International Female Ride Day® (IFRD), the globally synchronised solo ride for female motorcyclists returns for its 14th instalment on Saturday 22nd August. And this year Indian Motorcycle adds its name to the list of partners.
International Female Ride Day – 14th year
IFRD was conceived by Canada-based Vicki Gray (motorcycling advocate, road and race instructor) in 2007, to raise awareness of female motorcyclists and highlight the diversity of female riders. Additionally, to inspire more women to gear up and get on two wheels.
All you need to do to participate is to simply jump on a motorcycle or scooter, whatever you ride and “Just Ride”. Incidentally, that's the mantra of IFRD. And thousands of women, of many backgrounds from across the globe, are expected to ride under this banner in this year's event.
Usually, the annual event takes place on the first Saturday of May. But this year unsurprisingly, it's been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, riders will have to respect any social-distancing and special measures that are in place in their locales. Naturally, to prevent the spread of the virus.
Riding on roads of change
The ranks of female riders have ballooned in recent years, in part thanks to events such as IFRD. That's alongside other female rider events that include Petrolettes, Women World Riders Relay, Camp VC and Babes Ride Out. Each of these events creates immense social media buzz which fuels rider participation and in turn more events of a similar nature.
Glancing at the hashtags #internationalfemalerideday and #IFRD, a stream of images and stories from riders on an array of machines can be seen. Some found a route to riding motorcycles through such an event, if not the IFRD.
Ultimately, moto-meets and rideouts promoting female participation have helped… are helping in driving change within the motorcycle sector.
Manufacturers of motorcycles and riding gear/apparel/accessories are now (arguably) more considerate of this segment of riders than they have been at any point in the past.
Whether that's through adjusting the tone of their appearances and representation at moto-shows to be more inclusive (we all know what that means). Maybe, through creating riding gear specifically designed for women. Or, even by simply adjusting their marketing copy to truly reflect and appeal to a wider set of riders.
The fastest-growing segment of motorcyclists is female
It's been widely reported that females represent the fastest-growing segment of motorcycle riders. And manufacturers are increasingly embracing and reacting positively to this change in motorcycling demographics. In fact, the bottom line is increasingly reliant on female riders.
“It’s encouraging to see more and more female riders around the world riding motorcycles as a pastime, and joining the Indian Motorcycle brand,”
Pam Kermisch, Chief Customer Engagement and Growth Officer – Indian Motorcycle
Amazingly, that equates to over one hundred per cent growth since 2009. And that number is likely to have continued growing, particularly with events such as this.
Aside, the UK's number is far lower at around 6% according to research by motorcycle insurers Carole Nash. Belfast, Edinburgh and London lead the way, with female bikers accounting for 16%, 11% and 8% of the biking population, respectively. Commuting is likely to be the key factor in the higher proportions found in the capital cities of the UK.
IFRD – Playing its part
Regardless of the proportion of female riders in different countries, it's clear that IFRD is playing its part in inspiring women to get on bikes for the first time or to come back to riding.
And, Indian Motorcycle thinks so too. Indian's Chief Customer Engagement and Growth Officer, Pam Kermisch says, “IFRD is an incredible movement in its unique ability to rally the cause of female riders, and more importantly, female empowerment on a global level, and that’s something we are very proud to be a part of.”
See more details on the Motoress' website for how you can take part in the ride and also enter the photo contest.
It's this website's opinion that any event that gets more motorcyclists on the road (riding responsibly) and or encourages new riders is a good thing. And trucker caps off to Indian Motorcycle for supporting this special event.