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

9 Ways to Find a Motorcycle Riding Buddy

Fun ideas to help you track down that perfect partner

By Genevieve Schmitt, WRN Founder

Many activities are best enjoyed with the company of another person, and motorcycling is no exception. Solo riding has its benefits, but many of our readers wonder how they go about finding that special friend—a riding buddy—to journey alongside with and to enjoy the many amazing experiences a motorcycle offers. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy three girls riding
Some motorcyclists enjoy big groups, but over the years I've found that just two or three riders is ideal to keep things simple and personality differences to a minimum.

I’ve had five significant riding partners over my 27 years in the saddle, people with whom I’ve been blessed to share many incredible road-born experiences. I have memories to last a lifetime because of them. My wish for those who desire it, is that you find that one best buddy (or two best buddies) who sees motorcycling through the same lens you do, can translate your facial expressions and silent glances without a word being uttered, and when you ride side by side (in staggered formation, of course), your tires literally sync up with one another. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy
With my riding buddy, WRN editor Tricia Szulewski (right) on a motorcycling press tour through Northern New Mexico. Tricia lives on the other side of the country, which can be the case with a riding buddy. This is all the more reason to make plans to ride somewhere together often.

9 ways to find a riding buddy demo rides
On and off the bike, you and your riding buddy can make some fun memories together. Tricia and I are in front of the diner in New Mexico made famous in the Wild Hogs movie. Make sure you take lots of photos and bring along a flexible tripod to take selfies of yourselves.

To assist our readers in finding a riding partner, WRN assistant editor Tricia Szulewski and I jotted down a list of ways that have proven successful for each of us as well as many others in their quest to find a riding buddy. Before you read the list, heed these golden rules to enhance your chances of success of finding that “perfect” partner. 

Golden Rules
  • Be outgoing. 
    It helps to have the skill of starting a conversation with a stranger. 

  • Keep an open mind.
    Opposites attract … but can also complement each other. My most memorable motorcycling memories were with a woman who was the complete opposite of me, but that made for some of the most hilarious laugh-crying moments of my life. 

  • Adopt the mindset that you are here to "serve" instead of being "served."
    Make the "riding buddy quest" more about finding someone you can serve through friendship and love instead of being about filling a selfish need. You put out what you attract, so you're likely to find someone with that same "giving" mindset, which sets a good foundation for a great relationship.

  • Don’t be offended easily. 
    Actually, don’t be offended ever. Offense is an awful trait and can lead you down a path to bad emotions that include hurt and unforgiveness. Once those bad seeds take root in your heart, they’re very hard to dig up and let go. So it’s best to never let offense get a hold of you. Stop it at the pass by turning your heart immediately towards compassion, kindness, and love.

  • It’s not that hard.
    Meeting others to ride with really isn’t so hard because motorcyclists, generally speaking, are very nice people. Remember, you’re participating in an activity where almost everyone wants the same thing—to enjoy the open road and to share it with others. 

Ways to Meet Other Riders

There are two ways to read this list. You can breeze through each numbered item to get the basics, or you can continue on into "my further thoughts on this," which are sidebars to the main thought.

1. Attend a dealer event. 
Make a point of showing up at local dealer events like an open house or barbecue and mingle with riders there. This is where it helps to be outgoing. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy garage party
Harley-Davidson dealerships hold ladies only Garage Parties like this one, which is an ideal place to meet other riders. If you don’t ride a Harley, suggest the idea of a women-only event to your local dealer.

9 ways to find a riding buddy open house
Check the events calendar often of your local motorcycle dealerships regardless of whether you ride that brand. You might be surprised at some of the fun events that go on, like for example the Annual Crawfish Boil at Renegade Harley-Davidson in Alexandria, Louisiana, that is open to the public. Community-minded open house events like this provide exciting networking opportunities.

2. Hang out at a dealership.
If you don’t like social events, find an excuse to hang out at your local dealership where riders of the same brand come to shop and hang out too. Many stores have created a destination atmosphere and have lounges with coffee and snacks. 

My further thoughts on this:
In my early days, I would ride once or twice a week to my local dealership just to practice my new skills while using the excuse to pick up the freebie motorcycle magazines. I’d chat up the parts counter and sales guys who helped educate me about the motorcycling world. I also made sure they knew I was a new single rider looking for a riding partner in case they knew anyone to recommend. One day, I introduced myself to a woman who rode to the dealership to drop off her motorcycle for service. She introduced me to another woman, who would become the riding buddy I would have the most fun with during my early days of riding. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy route 66 riders
(L-r) Me, with Betsy and Pam on our first overnight ride together, to Jerome, Arizona, from Los Angeles, in 1996. Pam is the customer at the dealership who introduced me to Betsy, who would become my best motorcycle buddy in the first 10 years of my riding life, and with whom I share many hilarious and memorable motorcycling adventures. This shot was taken at a cool outpost on Route 66 with the funny proprietor.

3. Find a bike night.

Many communities hold weekly or monthly bike nights at a local diner, an outdoor mall, or similar location. Sometimes these are organized in conjunction with a custom car show. These events are the perfect opportunity to meet others as the main reason people gather is for conversation, and to show off their rides. Don’t be shy, and don’t limit yourself to going just one time. It might take five trips before you find just the right person; in the meantime, you’ll expand your sphere of influence.

9 ways to find a riding buddy bike night
This is one of the coolest bike nights in the country that happens in the Phoenix area in spring—Westgate Bike Night at the Westgate Mall. It attracts hundreds of bikers of all brands. If you don't have something like this in your area, think about starting one.

9 ways to find a riding buddy demo rides
I happened to be in Phoenix in the spring so I could attend the Westgate Bike Night. It was a great opportunity for me to expand my circle of motorcycling friends in that area when my friend Jan (left) introduced me to her two riding friends, Dale and Jim.

My further thoughts on this:
This is the perfect place in the article to touch on a subject that inevitably comes up when discussing riding partners: the opposite sex. Prior to meeting my first female riding friend, I was mentored by a male riding partner. He was a friend, but wanted more. I enjoyed learning from him, and hanging with him, but I grew weary of fending off his subtle advances despite my efforts stating clearly that I just wanted to be friends.

Without making too much of a stink here, this is something I’ve found that heterosexual women riders have to deal with when hooking up with a rider of the opposite sex. Ladies: while I don’t frown upon having a riding buddy of the opposite sex, riding a motorcycle can be sexy (OK, it is sexy) … and well … situations have the potential to get messy despite your best efforts at open and honest communication. So, keep things simple by a) finding a riding partner of the same sex or b) if you can’t, then state your intentions up front so no one can ever say you didn’t tell him so. 

4. Take a skills class.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced rider, take a motorcycle skills class. You're sure to meet others who are looking to expand their network of riding friends there too, one of whom might become a good riding friend.

9 ways to find riding buddy beginning rider class
There are two kinds of motorcycle riding skills classes you can take: if you're a new rider and have never taken a beginning rider class, we highly recommend it. Plus, as you can see here, this is a women-only class and most of these newly minted riders exchanged phone numbers so they could ride together afterwards.

9 ways to find a riding buddy experienced rider class
This is the experienced rider class, with a mix of men and women. We recommend every rider take advanced training; the added benefit is you may meet a new riding buddy.

5. Join a motorcycle riding club. 
There are hundreds of women-only riding groups across the U.S., and globally (listed on this page on WRN). While group riding may or may not be for you, joining a club is a great way to meet a lot of riders all at once, one or two who might just be your “go-to” riding friend when you’re itching to put on some miles. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy the litas
The Litas are considered the fastest growing—and perhaps now the largest—women’s motorcycling group worldwide. One benefit of being part of a group is having a network of riding "friends," i.e. fellow club members, in other cities you can call upon when traveling to those towns.

Don’t be shy about seeking out mixed-gender riding groups too. For example, Harley-Davidson dealerships sponsor a local Harley Owners Group, and there are other OEM-specific groups such as the STAR Touring and Riding Association. These larger organizations offer many member-only benefits and can literally create a whole new social network for you. 

6. Attend a rally or women's motorcycle event
In my opinion, a woman who attends a motorcycle rally by herself is brave. Where everyone else there seems to be having all the fun with lots of friends, she's arrived alone. I've found over my 27 years attending many motorcycle rallies and events, that more than half the people attending are looking to meet new friends and have fun. The person who looks like she's surrounded by a lot of friends may have just hooked up some riders from her neighborhood going to same rally. She'd actually prefer to meet someone new. 

9 ways to find a riding buddy demo rides
Manufacturers offer test rides of their new motorcycles at almost every large national and regional rally. These “demo rides” are a wonderful opportunity to try out a new motorcycle. There can be some down time while waiting for the next group to go out so there's plenty of time to chat with other riders and make a new friend.

My further thoughts on this:
Many times in my early days of riding I attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally by myself to cover the event for the media outlet I was working for at the time. I’d finish with an interview and photos by noon and now I had the rest of the day to play but no one to play with. I could feel my mind start to go into the “feeling sorry for myself” place because I didn’t have anyone to ride with, but I quickly halted that thought process and instead regained my confidence enough to engage others in parking lots and gas stations. Before I’d even have a chance to ask these fun ladies (or guys) if I could ride with them for the afternoon, the invitation was already there for me. Now it’s my choice if I want to join in. You may not meet your future riding buddy this way, but you’ll have fun hanging with some new riders while enjoying all the event has to offer.

7. Network through social media.
Before there were sites like Facebook and Instagram, there were online forums bringing likeminded riders together for virtual chats about similar motorcycles and interests. One WRN reader shared her story of meeting her riding buddies through such a forum. Simply do a search online for a forum focused on your particular motorcycle brand or type of riding, for example V-twin, Honda Shadow, adventure touring, etc. See what comes up. 

In addition to forums, these days we have social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and networking sites like MeetUp, to help people hook up with others in similar areas of interest. There are hundreds of women rider Facebook groups, as well as groups focused on a particular motorcycling interest or category. While not all groups are location-based, Facebook group pages provide the opportunity to meet riders online with a similar interest, which could lead to a friendship.

8. Ask other riders.
When out on your motorcycle, approach other riders you see stopped for gas or at a restaurant. Ask them if they can recommend any riding groups. That's a good icebreaker. I bet you'll get an invitation to ride with them.

My further thoughts on this:
When riding with others, be sure to read our two stories on riding in a group: this one on the skills portion, and this one on etiquette

9. Become a mentor.
Don’t let your motorcycling skills and knowledge benefit just yourself. Offer to be a mentor to someone you meet who might just be starting out. Or convince a non-riding friend to take up riding. Before long, this person will be “up to speed” and may turn out to be a fun, equally skilled riding buddy.  

9 ways to find a riding buddy sportbike riders
Many riders find that the friendships they make through motorcycling end up becoming lifelong relationships.

Keep the conversation going. Tell us in the comments below your ideas on ways to meet a fellow riding partner. 

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