The Female Safety Seminar began in ’07 by the name of “Keep’in Check”. At the time, I was a member of Sisters With A Throttle (SWAT) and presented the idea to my then President (Co2) and Bill Gash, General Manager at Clinton Cycles.
Both believed it was a great idea to introduce this type of seminar to the motorcycle community as the result of the growing number of female riders.
When I started riding in 2006, I was one of very few women that wore all leathers every time I rode, besides those that were on the track because I knew I had tendency to ride hard and was also aware of how others rode for that matter. It actually saddened me when I realized that many women in the DMV took safety for granted, had a limited knowledge of their motorcycles, didn’t know how to fix and/or repair their bikes and were unaware of how to ride properly. I wanted to find and create an avenue to spread the word of how serious this sport/hobby is and if taken for granted, someone could pay a huge price simply by not knowing the basics of their machine and how to respect it and its capabilities.
The first seminar in 2007 brought out approximately 70 women despite being a rainy day. In 2010, the weather was a perfect, sunny and 75 degrees resulting in more than 100 women and men attending the seminar with standing room only for the inside and outside sessions.
Each year attendance and support continues to grow, with a noticeable breakthrough in the past two years with more men in the audience actively participating because they also want to learn about their machines and safe tips when riding. I’ve been very fortunate to not only gain the trust from the motorcycle community, but from the female clubs and their Presidents’ as they’ve generously accepted invitations to serve as presenters on several topics of expertise and were eager to share their knowledge with beginner and experienced riders.
Looking ahead, we plan to continue educating ALL riders in the DMV. A committee has been formed for next year and subsequent years to help reach this goals. Future seminars will not only include open forum sessions, but hands-on training as well. In previous years, when weather permitted, we held “How to Pick up Your Motorcycle” sessions and a “How to Tie Down Your Bike” sessions. These are a couple of things every rider should know in the event they either drop their bike or are responsible for loading their bike onto a trailer. In addition to the “How-to’s”, there are plans to include a riding obstacle course based on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s training course. However, this one will be focused on each individuals’ own motorcycle while still within a controlled environment with trained and certified instructors.
I want to thank Bill Gash and the Clinton Cycles staff for opening their doors to the DMV, allowing the community to host community service efforts geared towards safety and protecting lives. I also have to thank the following motorcycle clubs and independent riders for always being there for me whenever I needed assistance and support with keeping the Female Safety Seminar alive: MD Rebels MC-The Daughter Chapter, Platinum Dreams MC, Speed Divas MC, FLIRT MC, Hot Commodities MC, Peppa, Squeaky of MD Hill Riders MC, N2 Deep Sistas MC, CinnaBun, Yodie of Shiftin’ Steel MC, SWAT MC-Richmond and DMV Chapters, and my own Millennium Sport Riders family. Lastly, I am grateful for the support of State Farm Insurance and all of the women and men in the DMV. None of this would be possible without ALL OF YOU!
Michelle Jenkins aka Sniper
Millennium Sport Riders