From the editor’s desk for July 12, 2012

July 11, 2012 

Increasing the odds

I remember several bike rallies ago – this is before I was married, so I’m safe in retelling – I was with some friends checking out the action at the now-defunct Dog House in Myrtle Beach.

I rode there with someone else, so I was vehicle-less; also I’d had a bit to drink so was in no shape for driving (all apologies to the Gin Blossoms).

So, when my friends wanted to leave, I told them to go ahead without me. I had a plan.

I was going to catch a ride with a biker chick. Or so I thought…

I milled about for a couple of hours, scoping out some biker babes that I thought I might be able to suck into my evil genius plan. But there was a problem – not many gals were riding their own bikes, and the few who were, already had some biker dudes partnered up with them.

I downed a few more beers, and decided my plan wasn’t happening, and began hoofing it home along Kings Highway, halfway hoping a sympathetic biker babe would see me and offer me a ride. I was more than willing to ride bitch.

But I didn’t make it too far on my pedestrian trek before I hailed a cab.

Now, if this scenario were to take place in 2012 (and remember, this is hypothetical), I have a feeling I’d have been more successful. It’s not that I’m any more appealing or persuasive, it’s simply a numbers game.

Bear with me...

I took a mental note when editing our resident biker columnist, Eric “Big E” Rutherford’s May 24 Ridin’ with Big E column wrapping up the Myrtle Beach area spring bike rally featuring this quote by the local Harley-Davidson dealership owner: “Women motorcycle operators were more present than ever.”

Hmm, that might be an idea to explore when the next bike rally rolls around…

But in the interim, I was doing some research on various topics and I came along this nugget – July is Women’s Motorcycle Month. Who knew?

So, why wait until another rally?

We dispatched Big E to see if he could dig deeper and find out what’s behind the trend of ladies cruising on two wheels, and to see if we could find any statistical evidence to back up the claims of the H-D dealership, and he talked with various female riders to get their input on the subject – all of which you can read in this week’s cover story on our home page.

What attracts them to ridership/ownership - rather than simply being a passenger?

Was it intimidating at first?

Can it still be seen as feminine?

Why types of bikes do women typically go for?

We discovered that industry stats say that roughly 1 out of every 10 bike operator is now female - somewhere in the 10 percent range, which isn’t a huge number, but it’s steadily growing. Furthermore, since 2007, there has been an increase of more than 4,000 females obtaining motorcycle licensing in the Palmetto State. And this mirrors national trends, going back to my original point about hitching a ride. I like my odds a lot better if I conducted my experiment of trying to find a willing female bike operator to give me a ride at the upcoming Myrtle Beach area fall rally - but I’ve got a feeling I’d wind up in a different dog house altogether.

Kent Kimes, Editor

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