Today was the first day of the 70th Annual Convention of the Motor Maids, the first women’s motorcycling organization in North America. It is in Cody, Wy., hosted by the Wyoming-Montana District. I (Beth) have been a member for 5 1/2 years, and this is my fourth convention. I’ve been to conventions in Kingston, Ont., (2006), Columbus, Ind., (2008), and Lewiston, Me. (2009). I missed 2007 because of my nephew’s wedding. This was my longest road trip on the bike. I logged 2549 miles from St. Pete to Cody over 5 days. We’re staying at the Comfort Inn, which is part of the convention facility.
At the welcome meeting, Motor Maids are introduced by category – Regular Member (less than 10 years), Life Member (10-24 years consecutive active riding membership), Silver Life (25-49 years), Golden Life (50+ years), and “Red Ribbon” (women members attending their first convention). The Golden Life members have the most inspirational stories to tell. Many tears flowed – tears of awe, poignancy, empathy – at stories of how the Motor Maids had changed lives or provided inspiration and support to so many. It is always an awesome experience to be among strong women who live their lives to the fullest and among many who were early pioneers in women’s motorcycling.
Women ride all brands and models of motorcycle, some of which are quite “bling-y” –
Tomorrow is the annual Dot Robinson Road Run (named for one of the organization’s co-founders). It is a timed road rally along a predetermined course from Cody to Powell. The goal is to complete the course as close to the prescribed time as possible and hit “surprise” checkpoints at the correct times. It is a 60-mile course which should take 2 hours to complete going an average of 30 mph. I won the novice class at my first convention (still not sure how I accomplished that), so anything from here on out is just fun!
After the road run, all of the MMs will gather in Powell for a parade through that town and then a parade through Cody. We’ll wear our blue and white uniforms. It really is one of the most exciting MM activities to expderience firsthand, especially if you are in the middle of the pack and can see 100+ Motor Maids in front of you and another 100+ Motor Maids behind you. Spectators line the streets and it is great fun to wave back. Little kids and older folks are the most fun to watch!
I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with MM friends from the Pennsylvania and western New York District as well as getting to know friends in my new Florida District better. It’s really more like a family, though, a sisterhood where our common love is riding motorcycles, whether it’s been for just 5 years or 65 years!