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Women Riders Now - Motorcycling Lifestyle. Women. Men. Men Riding with Women.

Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









New Update: Women & Motorcycling Conference

Read it here first

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
7/31/2009

This is a special section of WRN dedicated to keeping you informed on updates for the upcoming AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference. Because I am on the advisory council, I have access to important information on the conference. This page is where can read these updates exclusively.

WRN will report on aspects of the conference that you won't read anywhere else, so sign up for the WRN e-Newsletter so you'll be notified when this section is updated.

WRN produced the official DVD of the 2006 AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference. You can purchase the DVD by clicking here.

Want to register for the conference? Visit WomenandMotorcycling.com.

Event Details
When: August 19-22, 2009
Where: Keystone, Colorado
Venue: Keystone Resort & Conference Center
Theme of conference: "Riding to New Heights"

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Posted 8/27/09
Conference Wraps Up
The AMA Women & Motorcycling wrapped up after four incredible days of fun, camaraderie and learning. To read articles so far about the conference on WRN click on these links:
Photo Gallery: The Conference Photo Essay
Conference Highlight Wrap-Up
Editor's blog: Initial Reflections on the Conference
Riders Roll in for AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference

For the AMA's stories and photos from the conference, visit WomenAndMotorcycling.com. Video coverage of the conference is also available on the AMA's YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/AmericanMotorcyclist.

Posted 8/11/09
Update to WRN Booth Activities
As we posted below, Cris Sommer Simmons, author of the new book The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950 (reviewed on WRN) will now be selling copies of her book - and for those who want to take the book home with them, she will have copies with her. Previously, I mentioned that she would simply be taking orders figuring most people wouldn't want to carry a big coffee table book on their bike. For those who want to take the book with them, Cris will have copies on hand to sign. For those ordering, she can sign a limited edition print of the cover of the book.

Posted 7/31/09
Motolight Offering Women's Conference Special
The other day a woman rider called Tina Hollaender, owner of Motolight, asking for a set of Motolight auxiliary lighting for her bike so she'd have them in time to ride to the conference. That got Tina thinking. Maybe a lot more women would like a set to outfit their bike for their ride to the conference. So from now until the AMA Women's Conference, that being August 19th, Motolight is offering free shipping on orders of its auxiliary lighting. This special is in addition to the already 10 percent off discount being offered until the end of the month. The special is offered to everyone; not just those going to the conference.

If you need convincing on why you need these, check out the honest unsolicited testimonial from a woman who received a set of Motolights as the grand prize winner at the 2006 Women & Motorcycling Conference in Athens, Georgia. She talks about how much the auxiliary lighting has increased her safety on the road and she cites examples to prove it. Click here to go to the Motolight story; scroll down to the bottom to read the comment.

Deadlines, Shmeadlines
Hurry! Conference fees increase on Monday, Aug. 3! If you haven't yet registered for the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell, please hurry. Pre-registration savings of $20 end on Monday, Aug. 3. It's now $165. After August 3, it's $185. Know someone who's planning to attend, but they haven't yet pulled the trigger? Please forward them this message and encourage them to bank their pre-registration savings today. Registration can be completed here.

Posted 7/28/09
WRN Booth Schedule


Cris Sommer Simmons, author of the new book The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950 (reviewed on WRN) will be selling her beautiful new coffee table book (cover at right) and doing autograph signings at the WRN Booth all three days of the conference at the Vendor Marketplace in the Conference Center. The Marketplace is open from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.

Since the book is very big, she will be taking orders for shipment to your home from my booth. The book is $50, and includes shipping. Checks, cash or credit cards will be accepted for the book. We will have a copy of the book at the booth for you to see. It's incredible. You'll want to own one. Cris will be autographing limited edition, unique book plates that you can take home with you on the bike and stick in the cover of the book when you get it. Here are the time she'll be doing autographs:

Thursday 8/20: 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Friday 8/21: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Saturday 8/22: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

We're also selling the AMA Women & Motorcycling conference DVD that my company produced for the 2006 conference at at the discounted rate of $15. Cash or checks only. We have about 70 of these left.

We will also be giving away an Icon Hella Textile jacket - see below. Whether you're a cruiser rider, sportbike rider or passenger, this jacket will work for anyone - it's that versatile. Be sure to stop by the booth to sign up for your chance to win. We're also giving away magnets, post-it notes and more. Can't wait to see you.

Posted 7/27/09
For those interested, I am working on the schedule for the Women Riders Now booth this week including when author Cris Sommer Simmons will be doing book signings at the booth. There's also a chance that WRN's Backroads With Betsy columnist, Betsy Huelskamp, will be at the conference and will doing autograph signings at the booth. We'll let you know when we know.

Seminar Speakers Bios Posted
Check out this link on the AMA's conference Web site for the latest listing of the seminar speakers and their biographies.

Posted 7/20/09
WRN and the Women's Conference Prize Drawing

Icon's Hella Textile jacket sells for $195.
Icon's Hella Textile jacket sells for $195.


So we're planning on having a booth at the conference's marketplace area where we will be taking names for our Women's Conference Prize Drawing, which is a brand new Icon Textile Hella Jacket shown below. This is a top notch light to midweight textile jacket featuring a superior fit and lines shaped to a woman's body. It comes with a full removable liner, lots of venting, removable armor in shoulders, elbows and back. You'll need to stop by the Women Riders Now booth at the conference to sign up for the prize drawing.

We will also be giving away lots of goodies at our booth including WRN magnets, new Post-It notes (I can't live without Post-Its) as well as canvas tote bags that say Woman Rider magazine on them. For those who remember when I was founding editor of the print magazine Woman Rider, I have a whole bunch of these quality tote bags that I need to give away. I found a box of them hidden away in my attic - maybe they're a collector's item! In any event, stop by the booth to get yours. We're also working on the details of having author and motorcyclist Cris Sommer Simmons signing and selling her new coffee table book "The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950" at the booth. More details to come.

Posted 7/16/09
KYMCO Latest Manufacturer to Offer Demo Rides


KYMCO USA will haul out its fleet of scooters to offer demo rides at the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference. "KYMCO scooters are easy and fun to ride, and because they are equipped with constant velocity transmissions (CVT), they offer riders with little or no shifting experience a great opportunity to participate in the sport," said Tigra Tsujikawa, marketing and special events manager for the AMA. "We are very excited about KYMCO's presence at our conference."

The KYMCO USA scooter product line includes a wide range of models and colors, including the sporty new 500cc Xciting. KYMCO will also bring out its the 5-speed transmission 250cc Venox shown at right, it's new entry level sport style motorcycle, the Quannon 150. Other models range in engine size from 50-250cc, and many feature sleek European and retro styling. The Spartanburg, S.C.-based company has been on the U.S. powersports scene for more than 30 years, and today it distributes motor scooters, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles manufactured by its parent company in Taiwan.

Update to Kawasaki's Involvement with Conference
WRN has learned that Kawasaki will not be bringing it out its demo fleet of motorcycles to the Women's Conference but will be involved in the conference in some sort of sponsorship capacity the details of which are still being worked out. Earlier on this page, we announced that Kawasaki would be doing demo rides at the conference. We'll keep you posted on exactly how Kawasaki will be involved as soon as we know.

Posted 6/29/09
Ducati to Bring Demo Bikes to Conference


Ducati is the latest addition to the demo ride lineup and will offer conference attendees the opportunity to sample a variety of its most popular models. "Ducati is very excited to take part in this year's conference," said Press Officer John Paolo Canton. "With the addition of the Monster 696 to our lineup, more women than ever are riding Ducatis. This conference is an important event on our social marketing calendar, and more importantly, we want to offer the opportunity to ride our bikes. The Rocky Mountains are the perfect environment to experience the performance of our motorcycles, and we look forward to a great event."

Added AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa: "This summer's conference is the premier event for women motorcyclists. Ducati's presence underscores the significance of women as a rapidly growing and important segment of the motorcycling community, and we enthusiastically welcome Ducati's participation." Demo rides will be available for conference attendees beginning Aug. 19 and continuing through Aug. 22.

Posted 6/28/09
Deborah Grey to be Keynote Speaker for Friday International Street Party


Canadian motorcyclist Deborah Grey will be the keynote speaker at the Friday evening International Street Party during the conference. Deborah is legendary as the first-ever Reform Party Member of the Canadian Parliament. This avid motorcyclist is an incredible speaker/presenter who's listed in Canada's National Speaker's Bureau. The Friday night International Street Party is being organized by the Motorcyclists' Confederation of Canada (MCC).

Liz Jansen, an MCC director and chair of its Women Riders Council, said she was delighted by Grey's selection as the keynote speaker. "We are proud and thrilled that Deborah Grey will be delivering the keynote address at the International Street Party," Jansen said. "She is a role model as a Canadian, woman and motorcyclist. Above all, her life exemplifies the conference theme of 'Riding to New Heights.'"

A master storyteller and the author of "Never Retreat, Never Explain, Never Apologize: My Life, My Politics," Deborah is renowned for her ability to combine her no-nonsense attitude, wit and humor into a compelling presentation. You can read more about Deborah at her Web site, DebGrey.com.

With the theme "Riding to New Heights," the conference not only honors the contributions of women riders to motorcycling's past and present, it also celebrates the fast-growing role that women riders are playing in the future of motorcycling. The registration fee covers admission to all seminars, as well as opening ceremonies on Wed. Aug. 19, a barn dance on Thurs. Aug. 20, the International Street Party on Friday Aug. 21 and a closing banquet on Sat. Aug. 22. Both the barn dance and closing banquet include dinner. 24

Speaker for Opening Ceremonies Named


Motocross racer Ashley Fiolek will be the guest speaker at the women's conference opening ceremonies on August 19, the first night of the conference. Ashley has led an inspiring life as an athlete racing motocross since she was 7 all while being deaf. She is also the first woman to ever be on a top level factory team with male riders racing for Honda. Ashley's mom will be interpreting for her. Ashley's story is sure to inspire and uplift all in attendance.

To learn more about Ashley, you can view the WRN video segment on in the Motorcycle Videos section at this link. Scroll down to find her story.
Additional reading: Editor's Blog: Ashley Fiolek Joins Honda Racing

"Lois On The Loose" to Speak at Closing Celebration Ceremony
Lois Pryce is an inspiring motorcycling world traveler who's written two books, one called "Lois On The Loose" about her motorcycle trip from Alaska to Argentina. Her follow up book, "Red Tape & White Knuckles" chronicles her ride through Africa. Lois is sure to bring a spark to the Conference with her inspiring stories and incredible wit. To read more about Lois, visit LoisOntheLoose.com.

WRN Exclusive: List of Some of the Seminar Presenters
Many of you have been asking who is presenting the seminars that will be a major part of the conference. Well, members of the advisory council have been working to secure experts in their field to lead the seminars and panel presentations. Here is a list of presenters so far:
- Accident Scene Management: Vicki Sanfelipo
- Dealer Interaction: Gina Dusterhof & Kathy Jo Porter
- Dual-Sport and Adventure Riding: Heather Lewis, Erin Ratay and the Dirty Dozen
- Inspirational Seminars: Erin Hunter
- Making Your Bike Fit You: In progress
- Motorcycle Mentoring: In progress
- Online Shopping: Ken Wahlster (Bike Bandit)
- Preparing for the Ride: Packing/Gear/Apparel: Brenda Hickling-Thatcher & Barb Grueschow
- Real World Street Strategies: Walt Fulton & Nancy Foote
- Secrets of Veteran Riders: Brenda Hickling-Thatcher, Kay Gilletly & Deb Lower
- Solo Riding and Touring: Carla King
- Survive Institute: Michael & Debbie Gardner

Special Room Rates Going Fast
On July 1, the block of rooms that the AMA reserved for the conference will be released in "general inventory" meaning these specially handpicked condos and hotel rooms will not be available to the public. What does that mean to you if you're considering going to the conference? That there will be a limited selection of rooms left available at the special AMA conference rate. Reservations can be made by calling Keystone Resorts at 800.258-0437. International participants, call .970.496-4242, or email keystonegroupres@vailresorts.com. Mention group code CZ0AMAW.

AMA President to Hold Reception for AMA Members
The AMA will host a reception on Wednesday, Aug. 19, during the Women's Conference to recognize AMA members who are registered for the conference. AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman and other VIPs will be present. This will be a great opportunity to meet and greet not just the leaders of your association, but other AMA members. Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. If you're an AMA member and are registered for the conference, please RSVP to 800.AMA.JOIN. Space is limited, so please call as soon as possible.

Schedule of Events
Tuesday, August 18: Pre-Registration
Wednesday, August 19: Registration, Guided & Self-Guided Tours, Demo Rides, Marketplace, Hands-On Action Center, Seminars, Welcoming Ceremony
Thursday, August 20: Registration, Guided & Self-Guided Tours, Demo Rides Marketplace, Hands-On Action Center, Seminars, Rocky Mountain Barn Dance

Friday, August 21: Registration & Information, Guided & Self-Guided Tours, Demo Rides, Marketplace, Hands-On Action Center, Seminars, International Street Party, including a bike show, riding apparel show, and entertainment
Saturday, August 22: Demo Rides, Marketplace, Hands-On Action Center, Seminars, Celebration Ceremony & Banquet

Posted 6/18/09


BMW Joins Conference with Demo Rides
BMW Motorrad USA will be providing a demo fleet for attendees to test ride at the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell, Aug. 19-22 in Keystone, Colo. "We're thrilled that BMW will be on hand with some of their most popular street and dual-sport models for our conferees to ride," said Tigra Tsujikawa, marketing and special events manager for the AMA. "The Colorado Mountains play host to some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. Add the demo rides to a full schedule of great riding seminars, a fantastic vendor marketplace, numerous conference activities and the facility's impressive amenities, and the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference is the top destination for women riders in 2009."

"BMW Motorrad USA is ecstatic to be rolling to Keystone for the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference," said Myrrh Davis, event and communications specialist for BMW Motorrad. "The Motorrad team will offer demo rides on new low-seat and low-frame models, along with our standard-height models. We will also arrive with a fist full of quarters and laundry detergent for those playing with us in the dirt at our Dual Sport Demonstration Area. And with inspiring seminar speakers Heather Lewis and Erin Ratay, it will be difficult to say 'no' to the thrill of an off-road foray."

The 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell, is the country's premier event for women motorcyclists. With the theme "Riding to New Heights," the conference not only honors the contributions of women riders to motorcycling's past and present, it also celebrates the fast-growing role that women riders are playing in the future of motorcycling.

The registration fee covers admission to all seminars, as well as opening ceremonies on Aug. 19, a barn dance on Aug. 20 and a closing banquet on Aug. 22. Both the barn dance and closing banquet include dinner.

Registration is $165 through Aug. 3, which includes a commemorative t-shirt. Registration after Aug. 3, as well as on-site registration, will cost $185. Participants can register now at by clicking here, or by phone by calling 800.AMA.JOIN. While the event focuses on women riders, it is not limited to women. Men are welcome to participate with a paid registration.

Sign up for conference e-mail alerts at info@womenandmotorcycling.com, and Twitter about the conference at http://twitter.com/womenandmoto.

Meet the Conference Advisory Council
There's a new section on the AMA's Women & Motorcycling Conference Web site called "Meet the Advisory Council" It's at the bottom, left hand corner of the page. Yours truly is part of the council.

Posted 5/13/09
Expand Your Riding Horizons at the Conference


Are you a street rider through and through who's never considered going off road? I'm sure you've heard that dirt riding techniques help your street riding immensely. After 20 years of riding on the street, I’m doing a dual sport ride prior to the conference with nationally recognized off-road and dual sport riding coaches Andrea Beach and Bonnie Warch of Coach2Ride.com. I want to improve my street riding by learning to ride with confidence on gravel and dirt roads. (Visit ' target='_blank'>FirstGiving.com/genevieveschmitt to learn more about my ride and to donate.)

Now you can have the same opportunity as me. Dual sport riding classes will be offered at the women's conference from Wednesday through Saturday by Coach2Ride.com trainers Bonnie and Andrea. There will be one class per day for now. If they all fill up, more will be added. Cost is $99 and includes bike and protective gear. This is an amazing deal for people at the conference. Regular price is $180. You can sign up directly with Coach2Ride.com by visiting the Web site to learn more, or by calling 858.382.1515.

Demo Rides


So far, Yamaha and Kawasaki have publicized that they will be there with their fleet of demo bikes for conference attendees to test ride. And of course, Harley-Davidson and Buell being the presenting sponsor will be there with their demo bikes.

Yamaha will be providing a demo fleet of sportbikes, dual-sport machines, and of course, cruisers including the popular V Star 950 pictured at right. Kim Knupp, national events manager for Yamaha, says "Yamaha has always supported the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference; this is a great way to continue that support. We consider the women's market very important, and one of the best ways to serve that market is to make sure we provide motorcycles for the woman rider that fit them and work best for them."

Jan Plessner, Kawasaki public relations manager, says, "Women are an important part of our customer mix. We are looking forward to participating this summer and plan to bring a large assortment of both sportbikes and cruisers." The Vulcan 900, shown at right, will be one of the cruisers available for test riding.

Both Kim and Jan feel that the location is a major draw for the conference, which will offer some marvelous demo-ride routes, thanks to its location at the Keystone Resort & Conference Center in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

Motorcycle Rentals For The Conference
EagleRider, the world's largest motorcycle rental and touring company, is the Official Motorcycle Rental Sponsor of the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell. EagleRider is offering a 15 percent discount off regular rental rates to AMA members who attend the conference. The discount is valid at any of EagleRider's 63 United States rental locations.

"With a growing number of women taking part in the motorcycle lifestyle, it's great to see women getting recognized as part of the motorcycling community," said David Goff, marketing manager of EagleRider. "EagleRider is proud to be part of the Women and Motorcycling Conference."

AMA members who would like to take advantage of this special 15 percent conference discount should use the promotion code, available in the "Members Only" section of www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com. Bike reservations can be made now through the EagleRider Web site, EagleRider.com. Members can also contact EagleRider's Central Reservation Team at 888.972.4537 or at rent@eaglerider.com by mentioning the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference.

Note from WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt: If you’re not an AMA member, it’s not too late to join. It costs just $39 and that includes a generous roadside assistance package that includes all your vehicles, not just your motorcycle, plus a host of discounts from major companies like EagleRider, Choice Hotels, Avis, Budget, Garmin and more. Am I plugging membership in the AMA? You bet I am. I've been an off and on member for years, but this new roadside assistance program is worth the membership price alone and I will not let my membership lapse anymore. All the other benefits including the American Motorcyclist magazine for members (which has gone through a major redesign for the better) are superb! Visit AMADirectLink.com.

Posted 3/31/09
The AMA just posted a video explaining why women should attend the conference. It features our friends Alice Sexton (red hair), Sue Slate (in Kawasaki uniform), Kim Knupp of Yamaha (long blonde hair) and Liz Jansen, Chair of Women Riders Council and Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (short hair by yellow building).

In addition, the AMA wants to hear your story on why you're attending this year's conference or a story about a past conference you attended. It may just make it onto the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference Web site. Just keep it short (less than 150 words), include a photo and email it to info@womenandmotorcycling.com with "My story" in the subject line. The AMA will run best of the bunch on the site. 24

Posted 3/13/09
AMA Web Site Redesigned
The AMA just completed a redesign of its Conference Web site, and it's incredible! There's a new section called Community that shows what states are represented among those registered at the moment. Currently, 33 states and Canada are represented. There are also fun articles to download and list of previous news posted about the conference. Be sure to click on the links in this paragraph to see all the cool new features.

Official List of Seminars Issued by the AMA
The AMA issued its official list of seminars this week taking place at the conference in August. I'm posting that list here with my notes to provide you further information on what I know about them. I had previously listed the seminar topics as I knew them from what was discussed during our advisory council meetings. The list below from the AMA is basically the same, but the some of the titles and descriptions are a little different.

Official List of Seminars
An exciting line up of educational and informative seminars is being put together for this conference. The topics are designed around the general theme of "Taking The Next Step." They were chosen based on survey results from the last conference. Much attention was given to not repeat what was done last time and focus on what was popular. Myself and the other advisory council members want to ensure repeat participants experience something new and different at this conference.

The list of seminar presenters is still being organized. If you think you have something to offer one of these seminars and have presented on this topic before to a group of riders contact conference director, Tigra Tsujikawa, at tigra@ama-cycle.org.

Secrets of Veteran Riders: Lessons From the Road
A panel of veteran women riders will educate and inspire riders by sharing what they've learned during their travels. Genevieve's notes: I organized this panel topic for Ohio Bike Week's women's event last year and it was very popular as four veteran riders imparted knowledge learned the hard way.

Solo Riding and Touring
The thought of taking a long solo ride does not have to be a daunting one. Solo women riders share their secrets to give those contemplating a similar ride the confidence they need to take to the open road alone.

Preparing for the Ride: Packing/Gear/Apparel
Going on a long ride takes preparation. In this discussion group, experienced riders share their tips on how to prepare, what apparel to wear, packing and loading a bike, and the qualities of a good riding partner.

Dealer Interaction
This seminar explains the ins and outs of interacting with dealers when buying a bike, including how to decipher the sales pitch and negotiate a win-win deal.

Real-World Street Strategies
From metal utility covers and plates on the road to tar snakes, uneven pavement, gravel and angled railroad tracks, it is all-too-common to encounter street dangers while riding. This seminar discusses how to safely manage these and other road obstacles and conditions.

Dual-sport and Adventure Riding
There's a reason why it's called "adventure riding." Join experienced dual-sport and adventure riders as they share their passion for the sport, and discuss how easy it is to get involved. Genevieve's notes: Sue Slate of the Women's Motorcyclist Foundation is spearheading this seminar. It will be presented by some of the riders who are partaking in a dual-sport charity ride seven days prior to the conference. I am one of those riders. The goal is to have these riders like myself share with the audience the thrill of what we just experienced. You can learn more about this at Accident Scene Management program started by Vicki Roberts.

W&M Inspirational Seminars
Any rider can benefit from increased mental stamina and improved riding skills, no matter what her (or his) level of experience. This seminar serves up some great inspirational stories and offers valuable tips for taking your riding to the next level. Genevieve's notes: This seminar will touch on things like track days, long distance touring, adventures you may not have thought of that advance your riding to the next level.

Motorcycle Mentoring
New riders can always use a helping hand. What better way to give back to the sport than to mentor a newbie. This seminar shares the joys of mentoring, and how to get started. Genevieve's notes: This will be taught by someone from Harley-Davidson and perhaps someone from a women's club, using topics taught in Harley-Davidson's Share Your Spark program.

Making Your Bike Fit You
There are dozens of aftermarket parts available to make your bike fit your physical and personality preferences. Experts discuss some of the products available, and what you need to know to make an informed purchase.

Ride Like A Pro
Jerry "Motorman" Palladino and Donna Palladino present their well-respected and popular "Ride Like a Pro" skills class that teaches valuable riding techniques. Genevieve's notes: I have done several stories on this incredible team of precision riders. Visit WRN's Motorcycle Videos to see a 3-minute segment on them. We also reviewed their DVD here.

Survive Institute
All riders need to be cautious when it comes to personal protection. This popular seminar covers self-defense, personal protection and crime prevention. Genevieve's notes: This is seminar was part of the 2006 conference and it was so popular the AMA is bringing back the presenter to do it again. Debbie Gardner is a professional speaker who puts on this 2-hour-plus seminar for women all over the country on how to survive a personal attack, mugging, purse snatching, etc. Not that this happens to motorcyclists, but many women have this fear when traveling alone on their motorcycle. This is an incredible empowering presentation that had me riveted on edge of my seat for two hours when I saw it at the last conference. Even after that much time had passed I wanted her to do more – she's that good! This is a must attend for everyone. You will not be disappointed. Debbie's Web site is SurviveInsititute.com.

Posted 2/23/09
Lodging, Rentals and More
Motorcycle Rentals: Many of you have been asking about where to rent a motorcycle in Denver to ride up to the conference. The AMA is working with a company to provide a conference discount to those heading to Keystone for the conference. The announcement will come in mid-March, so if you contacted me regarding this, you may want to hold off to see what company the AMA is going to work with on rentals. As soon as I know, I'll post it here.

The AMA would like to put forth this clarification on lodging reservations. When calling Keystone for lodging reservations at 800.258.0437, callers should press option 2 for conference reservations or ask for an operations agent and then mention the CZ0AMAW group code.

Alternate Lodging Options
Please note that while the AMA and I encourage you to reserve through the Keystone Conference Resort reservations as that is where you'll receive the conference group discount, you can certainly stay anywhere you'd like. There are a lot of condos in Keystone that are managed by other companies, one in particular is Summit Cove. That company contact WRN asking we spread the word about them as an alternative lodging option. Visit Summit Cove.

Mail-In Registration Form
If you prefer to mail in your registration form with a check as opposed to signing up online with a credit card, you can do so by downloading a form here and mailing it in. It's self explanatory.

Posted 2/9/09
This section previously listed our first look at what seminars are scheduled. That list has been updated with more information in a later posting, dated 3/13/09. Scroll up to find that list of seminars.

What else?
There will also be workshops on how to lift a downed bike, how to tie down a motorcycle to a trailer safely, and basic maintenance seminars. The schedule of events each day is almost complete. I'll post that as soon as it's available so you know exactly what's going on each day.

A few people have emailed me wondering if this conference caters to cruiser riders only because Harley-Davidson is the presenting sponsor. No, it caters to all riders no matter what type of motorcycle you ride. Sponsors and manufacturer participating is still being lined up, but I can tell you that all the major manufacturers were present with demo rides at the 2006 conference in Athens, Georgia, with companies like Ducati and Ridley Motorcycles also showing up with demo rides. It's likely all the major players will be there for this conference.

In addition, there will be a street party held one night held at the River Run Village an outdoor eating/shopping area, and a barn dance with a western theme held at Keystone Stables -- so there will be plenty of opportunities for fun and partying. Also, there will be an opening ceremony with presentations by AMA representatives and an entertaining speaker.

1/30/09 Update
Registration Open
You can now register for the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell. Online registration for the four-day event is now available at WomenAndMotorcycling.com. The cost is $165 until Aug. 3. Registration after Aug. 3, which includes on-site registration, will cost $185.

The registration fee includes access to conference seminars, demo rides and activities, as well as admission to the opening ceremonies on Aug. 19, a barn dance on Aug. 20 and a closing banquet on Aug. 22. Both the barn dance and closing banquet include dinner. The fee also includes conference materials and a commemorative t-shirt.

According to AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa, the conference offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thousands of women riders. "Women throughout America will come together and enjoy all the camaraderie, scenic roads and informational seminars that can be packed into a four-day motorcycling get-together," she said. "We're focusing on educating, encouraging ,inspiring and mentoring women in the lifestyle and sport of motorcycling, so there's going to be a lot for everyone to do."

Tsujikawa added men are also welcome to attend the conference. While the conference definitely focuses on the unique needs and desires of women riders, we encourage our attendees to register and bring their spouses or partners, who can attend all activities with a paid registration. The good news is that even if the guys choose not to participate in the conference, there are some incredible two-lane, off-road and dual-sport routes in this part of motorcycle heaven. The riding is out-of-this-world, and well worth the trip all by itself."

1/28/09 Update
I received an email from the AMA alerting me that online registration is being turned on today. I didn't want to report anything until I knew for sure when it was up, but I'm traveling most of today and won't have access to email and I promised I'd let WRN readers know as soon as registration went live. So in case it goes up sometime today, I'm letting you know to check it out at this link, WomenAndMotorcycling.com.

1/22/09 Update
Registration: When is it open?
Many of you have been asking me when registration starts. I've been told by the AMA any day now -- that online registration will be available soon. I will be the first to know, so I'll let you know. Keep checking back.

Sponsor and Vendor Opportunties
If you're interested in being a sponsor call the AMA at 800.AMA.JOIN (262.5646) extension 1336. That number goes to Joey Funtjar of the AMA who is handling this. His email is jfuntjar@ama-cycle.org.

If you want to be a sponsor, conference director Tigra Tsujikawa is handling this. Email her at tigra@ama-cycle.org, or call her at 949.861.0863.

Lodging Opportunities
First off, here is the information to call for lodging at the Keystone Resort and Conference Center. You'll be calling a reservation center that handles all the condos and the two hotels that are available for the conference. Call 800.258.0437. Mention group code CZ0AMAW to get the conference rate.

I've been getting a few emails from people asking me more specifics about lodging I'll share what I know to help you navigate this better. The center of activities (seminars, demo rides, vendors) will be the Keystone Conference Center. This large conference hall is surrounded by condominiums in all directions. The ones furthest away are no more than a brisk 20-minute walk, or a three-minute motorcycle jaunt from the center. There really is no bad location.

The conference center area is surrounded by pine forests.
The conference center area is surrounded by pine forests.

The AMA has booked a block of condos at a special rate. Some are older built in the 1970s and 80s and some are newer built in the last 10 years. All the condo buildings are named by sections like Evergreen, Forest, River Run and Lakeside. Forest is obviously in a heavily forested area, lots of shade. Lakeside means they're overlooking the lake. All offer ample parking for your motorcycle, some offer covered parking. Be sure to ask. For a condo to be managed by the Keystone resorts, they have to meet certain standards. I was assured they're all well appointed and nice.

Not the greatest shot, but taken of one of the condo complexes as we were touring the resort. A lot of the condos are surrounded by trees. You are in the mountains up there in Keystone.
Not the greatest shot, but taken of one of the condo complexes as we were touring the resort. A lot of the condos are surrounded by trees. You are in the mountains up there in Keystone.

This shows the lake taken in winter obviously with the lakeside condos on the far end.
This shows the lake taken in winter obviously with the lakeside condos on the far end.

During my on-site visit in November with members of the advisory council (scroll down to my 11/16/08 posting about this) I stayed in a condo just down from the lake that was built in the early 80s but was updated with newer furniture, linens, curtains, rugs, appliances, and two flat-screen TVs. It was really nice. I've posted pictures below. I'm told this is an example of what we can expect with the other condos.

Here's the living room of the two-bedroom condo I shared with a fellow advisory council member. This is typical of what you can expect I'm told.
Here's the living room of the two-bedroom condo I shared with a fellow advisory council member. This is typical of what you can expect I'm told.

A shot of the bedroom I had in the condo, spacious and, again, typical of what you can expect.
A shot of the bedroom I had in the condo, spacious and, again, typical of what you can expect.

If you're going with two or more people, I'd recommend a condo over a hotel room. It's a better deal and you'll have more room, a full kitchen, and in most cases, you'll each have your own bathroom. Prices range from a low of about $145 a night for the Forest condos (2 bedrooms or more) to the ones at River Run for about $199 a night. Don't quote me on these prices, but they're around that. River Run condos are much newer and overlook the city center area where there are shops, cafes and where the street party will be held. Even though I prefer new over old, I chose not to stay there because I like peace and quiet. Others may want to be near where all the nightlife and cafes are.

The hotel options include a well-appointed lodge, which is also a centerpiece of the resort area right next to the lake with a spa and pool. Rooms go for about $169. The Inn is further away - on one end of the resort - and is much older so the rooms go for about $109 a night.

When you call the 800 number, the reps have been advised to spend time on the phone with you answering all your questions. They realize most people have not been there and have lots of questions on the so-called lay of the land. So, ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with your lodging choice. I hope that helps.

Also, there are lots of restaurants, cafes and cool shops in the area. Nearby Dillon - about 9 miles away - has a big grocery store where you can stock up for the weekend.

12/26/08 Update
WRN Launches Conference Connection Rider Page
WRN is making it easy for you to find other motorcyclists to ride with to the conference. We've created a Conference Connection page where you can post a notice if you're looking for people to ride with to the conference or you need a roommate, or some other conference related request. You can also browse the postings by state to see if something interests you to respond to. Visit Conference Connections. It's in the "It's All About You" section.

12/22/08 Update
Harley-Davidson and Buell Sign On As Presenting Sponsors of 2009 Conference
Harley-Davidson and Buell will be the Presenting Sponsors of the 2009 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference. This will be the second time the Motor Company has been the Presenting Sponsor of the conference, which will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thousands of women riders to come together and enjoy the camaraderie, scenic roads and informational seminars during the conference.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, women now account for 12.6 percent of all motorcycle riders, a 29 percent increase since 2003. As a reflection of this trend, the AMA has seen an increase in conference attendance over the years and anticipates that it will double at the 2009 event with more than 2,200 participants.

"Harley-Davidson and Buell are excited to be very involved with this incredibly important -- and fun -- event that will bring together thousands of women riders," said Leslie Prevish, Women's Outreach Manager, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. "The Motor Company has been committed to encouraging women to ride for decades -- even marketing the 1920 Sport model as 'The Woman's Outdoor Companion.' Being the main sponsor of the AMA conference is another example of how Harley-Davidson continues to promote and support women in the sport of motorcycling."

"The AMA could not be more pleased to welcome Harley-Davidson and Buell as the presenting sponsors of the fifth AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference," said AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa. "This highly anticipated event brings the very best of the motorcycling world to women motorcyclists. It's going to be a first-class conference, and we are excited to align ourselves with the world-class products and people of Harley-Davidson and Buell."

12/4/08 Update
The AMA issued a press release yesterday to all motorcycle media outlets announcing the conference. Of course, we here at WRN have already let you know about it for several weeks now, including inside information you won't find anywhere else this far in advance like on lodging and activities. Even though most of the information is repetitive to what we've posted, we wanted to run so you could read it. Plus, I'm quoted and wanted to share that with you. Here it is:

AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference: 2009 event celebrates women who ride
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Move over, guys. These days, more and more women are getting behind the handlebars in the motorcycling world. Thousands of them will celebrate their love of all things motorcycle at the fifth American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) International Women & Motorcycling Conference, Aug. 19-22, 2009, in the dramatic resort town of Keystone, Colo., just 90 miles west of Denver.

The AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference focuses on educating, encouraging, inspiring and mentoring women in the lifestyle and sport of motorcycling, according to AMA Marketing and Special Events Manager Tigra Tsujikawa. "This event represents the best of both worlds for women motorcyclists," said Tsujikawa. "We will have the opportunity to connect with and learn from other women riders. And through seminars, activities and classes, we'll gain the knowledge and skills to ride where the road or trail leads next."

The AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference is well timed. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, women now account for 12.6 percent of all motorcycle and scooter riders, a 29 percent increase since 2003. As the number of women motorcyclists has risen, so has attendance at the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference. The last conference, which was held in Georgia in 2006, drew more than 1,100 participants. The AMA anticipates that number will double at the 2009 event, which will feature prominent women riders, racers and industry leaders.

Among them is Genevieve Schmitt, founder of the online magazine, WomenRidersNow.com. "For many years, women have been saying that the motorcycle industry is not paying attention to them," said Schmitt. "The AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference is the industry's response to that, and has been for the last four conferences. Each conference attracts more sponsors, more participation from manufacturers and vendors, and more participants. I see the 2009 conference, with its supremely scenic location in Keystone, Colo., as being the best yet. If you're a woman and you're a rider, this is the event you need to attend."

In addition to a wide range of daily workshops, conference attendees will have the opportunity to demo new bikes, shop for the latest gadgets and gear at the vendor marketplace, and enjoy numerous after-hours social activities at the idyllic Keystone Resort, which is nestled among the majestic Rocky Mountains. Tsujikawa added that the conference is not restricted to women. "The motorcycling community is a most welcoming group of people, and the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference is no exception," she said. "While our focus is on women riders, women are encouraged to register their spouses or partners, who can attend all activities. Even if they choose not to participate in the conference itself, there are fantastic riding opportunities in this area, including some legendary two-lane, off-road and dual-sport adventures."

The fifth AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference will be held at the Keystone Resort & Conference Center in Keystone, Colo., on Aug. 19-22, 2009. Lodging reservations can be made by calling 800.258-0437; mention group code CZ0AMAW. Early in 2009, the AMA will provide conference registration information at WomenandMotorcycling.com

11/16/08 Update
Women's Conference Update: AMA membership or not?
Unlike at previous conferences, you do not need to be an AMA member to get a discounted registration rate at the conference. There is one registration rate for this conference in 2009 regardless of AMA membership status. To reiterate, you do not need to be a member of the AMA to attend this conference. If you are a member, you will have access to the AMA hospitality area in the convention center during the conference, so when others are having to pay for drinks (for example -- not sure exactly what the AMA will be offering complimentary), the AMA will be offering it for free to members.

With that said, I encourage you to sign up to be an AMA member at least once in your motorcycling career to see what's like to be a part of the AMA family. The monthly magazine keeps you updated on what's going on in the industry as well as what the AMA is doing for the rights of motorcyclists. Plus there are a myriad of benefits like discounts on hotels, KOA campgrounds, motorcycle insurance, a new Garmin discount benefit mentioned in my blog, and more, one of which, at the very least, should benefit you.

I recently renewed my membership to the AMA mostly because I enjoy reading the AMA magazine, American Motorcycist. Both it, and the AMA's Web site have been redesigned in recent months, which is a good thing. It's always smart to freshen up the look of a publication that may start to look dated. A one-year membership is only $39. I think it's worth it to check out what the AMA offers. If you never end up using any of the benefits, at least you know your money went to supporting an organization that has been around for 80 years working on behalf of motorcyclists rights. You might say, what rights? Oh, my friend...there are many. Take the time to educate yourself on what the AMA is doing. The group works silently in the background keeping our right to ride free, yes, free. If you're new to motorcycling, especially, I encourage you to check out the AMA at AMADirectLink.com.

11/9/08 Update
Onsite Tour of Conference Location
First off, there is a lot of information here you'll want to share with a friend. There is a link at the bottom of this page or up above in the maroon area on the right to "send to a friend."

I just returned from beautiful Keystone, Colorado, for an advisory council meeting for the conference. I have a lot to report from this first onsite meeting. I will break up this first report into sections so you can read the part you're most interested in first. These are just some highlights. I will be providing more details, particularly on the schedule, in the coming weeks.

Here I am by Keystone Lake in the center of the resort on a cold November day.
Here I am by Keystone Lake in the center of the resort on a cold November day.

Why you should attend
If you've never attended an AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference before, this is the one to put on your calendar. The location of Keystone, Colorado, is incredibly scenic in the heart of the Rocky Mountains about 90 minutes from Denver. The ride there from anywhere in the country can't be beat. This is the fifth time the AMA has organized the event and each conference gets better in terms of activities, sponsorships, manufacturer participation, vendors, and seminars. Let me point out, this is a conference for EVERYBODY, new riders, experienced riders, those thinking about riding, and yes, MEN CAN ATTEND. They can participate in all the activities as a registrant, but know the activities are female-focused.

The view is spectacular in Keystone in winter and summer. The lake is just starting to freeze for the winter where ice skating takes place.
The view is spectacular in Keystone in winter and summer. The lake is just starting to freeze for the winter where ice skating takes place.

For those ladies put off by a "women's" conference, don't be. This is an exciting and educational event -- one where participants leave with inspiration and ways to become a better rider. How this event differs from other rallies is that the vendor area focuses on women's products, the seminars are women-focused, and the majority of the participants are women so there are great opportunities for sharing information and networking.

Step outside your comfort zone and plan to attend. If you have no one to ride with but really want to go, we can hook you up. We are putting together the Official Conference Rider Connection Bulletin Board on WRN where you can look for other riders in your area heading to the conference or you can post a request that you're looking to hook up. Sign up for the WRN e-Newsletter so you'll know when the Connection Board goes live.

If you do ride to the conference alone, let us know. We will be your point of contact when you arrive ensuring you meet some key people and don't ever feel alone at the conference. We don't want that to be a reason you don't attend. You can count on WRN to be there as your support system. We'll let you how we'll support you as we move forward.

Registration Details
As of this writing, the AMA is still working out the registration details, determining price and putting together an online registration form. Registration includes all activities and two meals. You have to pay for your own lodging and other meals. The conference Web site, WomenAndMotorcycling.com is where you can register online. As soon as registration opens, we'll let you know right here.

The exterior of the large conference center from across the road.
The exterior of the large conference center from across the road.

The advisory council gets a tour of the inside of the conference center.  This is inside the lobby where late registration will take place.
The advisory council gets a tour of the inside of the conference center. This is inside the lobby where late registration will take place.

Lodging: Book Now!
If you want to have more options on lodging I encourage you to book your reservations soon. Lodging options include a 4-diamond Lodge with hotel style rooms; the Inn, a 3-diamond hotel on the property; and lots of condominium options.

The condos are privately owned and managed by The Keystone Resort. They range from very upscale newer style units to units that are a bit dated built in the 80s. Prices range from $99 to $269 a night.

Here's a shot of one of the loft condos next to the lake. We had our meeting here on the last day. More condo pictures will be posted in a later update so you get an idea of what's available.
Here's a shot of one of the loft condos next to the lake. We had our meeting here on the last day. More condo pictures will be posted in a later update so you get an idea of what's available.

The condos are spread all over the large resort center. Some are closer to the action near Keystone Lake and the Conference Center, while others are a farther away, a good brisk 20-minute walk or so. There is a free shuttle that runs throughout the property to transport people around the entire complex.

The AMA has reserved a large block of hotel rooms and condos. Visit the conference Web site, WomenAndMotorcycling.com, for the lodging phone number and conference code so you get the conference rate. I will report on the condos in more detail in a later posting.

The planning committee hard at work nailing down the seminar topics.
The planning committee hard at work nailing down the seminar topics.

Who is on the planning committee?
The AMA selected several women in the industry who have either been on the planning committee of previous conferences, or those who have something to contribute because of their position in the industry. This year's committee consists of: Alice Sexton, president of WIMA (Women's International Motorcycling Association); Sarah Schilke, MIC board member and marketing director of consumer events at Advanstar; Bonnie Strawser, founder of Femmoto; Myrrh Davis with BMW; Peggy Utphall with Harley-Davidson; Sue Slate, co-founder of Women's Motorcyclist Foundation; Brenda Hickling-Thatcher, president of the Motor Maids; Barb Grueschow, former president, Women On Wheels International Organization; Betty Uhlman, AMA field representative; Jean Mischler, a Rider's Edge Instructor from Central Texas Harley-Davidson; and myself. Tigra Tsujikawa from the AMA is this year's conference director; Tracey Powell and Jeff Massey, also with the AMA, are part of the planning committee, too.

During our onsite meeting we toured the resort grounds. This open area is River Run Village with lots of shopping and condos within walking distance. This is where the street party and bike show will be held. It was very cold last week -- in the low 20s. We're trying to warm ourselves by the propane firepit.
During our onsite meeting we toured the resort grounds. This open area is River Run Village with lots of shopping and condos within walking distance. This is where the street party and bike show will be held. It was very cold last week -- in the low 20s. We're trying to warm ourselves by the propane firepit.

Want to send this info to a friend?
There is a link at the bottom of this page or up above in the maroon area on the right to "send to a friend."

Related Stories:
For Sale: AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference DVD
Feature Articles: 2006 Conference in Pictures Part 1
Feature Articles: 2006 Conference in Pictures Part 2


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