoo artists that designed a motorcycle as part of the new H-D Motor Company and Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum partnership… Keep the shiny side up and I’ll see you next month!

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