Do you have an "image"?

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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby Maine Rider » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:03 am

So, I thought I would share an email I just got from someone I deal with in a professional way. She found out I have a motorcycle and she wrote to me saying I have an image now of a "do gooder - bad ass". I chuckled about that as she knows me from my work in eldercare and hospice care. I wrote back to her and told her that I'm not really a bad ass, just a woman with a motorcycle. I did add that I do have a black leather jacket and chaps, just so she'd continue to think of me as a "bad ass".

Funny how non-riders see those of us who ride. I was recently asked to serve on a board of trustees for an organization that I greatly admire. I couldn't figure out why I was asked because everyone, or nearly everyone on the board is a millionaire, a CEO of some big company, a philanthropist, not a simple person like me. When the president of the board asked me for a CV/resume, I didn't have one. So, I wrote a little story about how I came to live on the island I live on and how I ended up doing what I am doing here - you know, do-gooder work. Anyway, I've agreed to serve and will be so out of my element at the board meetings. I told my husband I was going to ride my motorcycle to the first board meeting in June so they can figure out from the start who I am. Maybe I'll only last one meeting!
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby DianneB » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:31 pm

Maine Rider wrote: I was going to ride my motorcycle to the first board meeting in June so they can figure out from the start who I am.


DO IT! ;)
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby dbsteffy » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:26 pm

If you only last one meeting, they are fools and don't deserve you.

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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby 2WheelsinWyo » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:31 am

"You don't look like a biker!" I get this comment a lot when people find out I ride motorcycles. Don't know if it's because I have gray hair, dress professionally (I had a 30+ year career with the federal court in Wyoming and now work for a health insurance company), and usually have my nose in a book. Then they ask, "What kind of a Harley do you have?" I tell them I don't have one but I have everything else. :) Try explaining what a sport-tourer is to someone who only knows what a Harley or a sport bike look like. Non-motorcyclists tend to lump everybody who rides into the black-leather-wearing Harley rider type. When you don't look or act like the stereotypical biker, people are amazed when they find out you ride. And some, mainly women, are downright apalled when they find out that I ride cross-country by myself. "Aren't you afraid? I could never do that," they say. Some people, on the other hand, sound like they're a little envious that I have the confidence to do the things I do.

The other day I had gone to Menards and just got my helmet on when a little girl, about 5 years old, jumped out of the pickup that had parked in front of my bike and came up and hugged me. "Oh, Miss Motorcycle Man," she said, "I just love your motorcycle!" Well, I've never had that happen before! I was riding a Yamaha Majesty scooter that day. I told her what kind of bike it was. Then she asked if she could get on it. I told her she had to ask her Dad if it would be okay. He was standing on the other side of the bike with her brother looking mortified at his daughter's behavior. When he said it would be okay, I lifted her onto the seat and she grabbed the handlebars, ready to ride. Her six-year-old brother wasn't to be outdone and wanted to get on, too, so Dad helped him up behind his sister. The little girl was dressed in a pink and purple princess outfit complete with tutu and leggings. What a sight! I really hope she gets a bike someday. I hope I helped set that in motion.
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby DianneB » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:21 am

AWESOME!

It sounds like that young lady already has the inclination. I hope she has the strength to follow her heart.
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby 7of9 » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:50 pm

2WheelsinWyo wrote:The other day I had gone to Menards and just got my helmet on when a little girl, about 5 years old, jumped out of the pickup that had parked in front of my bike and came up and hugged me. "Oh, Miss Motorcycle Man," she said, "I just love your motorcycle!" Well, I've never had that happen before! I was riding a Yamaha Majesty scooter that day. I told her what kind of bike it was. Then she asked if she could get on it. I told her she had to ask her Dad if it would be okay. He was standing on the other side of the bike with her brother looking mortified at his daughter's behavior. When he said it would be okay, I lifted her onto the seat and she grabbed the handlebars, ready to ride. Her six-year-old brother wasn't to be outdone and wanted to get on, too, so Dad helped him up behind his sister. The little girl was dressed in a pink and purple princess outfit complete with tutu and leggings. What a sight! I really hope she gets a bike someday. I hope I helped set that in motion.


I LOVE THAT!!

I am the black leather Harley riding type, but I get all smooshy in the heart when kids get excited about my bike, particularly when little girls squish their noses against the glass in the backseat and stare, excited to see a woman riding. Just last night, we were coming back from a ride and I pulled up next to a truck that had a pre-teen (tween?) girl in the passenger seat. She grinned when she saw me and made the motion with her hand as if turning the throttle, so I did it and the bike gave a growl and she grinned wider. She leaned up in her seat to check out my bike and gave me a big thumbs up before the light turned green.

It's a good thing she couldn't see my goofy grin through my tinted faceshield on my helmet, I'm absolutely certain it completely ruined the entire image. LOL!

I love that when young girls see us riding, they see confidence. They see strong, independent female role models. They see stereotypes smashed and they see us having FUN doing it! Every time I pass a small face with a pony tail pressed against the glass of a truck or van, I hope that they see me and don't wait as long as I did to live the life that makes them whole, that maybe, just maybe, seeing me with my pony tail flying, gives them the idea that they don't have to fit a mold or water down their dreams.

For me...those moments are almost as good as riding itself. :D
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby Ametha Elf » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:02 pm

A couple of years ago the hubster and I were parked in a small country town. A woman quickly crossed over the road looking directly at me the whole time. We had only been parked for a couple of minutes so I had no idea what I had done wrong, but she didnt look happy at all. She got really close, then said "I'm so, SO envious of you riding your own bike" then turned and walked away before I had a chance to say anything. :D
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby JustDandy » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:48 pm

I've been enjoying this thread greatly, reading all the different thoughts and interpretations of "image". Like most people, I have an image in my mind of "biker" and "biker chick", though I don't really (personally) know anyone who fits the description. The Harley riders I know certainly look the part when riding, but off the bike, they are a lawyer, a paralegal, a music teacher, etc. I like the idea of the biker image, probably because I've always known that they are decent folks and not the scary old stereotype. That being said, the image I have of myself is not that! Then again, I have only been riding for about 6 months. The image I want to project is as a safe, independent woman. Though I'd love to be decked out in black leather, I instead have a hi-viz jacket and a white helmet 'cuz I want to be seen. It's not important (yet anyway) for people to know if I'm a woman, although I do make it a point to wave to kids, especially girls. I love that I feel more confident with my new skills!
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby KOfromCO » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:27 pm

JustDandy wrote: The Harley riders I know certainly look the part when riding, but off the bike, they are a lawyer, a paralegal, a music teacher, etc. I like the idea of the biker image, probably because I've always known that they are decent folks and not the scary old stereotype.


I ride a Harley but am not decked out like a Harley Rider. I too have a white helmet (it sparkles) and I ride in an Olympia riding jacket (red,white,grey). My gloves are leather, does that count? Oh, and I do have HD riding boots that are waterproof and comfortable enough to walk around in when off the bike.

Mostly, my gear is for safety first, comfort second, and "looks" is my last consideration.
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Re: Do you have an "image"?

Postby BoggyGirl » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:16 pm

In my world, there's plenty to judge. I'm a woman in construction with tattoos who likes to fish, hunt, and ride motorcycles. Far cry for the typical "Florida Girl" people think of that normally conjures up an image of some skinny girl in a bikini on a beach. I'm young, I have double-pierced ears, 6 tattoos, 5 of which are upfront and visible anytime I wear short sleeves (so now basically every day). I have a very varied taste in...well tons of things. I love music, used to be in marching and concert band, still love the sound of those bands, love sci-if and all sorts of geeky things. What's my image? Well, I have a tendency to not care what others think. I used to ride my Rebel while wearing HD gloves because they were on sale and comfortable. I once took my bike around the block in the rain on the 4th of July in Capri workout pants and a GoArmy tshirt. I guess my point is, our lives all have different aspects, we're all incredibly unique, some of us are even pretty weird :D. But we're all who we are, no matter what image others project onto us.
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