Local businesses notice trend of more women riding motorcycles

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Women want to enjoy more than a back-seat view.

They want their hands on the handlebars.

“A lot of women say they want to be in control. They are tired of looking at the back of their ol’ man’s head,” said Susan McBride, a motorcycle owner and employee at Smokin’ Harley-Davidson in Winston-Salem.

McBride, who handles internet sales, started riding about seven years ago when she was 45 years old and says she has seen more women become interested in motorcycles since then.

McBride says there are a lot more women riding now than there were seven to 10 years ago.

The increase is also reflected in the training classes the dealership offers.

“Each class holds six, so most times we have one to two women in every class,” McBride said.

Allison Temple purchased her Suzuki motorcycle two weeks ago.

“It’s definitely a lot more fun than a car I think,” she said.

She earned her license after taking a course at Davidson County Community College last fall.

Within a weekend, she was able to learn what she needed to know to gain confidence.

“That class, the second day you get on a motorcycle. That’s the first time I’ve ever been on a bike and I had a blast,” Temple said.

Garwood Custom Cycles in Lexington has seen a change in how the industry has made an effort to accommodate the female customer base.

“They have their own apparel line now for them to ride, so they can pick out bikes, colors, designs,” said David Garwood, owner of Garwood Custom Cycles.

“There’s ladies/women that stunt ride, they drag race, they can do everything just like the men can on these bikes,” he said.

Temple is proving that to herself every day.

“[It’s] not as scary as I was expecting because once you get used to it, a lot of it becomes second nature.”

If you’re interested in training, you can check with a local motorcycle dealer or community college to see if classes are available.

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