Riders started arriving to Keystone, Colorado, today for early registration for the 5th AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference, presented by Harley-Davidson and Buell. The official start of the conference is Wednesday, August 19. The conference runs through Sunday, August 23. Women riders from 43 states, plus Canada, the UK, Australia and Japan, and more than 50 riding clubs are attending. Many came early to avoid the registration rush, get orientated to the area, and acclimated to the alpine climate. Keystone sits at 9166 feet above sea level.
Riders at the Keystone Conference Center today where registration takes place, as well as the seminars and vendor marketplace. Joy D. Harris rode four days by herself from Detroit. She calls her Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Road Dog 1. The AMA has provided lots of signage directing riders to the Conference Center. This banner greets riders as they enter the building.
Activities at the conference include daily seminars, demo rides, group rides, vendor marketplace, and after-hours social events at the idyllic Keystone Resort. Riders today were greeted with cool mountain temperatures hovering around the 60s with showers off and on all day. Riders arriving from the east and midwest reported running into hail and lots of rain. Many others are delayed because of the weather.
Leslie Prevish, Harley-Davidson's Manager of Women's Outreach, rode in to the conference from Milwaukee on her Buell Ulysses. Leslie is speaking at the welcoming ceremony on Wednesday evening. Marsha Bedford rode out from Bay Village, Ohio, on her BMW K 1200 LT that's been modified to accommodate her Hannigan sidecar and her prosthetic legs. All the foot controls are on the handlebars.
Tracy Chrobak rode out from Mequon, Wisconsin, with her 11-year-old daughter, Skylar, on the back of her Harley Electra Glide. Tracy and Skylar took 2 1/2 days to get to Keystone enjoying a spa day on the way out. Skylar is used to motorcycles as she grew up riding in her parent's sidecar.
Riders arriving from the west today say they experienced good weather but were surprised at the balmy 90-degree temperatures in Las Vegas for this time of year. The rest of the week's weather for Keystone calls for mid-70s and partly to mostly sunny skies.
The registration tables today during early registration. To participate in the demo rides, the guided scenic rides, the seminars, and the evening festivities, one must pay the $185 registration fee. The AMA has provided a message board for conference participants. It's located in the lobby of the Conference Center.
The welcoming ceremony takes place Wednesday evening where motocross sensation Ashley Fiolek will be the keynote speaker. Fiolek has won 13 amateur national titles, the 2008 Women's Motocross Association national championship, made her debut at the X Games and brought home the gold medal in the women's motocross competition, was nominated for an ESPY in 2009, and is currently the points leader in the 2009 series as the first woman ever to compete as a member of the Honda Racing factory team.