This is our third week of Women's History Month, if you missed it be sure to check out Women Who Ride: Week Three! Thanks for taking the time to read and we hope some of these bad-ass women have inspired you.
What is your full name?: Virginia Hambly Cagney
Do you have any nick-names?: VirNinja, Ninja, Virg, V, Gin, Nebraska
What kind of bike do you have?: ’96 XL1200c chopper, ’80 Honda XL250, ’81 Honda XL185
What got you into motorcycles?: My husband bought a vintage Honda when we first started dating and it was the first motorcycle I’d ever been on. I lasted 1 year on the back and decided I wanted my own.
How long have you been riding?: 7 years, of my knees in the breeze
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?: The Babes Ride Out events have been really transformative for me. I’d never had so many females to look up to, and it connected me with other riders from across the world (men and women). It encouraged me to travel to parts of the country I’d never been (Cleveland, Milwaukee, Joshua Tree), and build relationships with incredibly inspirational new people. I was really lucky to work with the Babes Ride Out crew and plan the east coast event for 3 years when I was still living in the northeast.
Tying for first place would definitely be Gypsy Run. It was the first motorcycle event I ever went to, dropped my bike at, rode in a group, and motocamped. But more importantly, it was where my husband and I got engaged.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver: I was terrified. White knuckled. All signals firing. But I felt as though it was the most independent thing I’d done for myself as a young adult. I was 22 years old and was just barely out of my parents house. I was igniting my independence and the motorcycle reassured me of that.
Something interesting about yourself: For my day job I’m a Product Designer at Facebook. It’s super nerdy, but i really enjoy the challenge of working on the tough problems we’re trying to solve.
Who is your favorite woman in history?: Tough question. I really look up to Rupi Kaur, a poet who found a way to verbalize so much of the female experience. And I’ve always admired the female reporters on NPR like Terry Gross and Sarah Koenig. I think they’re telling important stories and highlighting our history in a meaningful way.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?: The biggest misconception by people is that women don’t know anything about riding. Some women know more about their bike, maintaining and building it than others, but by the time we’re on the road everyone starts from square 1. Gender doesn’t matter. I love conversation, and as soon as we get on the topic of motorcycles I’ve had people respond to my question by turning to my husband and answering. It’s a gigantic eye roll from me, and he wasn’t interested in talking to you anyway.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?: Fuck it. Not worth your time or worry. Break the stigma through action and putting miles down on your bike. Don’t just ride to get ice cream either (unless that’s what you’re into). If you wanna ride to an event in another state, do it. If you wanna do a solo trip to a town you’ve never been, do it. The women I admire most in the scene are the ones who have put down the most miles.
My name is Matte Cole, don’t really have a "nickname." I'm currently rippin' around on a rigid 1990 EVO. I also have a 06 Roadster because it's never a bad idea to have multiple bikes right?!
Growing up in a pretty "motor sports lovin'" kind of family it was kind of a given I would find my way to road bikes. Watching my dad ride & listening to him talk about bikes & the enjoyment it brought to him is what initially got me interested in riding.
I definitely didn’t intend to get as obsessed as I did, nor did I intent for it to be such a huge part of my lifestyle, but after my first time riding (as the driver), I was hooked.
The first time on a bike for me was truthfully Intimidating but I wanted to learn so bad. I just sort of turned off all my over analyzing/self doubting thoughts and went with it. I knew I could have easily gotten all in my head about it and talked myself out of it & why this is "too scary". I simply didn’t give myself the time to, I just hopped on & played around until I was fully comfortable. I believe if something is not challenging in any aspect then it probably is not going to offer any growth either which is not as enjoyable nor valuable to you. Just because something is hard or scary doesn’t mean you won't like it, push through then decide after you're out of the fear based decision making. After becoming completely comfy with riding it kind of just became more & more important and valuable to me, I felt like it was a type of meditation for me, having to be so conscious with this machine, with the road, with others around you it felt like I was on this different frequency I hadn't experience before.
I would ride for hours pretty much everyday. My first bike I put 18k miles the first year I rode, even through Utah winters. If it wasn’t actually snowing I was trying to get a ride in. Fast forward 9 years later and I'm still just as fascinated by the machines as I was when I first started riding at 16 (just a little bit more of a baby when it comes to the cold), which is actually the main reasons I moved out to so cal. Few years back I rode out from Utah with one of my friends to go to a Born Free show it was so inspiring out here, I loved the moto seen of southern California & obviously the weather. I started riding my bike out to San Diego to hangout with my sister & just enjoy the weather, after riding back and forth a few times a months the ride was getting a little old but I knew I didn't want to fly out cause I needed a bike out here, I just decide to wing it and move out here and just see what would happen. So far so good - riding year round, what more could a gal ask for. The "biggest misconception" for me at least, is that women are not knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles.
It is always interesting to me to see how others react when they hear I ride. I used to think it was due to my age since I started riding at such a young age and all. I have since realized it is actually because of my sex not my youth. There are a lot of nonsense people out there that are going to try and make you feel less important and less intelligent just because you are a gal that rides. But there are also others that cheer, support and treat you well and maybe even teach you a thing or two. I suggest you pay close attention and surround yourself with those people. At the end of the day you don't need to prove to anyone that you deserve to ride. You get to decide what your interests are and what you're passionate about.
My advice is to just stay true to yourself, don't allow others to title you or decide who you are and what you're good at.
What is your full name?
Edith Levin Goulet
Do you have any nick-names?
What kind of bike do you have?
A mostly stock 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100 in limited edition white & gold… slightly lowered and with a handful of minor upgrades.
What got you into motorcycles?
My husband mentioned that he wanted to learn how to ride when we first met, and when I went to buy him a gift certificate for the MSF course the female instructor working there convinced me that I should take the class with him. It was the furthest thing from my mind at the time, but I went for it, despite never even having touched a motorcycle, let alone having sat on one. I am really grateful to have gotten that nudge, and I don’t think I would have gone for it if it wasn’t a female instructor suggesting that I do so.
How long have you been riding?
I got my license in 2012, but admittedly it took me quite some time to get up and running. After we sold our beginner Rebel there was quite a gap before we moved from NYC to California and I got myself a new bike.
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?
I love the El Diablo Run. It’s just such a surreal feeling riding across the desert landscapes of Mexico. It’s just the right amount of sketchy, and the event itself feels like a real vacation every time. I’ve also loved going back to the east coast the past two years for Babes Ride Out East Coast. I love all the BRO events, but that one in particular is really special to me.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver:
It was god damn terrifying. I had no exposure to motorcycles prior to learning how to ride, so I don’t hesitate to be radically honest about how much fear I had while learning, and for quite a long time after starting. It’s a dangerous activity and there’s so many things that can go wrong, it’s hard not to focus on that while you’re practicing and learning to be comfortable. Ultimately I found that there were enough moments of pure bliss to power me through those first uncomfortable months, and I believe myself to be a better rider because I approached it with such caution.
Something interesting about yourself:
I’m originally from Moscow, Russia. I’ve lived in NYC from the time I was 12yo up until 5 years ago, when my husband and I moved to sunny San Diego. We both work from home, which makes for an interesting dynamic and is filled with unique challenges.
When I ride, I prefer long day trips or multiple day adventures. I almost never use my bike to get around town or as a daily commuter. I'm in it for the windy roads and the nature, not splitting lanes during rush hour or going from stop sign to stop sign.
Who is your favorite woman in history?:
Up until rather recently I haven’t strongly felt my gender. That is to say, I wasn’t acutely aware that I was a woman following in the footsteps of the women that fought so hard for me to have the opportunities that I have today. It was part ignorance and part lack of exposure. Today, I admire many women, but not necessarily historical figures. There’s currently a handful of female political figures that I admire greatly.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?:
That they use motorcycles as a prop. I think this comes from a long history of women being used as marketing objects to sell things like cars. There’s an assumption that women don’t know anything about the mechanics of their bike, and that they seldom actually put down miles. These things are decidedly untrue. The majority of the women riders I know ride often and work on their bikes, and they’re not in it for the Instagram pictures.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?:
Be true to who you are on the bike. Honour your boundaries and take things at your own pace. You’re in it for yourself and no one else, tap into what you enjoy about riding and purge the rest. Any shit that you might get all comes from pure insecurity, largely on the part of the men in the community. Let them sort that out for themselves and focus on the supportive people in your life. And seek out other women riders! There’s nothing more empowering than riding with a girl gang.
Anna Lee Rindskopf
What is your full name?: Anna Lee Rindskopf
Do you have any nick-names?: My Husband and I call each other "Bab." (Pronounced like Bob.) Long story it was an auto-correct gone wrong in the early days of our relationship.. it just kind of stuck. We are goofy.
What kind of bike do you have?: Right now I have a 2001 sportster 1200, a 1976 Shovehead chopper, and a 1975 SX125 its a Harley dirt bike often referred to as a "shortster" .. Harley took over this Italian motor company called Aermacchi. Cool story they started out making airplanes then began producing motorcycles in like 1951 .. in the 60s they were purchased partially by HD then completely to AMF-HD in '74. Its a bitch though because they are kind of hard to find parts for.
What got you into motorcycles?: Always wanted one. Never grew up around them. I was drawn to them from at early age and I've always had strong independent streak! One day I just saved up for a while and bought one, took the class and that was that. First bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 250 that I had for a week, then upgraded. I've have many many bikes since then over the years. It was pretty special to later on in life end up teaching the state motorcycle class ..the very same one I learned in. I taught for two seasons but found it was preventing me from riding as much as I wanted to during the summers. It's cool though sometimes to be at a thing and have a random person come up to me and tell me I taught them how to ride!
How long have you been riding?: since 2004 (wayyyyyyy less ladies on bikes back then!) So glad there are more of us now!
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?: Well I love our Midwest ..but I also love travel. Some of my favorite past events have been Ramble Tamble, Road to Vallhala, Mama Tried, Giddy Up and Smokey mountain chopper fest. We also have lots of fun local Ohio things going on here. I am a big fan of Thunder on the Strip in Geneva-on-the-Lake. Always wanted to get to the Orygun Run and The Gypsy Run. I'm 100% more about runs and actual riding events than parties at this point in my life. Riding over tire-kicking please!
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver: Hard to remember but when I first started riding I couldn't stop. I rode alone all over town for like 17 hours a day I wouldn't get off the thing .. I think thats normal for newbies who get the bug! It's all you think about in this beginning. (And forever after.)
Something interesting about yourself: I have traveled to over 67 countries outside of the US as of so far. I have rode motorcycles in over 30 of those countries also. And been to like 40 states here too. My legit actual goal is to travel the entire world! I know it should crazy but I'm seriously going for it. I also organize group motorcycle trips every other year to foreign countries. The next trip coming up is 12 days in Greece .. it is set for June 2021... there are actually a few bikes/spots left open for booking! It's open to the public ..everyone is super chill and if anyone is interested the full trip description with photos costs and inclusive can be found at the link in my IG bio @annaleecleveland or DM. These trips are truly epic bucketlist level adventures.
Who is your favorite woman in history?: Tough question I am a huge history buff. History is my favorite. I love to read as well. I could name so many ladies who have impacted our history, but if I have to pick one I have always been a big fan of Amelia Earhart.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?: I honestly have no idea. My whole thing on "scenes" .. it is what it is. My advice just be yourself and be nice, friendly, and welcoming to all. No way anyone can knock that.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?: What is the stigma though? My philosophy in life is to just do whatever the fuck you want, all the time. Focus on yourself. PMA and CYA!
What is your full name?: Danielle Marie Pavan
Do you have any nick-names?: No but I’ve always wanted one!! I just don’t think I am a nick-name kind of gal.
What kind of bike do you have?: I have an 03 Triumph America
What got you into motorcycles?: I was living in Philadelphia and all of my girlfriends there were getting motorcycles. Seeing them being badass babes who gave no fucks was pretty inspirational and gave me a bad case of FOMO. Before I started riding a motorcycle I didn’t even know how to drive a car with a manual transmission so I was pretty intimidated. I would reach out to my good friend Kat, who I knew rode, and say “I’m going to get a bike soon I swear.” Finally when I moved back to Cleveland my Dad was talking about how he wanted to learn how to ride again so we went and took classes together. A little father daughter bonding moment if you will and the rest is history.
How long have you been riding?: I have been riding for five years and couldn’t imagine not riding at this point.
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?: I have to say my favorite event is babes ride out. I have met so many incredible strong creative beautiful woman there. We talk about what it is like to drop your bike for the first time and how you feel like an idiot. I learned how to recharge my battery there and take my bike apart for the first time. There have been woman who have to come to the events from all around the world and who have traveled on their bikes from all across America (by themselves). So yeah we are pretty badass.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver: oh it was a hot mess. It was my friends Honda 250 and I had no clue what I was doing. Definitely dropped it. But he was super patient with me and encouraged me to keep going.
Something interesting about yourself: I have a pretty elaborate taxidermy collection. My Dad was a hunter growing up and I was able to have his boar head and goose to start my collection off. Now I have over 15 taxidermy pieces in my one bedroom apartment. I don’t hunt I just appreciate the art. I have everything from a iguana, a cobra fighting a mongoose, and a parrot from the 1940’s.
Who is your favorite woman in history?: One of my favorite woman in history would have to be Hedy Lamarr who was a beautiful actress in the 1930’s and 40’s. She helped developed frequency hopping the basis for wireless technology we all use today. No one took her seriously because of how beautiful she was. Which we all know is some bullshit. Woman are able to have brains and beauty.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?: That we are doing it just to show off our tits and our cute outfits. Well when you ride in cold rain for hours and ring out your clothes at random gas stations knowing you will have to do it all over again just to get home, there isn’t anything cute about that, it’s called being a badass boys, so suck it! We ride because we love it. We love the fresh air and freedom it gives you. Also something to note motorcycle clubs were not only developed for criminals they were around for the gay community to feel safe and explore their leather daddy side. So it really is for everyone. There shouldn’t be a stigma.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?: Who wants to live life seeing it from the back row when you can see it from the front. You will probably drop the bike or drive on a sidewalk making a turn for the first or fifth time but you know what that’s okay. The longest ride I made on my bike was 45 minutes.
What is your full name?: Célia Maciel Rasquinho dos Remédios
Do you have any nick-names?: Celita or just Lita
What kind of bike do you have?: Kawasaki en500 & Honda XL 125
What got you into motorcycles?: Cousins and friends riding, the summer rides with them, my grandpa's old bike...
How long have you been riding?: I've been riding since 15 but stopped for a long time and now I'm back again.
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?: Love going to the dirt track races. Always feels like a family reunion.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver: Well, was pretty fun. A friend got me a bike and I just sped up, forgetting totally the bike had gears!
Something interesting about yourself: I'm a dirt track racer, I love dust and bikes sliding and I aim to be part of an offroad technical team. And to be better and to do better, I'm studying Motorcycle Mechanics
Who is your favorite woman in history?: The Portuguese Beatriz Angelo: a fighter for the Portuguese women rights, the first woman to vote in Portugal and also the first woman doctor to operate in a hospital.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene"?: "Badass" women who never smile Vs fragile women who can't handle not even a scooter.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?: Relax, take your time, try to think that not everybody it's looking at you. Riding a bike it's supposed to be a happy relaxed think, Don't be nervous, just enjoy the ride.
What is your name?: Jana Junge
Do you have any nick-names?: nope
What kind of bike do you have?: ’75 Shovelhead
What got you into motorcycles?: my mom was riding a lot when she was younger, but stopped when my brother and I were born. Later she got a bike for Christmas again and took us for a ride, I loved it from the first second. When I met my husband, he was going to buy his first bike and I finally did my license.
How long have you been riding?: For around 6 years now
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?: One of my favorites were definitely the chopper bash in belgium and the castle run in denmark, unfortunately both of them are done since last year. But at least there are some amazing shows left in Europe like fucker fest in Sweden and the hook up in Wales.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver: For the first minutes I was completely overwhelmed, but my driving instructor was a complete dickhead that thought small girls don’t belong on a bike and tried to make me scared.
Something interesting about yourself: We moved from Germany to Belgium last year just because of the bikes.
Who is your favorite woman in history?: There is no specific one, it’s all about the strong ladies that give a shit.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?:
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?: That only men can build and ride badass chopper haha
Don’t think too much what other people think or say. Do what you have to do, for you!
If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out the follow-up article, Women Who Ride: Week Five!