In summer 2011, AVID MotoTours held its very first Women’s Empowerment Motorcycle Tour across the northwestern portion of the United States. Now leaders Alisa Clickenger and Karen Thomson are announcing that the “teaching tour” will continue this summer, with two opportunities to join in—a 10-day trek across the Pacific Northwest and a six-day journey ending at the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference.
A photo from the 2011 Women’s Empowerment Motorcycle Tour, a nine-day, paved-road tour that took riders across Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
Last year’s inaugural tour attracted eight women. Designed as a unique rolling classroom, the Women’s Empowerment Tours are intended to teach women riders how to tour on a motorcycle, providing pre-trip personal coaching, skill-building exercises, and mid-tour seminars to give tour members a toolbox of skills they can rely on when planning or implementing their own future trips.
Personalized coaching began over email about a month before the summer
2011 tour began. Participants ride their own motorcycles to gain the
skills and confidence they need to ride on their own.
“Not just another women’s motorcycle tour, our rolling classroom gives participants the opportunity to learn valuable motorcycling skills in a tour environment,” says Karen. “We’ve chosen a terrific route, with plenty of great roads and spectacular scenery. We have something to offer everyone, whether they are new to touring or are a rider that just wants to be part of an all-female tour.”
The tour is packed with seminars with topics like packing for your trip, reading maps and using a GPS, cornering, riding in the elements, and riding alone and in a group. Of course, fun is an important component, too—here, rider Vicki stops to check out the “shoe tree” she spotted roadside in central Oregon.
"I learned a great deal from WEMT, including what and how to pack for traveling, how to find alternative routes, how to stay safe, and how valuable it is to connect with the local people for information about the area," said Pamela, one of last year's participants. "I am much more confident about touring on my own now."
Both Karen and Alisa are long-distance motorbike travelers. Karen recently received her 300,000 motorcycle mileage award from BMW. An experienced tour guide, she has led many tours in North America and Europe and was a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) instructor for 16 years before starting AVID MotoTours. Alisa is also an experienced tour guide and has ridden extensively in North and Sourth America and in Europe. Be sure to read Alisa's inspiring account
of her solo ride from Connecticut to Argentina.
Wide open spaces on the 2011 Women’s Empowerment Motorcycle Tour.
Another shot from the 2011 tour.
“Karen and I are a great team because we have very similar passions about motorcycling, yet each of us has a different approach,” says Alisa. “Karen awes me with her decades of riding and teaching experience, while I approach motorcycling more as a traveler on two wheels and want to inspire. Together we’re a super team, and on tour we complement each other’s experiences and values and insights. We work very well together.”
Tour leaders Alisa and Karen aim to empower other women riders to fall in love with motorcycling and motorcycle travel. Their goal is for female tour members to feel comfortable and capable of taking a motorcycle trip, with or without a travel partner.
The first 2012 Women’s Empowerment Motorcycle Tour is scheduled for June 21-30, with an itinerary similar to last year’s tour and a route that includes portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The second tour will run from July 20-26, beginning in the Denver, Colo., area and ending in Carson City, Nev., for the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference. More information can be found at WomensEmpowermentMotorcycleTour.com
or by contacting Alisa Clickenger at Alisa@MotoAdventureGal.com
or 208.346.0714. Related ArticlesWomen Riders Motorcycle Tour of Brazil, May 2012Women’s Empowerment Motorcycle Tour Set for June 2011Resolve to Make Your Motorcycling Dreams Come TrueOfficial Announcement for 2012 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference