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Topic: STN's Pool of Knowledge for Women Riders  (Read 174301 times)

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Shoganai
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« Reply #240 on: November 03, 2008, 05:56:20 am »


New topic: what's the best "OMG! It's a girl on a bike!" moment?



I have two kinds of fuel stops; 1) don't even take my gloves off kind and 2) off go the gloves, jacket and helmet and it might include pee and drink.

This was going to be a fuel stop type #2.
Summer, weekend, and the south; lots of bikes out there.
Helmet comes off, 40'ish male near his bike says, "Hi, nice bike". Now keep in mind I was on a dirty, over-loaded K1100RS with rags for fork gaiters on a very long trip. I nod and half-assed waved as I peeled my jacket off.

He comes over and wants to chat, and I'm a bit road punched and just want to stop vibrating from 10 hours riding. So, my mood was edgy, but I try to represent my sport with grace and tolerance.

We go thru the same old dance, 'where are you from', 'where are you going' and 'what does that do' while pointing at something on my bike. Then he said, what almost everybody gets around to, "Aren't you afraid to be out riding all by yourself?"

Now normally, I just say something like, "no, it's fun" and move on.

But like I said, I was not a real happy camper.


I replied sharply, "If I were a guy, would you have asked me that question!?"
He look suprised. I could clearly see he had never once thought of it like that.
He dropped his eyes briefly, and then said, "No, I guess your right".

The conversation didn't have any wind left in it and I didn't have the energy to carry it much further than, "Ride safe" and I went about finishing up my buiness as he ambled back to his bike.

Now, whenever I get asked that question I answer with the same words, but I'm much more pleasent about it.
I only hope to encourage those that ask to examine their bias and recognize it for what it is.



« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 05:58:09 am by Shoganai » Logged

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« Reply #241 on: November 03, 2008, 05:04:08 pm »

Good point... good response to an oft asked question.

I feel like that a little when a guy I don't know very well will tell me how well I ride. I ride fine, but did he mention it to any of the other male riders that they were riding well?  

Maybe one of the nicer things our group leader said a few years back was, "I don't really think of you as a female, I think of you as a motorcyclist." Bigsmile  Though, my husband said he thought I could be both - thank you my sweet.
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« Reply #242 on: November 03, 2008, 05:09:38 pm »

I think that could be difficult to gauge.  Are they making the comment because they are ignorant and therefor surprised to see a woman doing as well as a man, or is it a genuine comment that they express to you instead of the guys because they have no interest in starting a conversation with the guys?
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« Reply #243 on: November 03, 2008, 05:18:06 pm »

Hm.. I was pleasant about it but I'm pretty sure he was surprised because I was a female.  I said thanks and his response was, "No, really. You took the corners and everything. My wife should ride with you."  Whatever.  I've gotten to know him - he's a good guy... there aren't that many women that ride to ride in the area.  Supoose that is why I find myself with a bunch of guys and why sometimes they're surprised.  

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Shoganai
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« Reply #244 on: November 04, 2008, 04:20:33 am »

I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?
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« Reply #245 on: November 04, 2008, 11:34:49 am »


I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?

Bikes: Never bought from a dealer, asked once about an old ninja 250 (before they were as popular) and they tried to tack $700 worth of delivery and setup fees on a $3k bike (in the middle of the winter!).  I didn't even feel like trying to negotiate so I just said no thanks, walked out the door and have bought 3 used bikes since then.

Gear: selection has ranged from bad to great (iron pony).  Sales people usually just assume my boyfriend is the one interested in gear if I go with him, otherwise they are sort of helpful but don't know too much about the women's gear  or how it fits most of the time.  

Services: No experience.  Only thing I've had done at a dealer was my totaled bike towed to one at insurance company's expense, and yearly inspections.

CAmping: I am ambivalent, so I only go camping when the boyfriend is there to set up the tent and start a fire.   Razz
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Lauren
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« Reply #246 on: November 04, 2008, 11:56:52 am »


I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?


1)
    A. I've bought two bikes new from a sales person.  The first one doesn't really count as I was sick as a dog the day I bought the bike, but there was a special deal for that day only.  So my now-hubby did all the negotiations and I just signed the paperwork.  When I bought the second bike, hubby was also there, but he kept quiet and the salesperson was very good about talking to me and answering my questions.

    B. I buy most of my gear online or from a custom shop, so I've really only had good experiences here, too.  

    C. This one's the nightmare.  I do all of my own maintenance and services on the bike, but the few times when I've had to bring a bike into a shop (while touring, etc), the service guy will almost invariably talk to any nearby male instead of to me.  Once the guy wouldn't even look at me and insisted on only discussing MY bike with my husband...who had no idea what was going on and was only there to drive me back to work after I'd dropped off the bike.  

2) I camp alone all the time.  Love it.   Inlove
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« Reply #247 on: November 05, 2008, 08:55:17 pm »

I did my first (non-TWO) solo camping trip a couple of weeks ago. The only problem I had was with some insensitive neighbors.

Then again, I snore loud enough that people probably think there's a 400 lb man in my tent. Lol

I think I prefer it at moto-campgrounds, though. I'm really sociable, and I always want human companionship at the end of the day.
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Shoganai
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« Reply #248 on: November 05, 2008, 10:23:40 pm »

I always want human companionship at the end of the day.


Me too.

I met a man while traveling in North Dakota many years ago in a campground we were sharing. He was in his 60's and had all his worldly possessions in an old S-10 pickup that looked to be held together with spit and zip ties. What drew my attention was the beautiful banjo music he was making by his low fire. His voice was rich but cracked with years of smoking and yet earthy and humble. He would stop to take a scoop of beans from a can, wipe his mouth on the sleeve of his faded plaid shirt and start back on his song. He looked so happy and yet so alone.


I walked over and introduced myself and told him I had enjoyed his music and asked where he was going. He stood up and bowed a thank you and offered me a seat by the fire. I learned he was homeless and earned a little cash by singing for change. He was a military veteran, and disabled from combat.


We talked and sang together for a couple of hours and laughed about stories from the road. I remember how excited he was to have found a sturdy Styrofoam cup. He showed it to me by turning it this way and that in the dimming firelight to demonstrate how perfect it was going to be for his coffee in the morning. It was his road treasure that day.


I gave him some coffee to fill his beautiful Styrofoam cup in the morning, thanked him for the wonderful evening and went to crawl in my sleeping bag. He sang me to sleep that freezing, cold Dakota night. He was my road treasure.



Road treasures indeed both tangible and intangible.
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« Reply #249 on: November 06, 2008, 12:17:20 am »


I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?


Bikes: At most dealers I am virtually invisible. I have received great service from a couple also. I paid slightly more for a bike once because the salesman wouldn't put his cigarette and newspaper down . I went to another city and was treated like a valued customer so they got my business. They still have it too.

Gear: I'm lucky. The Honda/Suzuki shop in Johnson City, TN has a clothing department that is run by a lady that knows her stuff. Her prices are pretty close to internet prices but with the ability to try everything on for size. She will order any color or size for you if it isn't already in stock. Other than a pair of closeout Oxtars, all my gear came from Jim's Motorcycle Sales in Johnson City. Thumbsup Thumbsup

Service: The shop I use treats me well. The mechanics have been great about letting me watch and learn. I stay out of their way but tend to ask a few questions. The whole staff there treats me like a rider and not like a woman that rides. The owner knows that I ride more than 95% of his other customers. (My ex b/f went there to get tires once and I went with him. They politely nodded to him and tried to wait on me instead. Lol)

Camping: I have camped solo many times. I try not to advertise that I am alone though. I sleep better in my tent than in a hotel. I am usually packing when travelling but have never felt threatened at all. When I rode the ST1100, most people assumed I had a fella around somewhere and I parked it with the passenger pegs down. Unless they someone saw me ride in solo, it never occurred to them that a woman was riding that bike.
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« Reply #250 on: November 06, 2008, 12:27:09 am »


I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?


1a) I've purchased only one bike new from a shop. It was a rather spontaneous transaction and I spent more time talking to two friends about than any sales people. In fact, I was only in the shop to have my current motorcycle looked over for the ride home; no one (including myself) was expecting me to buy anything  Embarassment

1b) I bought my gear at either a local non-chain store in Seattle (with excellent service and selection) or online (ala my 'stitch)

1c) Bah. Service. I have myself, friends and a dedicated independent mechanic for the more difficult stuff.

2) I've camped alone and the only part of it that bothers me is wanting to be able to talk to someone after a long day in the saddle  Sad
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jsanford
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« Reply #251 on: November 06, 2008, 02:19:15 am »


1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes


I've bought two bikes from dealers.  One was long-planned, the other was sort of spontaneous, but not really--at the time, though, it felt VERY spontaneous and I surprised myself.

These experiences were fine, but I think it's because I knew what I wanted and what was going to happen with the paperwork.  It's odd--I didn't really need to "be sold" on anything, but any condescending or inequtable behavior would have killed a sale, no matter how much I wanted the bikes.  When I was a new rider, I encountered quite a bit of chauvenism in the shops.  Three of these dealerships sold Kawasakis, so I'm not inclined to consider them, probably ever.


     B. Re: Gear


I'm very lucky in this regard.  I'm tall but no Kate Moss, or Anna Nicole.  This means most mens' gear fits me.


     C. Re: Services


I've only ever had a customer service rep yank my chain once--he wasn't at the BMW dealership long, and I only saw him the one time. I left far more worried about whether he'd continue to work there, as I knew my bike would suffer, but I wasn't sure I was up to taking over the servicing.  It was a good lesson--there are only two BMW dealerships in this area, and they have a common owner.

The guys at the Duc dealership are great, as they genuinely love the bikes they work on.  My Monster is one of many service there, but always remembered as it was a problem bike when it was new. Some outside-the-service-manual thinking identified the problem.  Everyone always asks how the bike's running and if I've had any more runnability issues, and I love telling them no.


2) How do you feel about camping alone?


I've never done it, but plan to next year.  I've gone camping with other people I'd never met before, but always in an organized setting.  Nothing technical (stove, tent, packing, morning coffee) is unfamiliar, but I do worry about safety.

I don't consider myself necessarily friendly or outgoing--but curiousity has overcome this.
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Shoganai
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« Reply #252 on: November 06, 2008, 06:37:45 am »



2) I've camped alone and the only part of it that bothers me is wanting to be able to talk to someone after a long day in the saddle  Sad


See my post on page 10.

The greatest part about camping or traveling alone is the vast opportunity to meet people on the road.

As a woman traveling alone, whether I was LD bicycling and on a motorcycle, people are never intimidated and are often curious. This make for fantastic human encounters. There is nothing greater in my book that the human road treasurers I find out there.
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« Reply #253 on: November 06, 2008, 10:25:47 pm »


Yes, of course, post her report pics or no.  Fer pete's sake, do you realize the kind of drivel we are willing to read here on STN?!? Naming no names, of course.  Bigsmile


And here is the link to her ride report. Sorry gals, I did the best I could do and so did she. I hope you enjoy it.  Embarassment

Eric
https://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,32884.0.html
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« Reply #254 on: November 06, 2008, 10:49:49 pm »

Eric, neither you nor you mom have anything to apologize for. You both did a great job  Thumbsup
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« Reply #255 on: November 06, 2008, 11:39:10 pm »

Your mom is a wonderful writer. Thanks for bringing her memories to share with us. Thumbsup
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« Reply #256 on: November 07, 2008, 08:34:00 am »


I have a couple of questions.

1) Tell me about your dealer experiences as related to how you felt treated by the sales persons.
     A. Re: Bikes
     B. Re: Gear
     C. Re: Services

2) How do you feel about camping alone?


Bikes (and service, when it's beyond something I can do myself) - the shop I normally deal with is owned by a friend. So no problems there. My first bike was a different story, but I was clueless and happy to let male friends do the talking on the purchase, and on the machine shop work when we had to rebuild the freakin' Harley engine  Rolleyes

Gear - My local guy is a small-town shop, does more dirt than road, so what he stocks that I could use is pretty minimal. (He is starting to carry a fair amount of MX gear in girls' and women's sizes though Smile.) I don't feel like I need any help from the shop when I buy gear, in any case. I'll research features and quality online, then find a place where I can try stuff on. As long as they have a changing room that isn't the same filthy restroom the male mechanics use, I'm happy  Cool

Camping alone - haven't done it in over a decade, but when I was younger I took two solo trips on the bici and several on the moto. Got scared once or twice, never had a serious problem, LOVED the whole experience.
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« Reply #257 on: November 07, 2008, 09:20:55 am »

I am really looking forward to camping alone... or camping, in general.  I don't know many people willing to do it.  The few who do, don't ride.  Once I get comfortable on a bike, I definitely want to take some solo camping trips...  I think it was riding pillion and the fresh air being forced into my nose at 60 mph that made me really miss camping.
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« Reply #258 on: November 07, 2008, 09:40:09 am »

     A. Re: Bikes
I've only ever purchased one bike myself before.  I looked around at a lot of dealerships, and most salesman I talked to treated me with respect.  I sort of remember a couple of salesmen talking to Nate about my bike, but they didn't get our business mostly because they couldn't get me a good deal.  I don't put up with being talked around, and I think that because I'm 5'8" and ~200 lbs, I can be a little intimidating for a girl.
Anyway, I still give a big Thumbsup to Brian, one of the Bs at B&B Kawasaki in Elgin, IL for treating me like any other customer.  I don't think he knew what to make of me when I called in to put my money down last February.  Nate had made the original call to the dealership, but I made all the subsequent calls about down payments, etc.  Maybe his first impression was that Nate was getting this for me, and I wasn't all that thrilled.  Boy did he learn.  It helps when you show up in full gear on a maxi-scooter with 20,000 miles, I guess.  Anyway, even though it's not the closest kwak dealership to me, whenever there is something wrong with one of our bikes that we don't know how to fix, we head over there.  Whenever we're there, Brian jokes about taking my bike in trade-in and selling me something else.  He's good people, and I always recommend his shop to people.

     B. Re: Gear
Mostly I order my gear online.  Most shops do not carry things in my size (14-18, depending on what piece I'm buying).  I was particularly frustrated when I went to a little shop downstate near my mom's house last fall.  I was trying to buy a good winter jacket, since my Cortech  jacket was a little short and let in a draft.   They sell Guzzi, Aprilia, Piaggio and Vespa.  They also sell Tourmaster and Olympia gear.  I was very impressed with the salesman.  He is a nice guy who loves bikes.  I was not impressed by the fact that they had no women's jackets in size XL (which is what I wear both for Olympia and Tourmaster).  Being told to try on a men's jacket when you are very curvy is a little insulting.  Then they tried to sell me some scooter gear out of Seattle that had no liner, even though I specifically said I was looking for gear that would allow me to ride in temps under 30 degrees.   Rolleyes

     C. Re: Services
B&B Kawasaki has our vote for sure.  Tim, the head mechanic, is brilliant, listens to you when it comes to the bike's problems, and then works his magic.  

2) How do you feel about camping alone?
I don't.  Humans have spent millenia moving away from nature.  Why would I want to go back?
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« Reply #259 on: November 14, 2008, 07:42:03 pm »

There is a great woman at a local motorcycle dearlership- she carries more women's gear than any place for a long way around.  There is another on-line (well.. and I went and visited as well) just over the line into MA that carries good women's gear and they are fabulous on the phone. Informed, helpful.. NO pressure at all to buy from them.

Ummm... while I'm chatting... how do I post one of those little map thingys showing the places I've traveled in my signature?  Found the map maker on line just don't know how to go about putting it on my profile.
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