About 1000 people attended the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference held in Keystone, Colorado, in August. During my time manning my Women Riders Now booth and covering the event, I met literally hundreds of people, every one with an interesting story. Here are some of the interesting faces in the crowd and their stories. Please be sure to click on the links below after the photos to see the rest of WRN's coverage of the conference. Click on the photos to make them larger and view a slideshow.
Alice Sexton and Sarah Schilke, both members of the conference advisory council. Photo taken at opening event. The advisory council met regularly for a year before the conference, and consulted on all aspects of the event, including each council member organizing one of the seminars. Two of the keynote speakers at the opening presentation, Leslie Porterfied and Karen Davidson. Leslie talked about her dream to be a land speed racer, while Karen talked about growing up in the Harley-Davidson family. I caught Leslie Porterfield walking around the conference center grounds with her dog Freeway, named that because she found him beside a freeway. The two drove up from Texas where she owns High Five Cycles, a dealership in Dallas.
I'm posing with Carlana Stone, an inspirational woman who lets nothing get in the way of her dream of riding a motorcycle. She is a paraplegic and rode out from L.A. on her Harley-Davidson Tri Glide trike that's been set up with hand controls. Here's Carlana on her trike posing with Diva Amy. Carlana gets on and off by herself and also puts together her wheelchair all on her own. You go girl! Ev Straight, 83, has been a member of the Motor Maids for 50 years and still rides her 250 Yamaha. She rode out, though, on the back of a friend's motorcycle. See next picture.
Here's Ev with Cindy Black, also of the Motor Maids. Cindy rode that big yellow rig with Ev on the back from Billings, Montana. Hope Bauer, from Seattle, rode out on her 2004 Deuce customized with a Harley-Davidson factory paint job. She said she planned to get to the conference in four days, but a she was sidetracked in Salt Lake City by a cute cowboy she met, which delayed her by a day. She said it was worht it. Roseata Andrews from Hamden, Conn., with her 08 Honda Gold Wing. She's 5-feet-7 and riding for 11 years. She traded up from a 1100 Shadow. Even with all that storage space, I caught Roseata scrambling on the last day to ship items home that wouldn't fit on her bike.
The Women's International Motorcycle Association (WIMA) is responsible for two of its members from Japan being at the conference. Rumi Shikakura rides a Honda Shadow 750 and Nobuko Tanaka rides a Kawasaki 750 sportbike back home in Japan. The spoke some English and said they were having a great time. I caught Lois Pryce and her husband, Austin Vince Pryce, headed to the closing banquet where Lois was the keynote speaker. They hail from England and had been riding around the U.S. for four months on this Ural sidecar. Lois' Web site is LoisOnTheLoose.com. Old friends and new ones! I was delighted to see Dee Gagnon (left), author of the classic touring book, Dee Tours, chronicling Dee's cross country adventure in the 1990s whom I knew from my time editing Woman Rider magazine. We're joined by Kathleen Cudmore, from Baltimore, who's written a Readers' Review for WRN.
Barb Duff and Helen Turley, from Macon, Georgia, are members of Sister in Spirit. They've been for eight years. If stopped by the WRN booth on Friday, you met Diva Amy (Amy Skaling). She helped me out at the booth while I was moderating my Veteran Riders seminar, and covering the event. Amy makes embellished hats, bandanas (like the one she's wearing), and tees, among other things. Visit TeamDiva.com. Here's Amy with Laura Klock and Melissa Waddell of Klock Werks Custom Cycles in South Dakota at Thursday night's Barn Dance, hence the appropriate attire by the Klock Werks gals. Laura's known for her land speed racing at Bonneville. Read all about her in the WRN Feature Articles section.
Holly Ralph, 65, continues to amaze me. She's holding the DVD I produced from the 2006 conference in Athens because she's featured in it. I found out then, just as she did now - that she rode her 250 Virago to the conference from Ancaster, Ontario, Canada (3,000 km), by herself. Despite suffering from severe osteoporosis and being discouraged from her doctor from riding, Holly continues to ride because she loves it. She downsized to the smaller bike so if she falls, she has smaller chance of breaking any bones. She's a board member for the Canadian Motorcycle Association, has three kids, and four grandkids. Michelle and Celia Jones from Albuquerque. Celia (right) rides a Kawasaki ZX-14, one of the fastest production sportbikes available. She rented a Vulcan 500 for the trip so she'd have more room; Michelle rode her Softail Deluxe. Diane Magginetti from Colorado Springs stands 4-foot-11. She shows off how she added an inch to her boots so she could reach the ground on her Sportster 1200L.
Here's Brandy and Charles Hunziker helping out at Butler motorcycle accessories booth. Charles came up to me to tell me that he read my column, that I write in American Iron, faithfully while serving in Iraq. I was honored to meet him and thanked him for his service to our country. Cindy Fata from Long Island is one of my Dirty Dozen pals. She and I rode on an 8-day dual sport ride prior to the conference all for charity, along with 10 other women, hence the name Dirty Dozen. There were 12 of us and we got dirty. Thanks to the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation and Progressive Insurance for making it all happen. Tina Sanders, from Liberty Hill, Texas, also rode on the charity dual sport ride. Tina from Texas, as we called her, also cooked some of our meals on the ride.
Michael McGowan and Steve Manning rode out with their wives from San Diego. "When their women's group fell apart, we said we'd go with them," they told me. I spotted 100 men or so among the people who attended. Kay Gilletly from Columbus, Ohio, was on the panel I organized and moderated, Secrets of Veteran Riders: Lessons Learned from the Road. Kay's ridden more than 100,000 miles and shared many lessons she's learned along the way. Michelle Dorcas, from nearby Silverthorne, Col., was one of the first people to stop by the WRN booth on Wednesday. We first met when she attended a Garage Party in Denver earlier in the year where I gave a speech on finding more saddle time in our busy lives.
2009 AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference, Part 1
2009 AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference, Part 3
2009 AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference, Part 4
Editor's Blog: Initial Thoughts on the Conference
News: Conference Wraps in Keystone
News: Riders Roll in for Conference