We’re in the last half of April 2023 right now—which means that the 2023 International Female Ride Day official date is just around the corner. On May 6, 2023, women riders from anywhere and everywhere are encouraged to get out on their motorbikes and “Just Ride,” as Vicki Gray, founder of both International Female Ride Day and Motoress, succinctly puts it. 

The motivating force behind IFRD each year is to support and uplift women riders everywhere—as well as to inspire the next generation of women riders to see us out in public, having fun and being awesome on our bikes. It sounds simple in theory but is often more difficult in practice with the busy and complicated lives we all lead.  

That’s why IFRD is so important—and also why it’s so open to your interpretation. Want to ride by yourself early in the morning or late at night? Cool. Want to ride with friends (or friends you haven’t met yet in a group ride) in the middle of the day? You do you. The main thing, if you’re a woman who rides, is to get out and enjoy the ride wherever you are, whoever you are, and however you choose. All women are welcome. Displaying the IFRD logo somewhere on your bike is also encouraged to show that you’re part of a movement, but honestly? Just ride! Being you and showing up is enough! 

2023 marks the 17th edition of International Female Ride Day, which was started by Motoress founder, longtime rider, racer, teacher, and all-around moto talent Vicki Gray back in 2007. We may be a century on from when motorcycles first began, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of encouraging more women to get out and ride. 

I’m only one person, but if you’re a woman who rides (or you know women who ride), most of us can tell you all kinds of stories (both good and bad) about how other people have perceived us on our bikes. The stories about testosterone-fueled salesmen in dealerships who totally ignore you and only want to talk to the men who come in the door? Many of us (including me) have lived it. While there have been women who have ridden since the beginning, and our numbers only continue to grow over time, there have been (and continue to be) challenges. 

At the same time, one of my favorite things when I’m out riding is to wave and smile at the kids who are usually excited to see a motorcycle—especially if they’re little girls. As a woman who rides, I want girls everywhere to know that they can do anything they want, including ride bikes.  

You see, I’ve met too many adult women who have watched me take off my helmet with something approaching incredulity, and then gone on to say things like “you ride your own bike?” It makes me sad that they didn’t know, so now I want everyone to know that you’re never too old to start riding (seriously, find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course near you, they even provide bikes for you to learn on), but you’re also rarely too young. Just ride. 

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