Once upon a time (and not that long ago), a Heroic Age lay across the land. It was an opulent time of shining knights astride fire-breathing steeds rescuing damsels in distress from the brute forces of a world gone mad; valiant giants riding to the aid of swooning princesses and vanquishing the dragon. It was a time of recognized heroism, when females rested in the shadow of their deliverer. And then… and then women started riding their own damn motorcycles and we were plunged into a black void of chaos. What the hell happened?
The market research company Kelton Global recently conducted a study in which 1,000 female riders and 1,000 female nonriders were questioned. The results determined that women who ride are happier than those who don’t ride. And when they talk about riding, they mean riding their own bikes not packing behind a perfectly capable valiant knight. The report goes on to conclude that female riders are happier in their careers, happier in their friendships and happier with their home lives. None of which is plausible at all since, back in the Heroic Age, we knights supported the ladies in their careers (we needed the beer money), encouraged their friendships (all the bros coming over on Saturday night to watch the fights) and excelled in maintaining a happy home life (“Honey, how about a new stove for your birthday?”). How they could be happier simply by choosing to ride their own motorcycle instead of trusting their man to ease any malaise by providing a comfy pillion pad is beyond reason. So how did our armor become tarnished to the point that our lady love might desire to manage the reins of her own metallic steed? I propose it was a subtle and very devious plan (probably hatched overseas) most likely concocted by those who would seek to undermine the very fabric of American motorcycling—male biker superiority.
I first noticed something afoot in the realm some 30 years ago when the average waist size of the American biker began to expand at an alarming rate. That shining image of muscled bikers with chiseled midsections made famous by artist David Mann was soon replaced by vest extenders and 9-X T-shirts. In retaliation, the beverage industry invented light beer, but by then it was too late and the die had been cast. Beer-gutted bikers became the norm. This was accelerated by the demise of the kickstarter, eliminating what little exercise most riders received and paving the way for even the most dainty among us to easily start a bike. And then they attacked our clothing.
The first time I saw a pair of pre-washed jeans I was confused. Why would anyone buy a pair of britches that was already half worn out? To get that “genuine” biker look was the obvious answer. No need of having to go through the effort of working at it. But that little shock was nothing like the one when I encountered my first distressed leather jacket. It was a thinly-veiled marketing ploy to deceive the male ego, bolstering our sagging bravado by donning attire that portrayed the rider as having been to hell and back—even if he had never been out of the county and back.
But the chevalier in us was strong and we fought back. “If you can’t pick it up, then you shouldn’t be riding it.” Yeah, that ought to work, puny damsels. And then some wise ass, bent on the total destruction of the motorcycling paladin, cleverly deduced some weird counter-lever Archimedes fulcrum stunt and the next thing you know, chicks were picking motorcycles up off the ground. And I don’t mean those prissy little motorcycles either; full-sized cruisers and even baggers were soon being hoisted back on kickstands without the grunts and moans of rotund Galahads. Would this madness never end?
Apparently not any time soon since a number of companies quickly contributed to the overthrow of the Biker Lords by offering accessories to accommodate those of impaired height, weight and strength. Lowered seats, easy-pull clutch levers, pull-back handlebars; all part of the plot to shove the male biker off his throne.
And now to add a little more disgrace to the damage already inflicted, this study comes out. It goes on to state that female riders also feel more confident, free and independent in every aspect of their lives including the bedroom. What? Uhhh… seems that women riders feel nearly four times as sexy as female nonriders. Independence in the bedroom? OK that’s sounds interesting and may be a tradeoff that’s worth further investigation. But I will go on record right here and now by stating: I ain’t gonna start riding bitch no matter how good the sex.