Tag Archives: Feminism

True Grit: 25 Women’s Racing Organizations for Cars, Bikes and More

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Cars, bikes, racing — these aren’t men’s worlds anymore.

We’ve already written about some great women’s motorcycle clubs (twice, in fact), but now let’s shine a spotlight on some women’s car clubs and racing organizations. Ours is a world full of female gearheads and great female racers. These 25 groups below are proof of that.

Motorsports Groups

Horsepower & Heels, Nationwide

Erica Ortiz, a drag racer and the founder of Horsepower & Heels, liked racing with the men, but she wanted the respect that they so effortlessly received. So, she decided to band with other women and start her own racing organization. Together with photographer Eddie Maloney and contributors Taylor Hyatt and Kelly Morris, the team at Horsepower & Heels promote women’s racing. Ortiz still races and is a multi-time champion.

Women in Motorsports, Inc., Nationwide

Women in Motorsports, Inc. supports female racers with professional aspirations. You can link up with other racers and learn more about training, bike parts, equipment and more. If you want to become a data technician, suspension technician, chassis mechanic, crew chief or work in a similar field, this group has the connections to help you get there.

FIA Women in Motorsport, International

As a worldwide motorsports group, the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) also happens to have its own branch devoted to women’s racers called FIA Women in Motorsport. Founded in 2009, the group “aims to create a sports culture which facilitates and values the full participation of women in all aspects of motor sport.” Former rally driver Michele Mouton is the group’s president.

Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM Inc.), North Carolina

WAM is the fusion of two NASCAR organizations, the Busch Series Ladies Association and the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary. Established in 2004, the group is involved in North Carolina charities such as Royal Oaks Elementary, Jeffrey’s Toy Closet (which gives to people affected by disasters and sick children) and Mooresville Soup Kitchen.

Car Chix, Nationwide

Car Chix is a motorsports organization for women that promotes and advertises women in all aspects of racing at any skill level. Jeanette DesJardins established the group in 2010. Make sure not to miss the Drag Racing for Life Breast Cancer Fundraiser, which the Car Chix have hosted since their formation. People have donated more than $50,000 since the event’s inception. The women support other charities, including those for multiple sclerosis, children’s health and more.

Grace Autosport, Georgia

As “the first racing team driven by women,” the team at Grace Autosport in Atlanta does more than just drive. Off the track, they “promote and inspire young women to pursue their dreams within the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).” You can pick up some cool T-shirts, hoodies, hats or rubber bracelets to show your support.

British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC), UK

Mary Wheeler founded the BWRDC back in 1962, making it one of the oldest women’s motorsports organizations around. Members participate in races of all kinds, including karting and rallying; some even join championship races. As long as you have a National or International A MSA license, you’re welcome to become a full club member.

blue car on track

Automotive Clubs

Chassis Lassies, Colorado

Founded in 1995, the Chassis Lassies was formed from original members of the Colorado Camaro Club, another all-women organization. The members typically spend their time participating in parades and cruises and attending car shows. Their big annual event is the Weekend Mystery Trip, a yearly staple on the Chassis Lassies’ calendar.

Diesel Dolls, Georgia

In the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, the women of Diesel Dolls are proving that they rule the roost. This newer group, established in 2013, lives by the slogan of “beautiful women and beautiful diesels.” They’re always welcoming interested new members who love racing and giving back to their community.

Lady Luck CC, West Coast

If you have a car from before 1969, you’re welcome in the Lady Luck CC. This group is led by its president, Betty, who owns a 1949 Kaiser Traveler. If you can’t attend any of the group’s drives, you can always check out the Lady Luck Car Care merchandize on its website; all items are environmentally friendly.

Octane Angels Car Club, California

Another group that prefers older cars is the Octane Angels Car Club. This Southern California group writes, “We love our cars, family and our friends.” If you have your own classic car, bring it around and join the club.

TBSS Ladies, Nationwide

At TBSS Ladies, it’s go big or go home. These women drive trucks instead of cars and call themselves “the most badass truck driving women out there!” This relatively new group is gaining members all the time.

Hell’s Belles Car Club, Nationwide

With branches also in Seattle and Los Angeles, Hell’s Belles Car Club originated in San Francisco, where founders Andrea “Crafty” DeHart and Mary Mack decided to start an organization for women who are passionate about classic cars. “The founders reckoned it was pretty special for a gal to own a classic car, but a testament of true love to own a sled in San Francisco,” they explain. As members relocated, other branches were founded that still exist today.

Miss Shifters, Washington

Yet another club for classic car lovers, Spokane, Washington’s Miss Shifters is for women whos rides are pre-1979. The group hosts monthly meetings where you can learn more about the organization’s objectives and planned activities. You can also pick up some Miss Shifters merch on the group’s website.

Heart Wrenchers Auto Club, California

A few women enrolled in the automotive program at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, decided to start their own organization in 2010. They called it the Heart Wrenchers Auto Club. Even though the members are still full-time students, they have developed a mentor program at area high schools and host fundraisers and other events.

woman looking back at other cyclists

Cycling Groups

Velo Girls, California

Velo Girls have members of all ages that gather from Half Moon Bay to Mendocino to Morgan Hill and beyond. Established in 2002, this group was awarded the Club of the Year title by USA Cycling in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Riders enjoy cruising on cyclocrossers, mountain bikes and more.

Little Bellas, Vermont

In 2007, Sabra and Lea Davison started Little Bellas, an organization in Jericho, Vermont, that teaches young girls ages 7 to 16 years old how to ride mountain bikes and eat healthily. The organization has become so popular that it’s grown beyond Vermont to other chapters across the country. Girls can join day camps or enroll in summer programs.

Women’s Cycling Association (WCA), nationwide

You don’t necessarily have to ride to be a part of WCA; as long as you care about women riders, you’re welcome here. “The WCA seeks to unify and represent women cyclists and advocate on their behalf; to sporting governing bodies, race organizers, and team management…the WCA will work towards meeting our platform goals by lobbying for equal rights for women cyclists, reviewing existing policies and advocating for changes, and networking with grassroots programs that provide support and guidance to cyclists,” the organization says.

The Amy D. Foundation, Colorado

Amy Alison Dombroski was a professional cyclist and U23 National Championship winner before her life was sadly cut short. The Amy D. Foundation was established to memorialize her. This Colorado nonprofit supports the development of female cyclists by providing equipment and mentoring to up-and-coming competitive athletes, and working with Little Bellas to inspire young riders.

PA Women’s Cycling, Pennsylvania

Established in 2007, PA Women’s Cycling seeks to unite women riders in the state and inform them about events in their area. No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, this group only communicates digitally, so you’re never too far away. Some of the teams that are part of this organization include Alliance Environmental in Southeastern, Bikeline/LWA in Lehigh Valley and CCV/Iron Hill in Chester County.

woman cyclist

Mountain2Mountain, Colorado

Nonprofit organization Mountain2Mountain seeks “to amplify the voices of women and girls through access to education, the power of street art, the solidarity of activism, and the freedom of the bicycle.”

Established in 2006, the group became a nonprofit several years later. The Global Solidarity Ride, in association with JustGiving, takes place in multiple countries. The organization also has an Afghan Cycling Program, which lets women cyclists ride in Afghanistan (Mountain2Mountain’s riders were the first to do so) to promote gender equality.

Bikefit Sunflowers, Ontario, Canada

In Canada, nonprofit Bikefit Sunflowers host bike events between May and September, going out weekly. Your skill level shouldn’t deter you from putting on your helmet and getting out there, especially considering the group always has a ride leader who has cycled for years and can help those who are less experienced. Riders are divided into two groups: the Sport Rider is more athletic and skilled while the Recreational Rider is in it for fun and to learn more.

CycloFemme, Nationwide

The women at CycloFemme have a mantra: “Honor the past, celebrate the present, empower the future.” The group is planning a big ride in May 2016, and you’re welcome to bike along with them. Do watch the short video that the members put together called “CycloFemme: One of Many.”

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling welcomes any woman in the state with a bicycle. Just be prepared to ride almost any time of year because the members of this group are known to bike in both the winter coldness and summer heat. In July 2016, the group will hold its annual Wisconsin Bike Festival and Women’s Century Ride Supporting the Wisconsin Women’s Fund in Cedarburg, which is known for its picturesque riding paths.

Black Girls Do Bike, Nationwide

With chapters across the US, Black Girls Do Ride’s mission statement is to prove just that. If you find that there are no chapters near you, the group encourages you to start one. You only need a lead rider (known as a “Shero” in this club), and then you can set up a Facebook page and events for your chapter.

 

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©zigf/123RF Stock Photo, Up-Free, John Trefethen, Coda2

By Popular Demand: 30 More Awesome Motorcycle Clubs for Women

Motorcycle Clubs for Women - near motorcycle

Last month, we highlighted some of the most impressive women’s motorcycle clubs in the United States and beyond.

However, we received a lot of feedback here at the auto repair shop and quickly learned that original list of 30 organizations was just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more groups that deserve some spotlight for their charity, toughness, community and dedication to their rides.

Here are 30 more women’s motorcycle clubs, from all around the world, that deserve praise.

Chicks in the Wind, Florida

A nonprofit established in 2012, Chicks in the Wind was founded after several women riders in the Hudson area decided that they could get more done in their neighborhood if they banded together. “We ride to raise awareness for the women and children who live in the abuse and homeless shelters,” Chicks in the Wind President Terri Kirchner tells us.

A variety of businesses have helped the Chicks host scavenger hunts, poker runs and other fundraisers. If you can’t necessarily join the Chicks (who have chapters in Hernando, Pinellas and Pasco), you can always buy a supporter patch and show your love that way.

Sisters Eternal Women’s Motorcycle Club

Sisters Eternal Women’s Motorcycle Club (WMC) is a neutrally chartered club with the American Motorcyclists Association and are recognized as professional, family-friendly, fair and legitimate by communities, participants and the motorcycling industry. Our Sisters come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels.

Furies MC, Illinois

Chicago’s own Furies MC are named after mythological creatures in Greek and Roman history: “These goddesses who made their home in the underworld would punish all crime, both personal and those made by society.” They further their objectives with meetings each month, where they outline their next riding plans while enjoying a laugh and a meal. The women participate in annual rides, including Ride to Work Day, International Female Ride Day and the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade.

Lost Girls MC, California

Having donated nearly $90,000 towards breast cancer treatment over the past 11 years, the Lost Girls MC are a mainstay in Visalia and always host their annual Lost Girls’ Breast Cancer Ride. Continue to support their valiant efforts by purchasing a patch on their website or by donating to the Girls.

Curve Unit, California

Want to join up with the ladies in Curve Unit? You just have to be there for the monthly Curve Unit Group Ride through the San Francisco Bay Area. You also need your own motorcycle, your own insurance and an active registration, but riders of any and all skill level are welcome.

Guilty Girlz RC, Michigan

With five chapters throughout the state — in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Tecumseh, Mt. Pleasant and Lansing — the Guilty Girlz RC truly live by their slogan, “be guilty of your passion.” The group, established in 2011, is a part of the Michigan Confederation of Clubs as the first of its kind. The women want their group to be a supportive environment that produces feelings of “trust, sisterhood, respect and empowerment to women who ride.”

Amazons WMC, Inc., North America

Named after the hardened Amazonian warriors, the Amazons WMC, Inc. members uphold six principles at all times, which the women also use as their code of conduct: commitment, loyalty, respect, truth, honor and love.

The group has chapters across the US and Canada. If you want to join the club, you must follow some ground rules such as always using common sense, having an open mind and a positive attitude, understanding the road, and never drinking alcohol before a ride.

Motorcycle Clubs for Women - speedometer

The Bikerni, India

There weren’t any women’s motorcycle clubs in India until 2011, when Urvashi Patole had the idea to create the Bikerni. Patole, along with Chithra Priya and Sheetal Bidaye, act as the core committee that sets up events and spreads awareness of the club. The group has grown in popularity so much that most cities in the country have a chapter, and new members are always welcome.

Lady Biker, India

Since the Bikerni was founded, other groups such as Lady Biker in Kolkata have come into existence to further spread riding culture in India. These women are, simply put, very devoted to riding their motorcycles.

In the spring of 2015, one member of the group went on a multi-day trip through India, taking in its beauty. “Solo ride is always unique and challenging,” she wrote on the group’s blog. “No one is there to help you if anything goes wrong. But, at the same time, one can truly feel the ride if one is going solo. It’s a ride Nirvana for the rider.”

The Foxy Fuelers, Australia

If you’re a fan of classic or even customized motorcycles, then you have kindred spirits in the Foxy Fuelers. These Australian motorcyclists were inspired by another Sydney group, the Sydney Café Racers, and now ride with them and other women. They learned by doing, and they want to encourage other women who are interested in riding to do the same.

Ghetto Girlz MC, California

Since 2009, Ghetto Girlz MC has promoted a sense of family for women of all backgrounds. If you’re not in the Oakland area, you can always join the New Zealand, Ireland, UK, or Fort Wayne, Indiana branches. Make sure to check out the club’s website to see the women’s informative page on bike maintenance and safety.

Devil Dolls MC, California

Devil Dolls MC was established on Valentine’s Day in 1999. Initially, the group only allowed members to join if they owned a Harley-Davidson. Today, the rules are more relaxed, with bikes made in the USA and Europe welcome. T-Rexxx is one of the founders and the president, while vice president Kupkake has been with the group since 2010. Sid Sinister is the club’s sergeant at arms.

Motorcycle Clubs for Women - sunlight

VCMC, England

The VCMC has an easy philosophy: “More women on bikes & more women building.” The group is planning to announce their 2016 riding plans soon, so keep an eye out for that news if you are in the UK. In the meantime, feel free to support the club and look awesome at the same time by picking up a tank top, a t-shirt or a sticker with the VCMC logo on it.

Women’s International Motorcycle Association GB, worldwide

Sponsored by the Motorcycle Club for Women, the Women’s International Motorcycle Association was founded in 1958. The group hosts rallies and rides in Australia, Asia and the UK. If you happen to travel to meet up with the group, there’s always members around to get you acclimated. Members receive stickers, pins and badges, discounts on the online shop, up to 11 newsletters, and access to every ride or any other event the group is taking part in.

Tenacious Dames RC, Montana

A nonprofit that’s always welcoming new members, Tenacious Dames RC also has chapters in Bozeman, Miles City, Great Falls and Billings. Women in the group aren’t limited by age (some are in their 20s, some are in their 60s and still wild), skill level, or location (members live in Kalispell, Butte, Helena and elsewhere). The women in this group all obey this credo: “Women empowering women through the love of riding.”

Celtic Sisters WMC, Ohio

Lisa Thuning established the Celtic Sisters WMC in 2014 and serves as its president. She works alongside vice president Criket Jones and public relations professional Sallie Todd. The group is dedicated to helping children with cancer. If you want to tag along, you can apply to join right on the Celtic Sisters’ website. The women participate in various Ohio events throughout any given year.

Asphalt Angels MC, Utah

The Asphalt Angels MC always ride safely, insisting that you “never ride faster than your angels can fly.” This group, founded in 2013, supports organizations and charities in the St. George area, often volunteering and riding in fundraisers and other events.

Want to join? Asphalt Angels describe themselves as “women who are brave, loyal, trustworthy, accomplished, adventurous, and kindhearted, but also have a healthy appreciation for the perfect tattoo, a great set of pipes, a love of laughter, and the smell of leather.”

GLOW Motorcycle Club, Texas

Since 2006, the women in the GLOW Motorcycle Club (which is short for Gorgeous Ladies on Wheels), have made Houston a lot pinker, as that’s the group’s signature hue. The club only opens availability for new members on a limited basis, so make sure to jump in when you can. The women support local businesses and post flyers on their website to promote small companies.

Motorcycle Clubs for Women - yamaha at an angle

Chrome Angelz RC, worldwide

Chrome Angelz RC started in 2012 with one chapter in New Jersey and actively recruited in 2014 to grow to over 65 chapters across the US, Canada, South Africa and Europe. They support women motorcycle riders, promote safety and encourage chapters to help their local communities.

Femme Fatales WMC, Ohio

Emerson and Hoops, two friends and riders, co-founded the Femme Fatales WMC in 2011. They recognized that there was a lack of women’s motorcycle clubs in Ohio, so they decided to give women riders in the state a chance to gather together.

Of course, they do more than just ride. Members also support nonprofit groups like Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Bright Pink, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and the Heather J. Kwiate Foundation.

Xtreme Vixens MC, Nevada

Although Las Vegas is known for its crazy entertainment, the city didn’t have any sanctioned motorcycle groups with just women riders until Nina came along in 2006 and created the Xtreme Vixens MC. The club became such a beloved institution that it in 2008 it created a California chapter. While the group once only allowed for sports bikes, as of 2012, any and all motorcycles are welcome.

Las Marias MC, Mexico

They keep their description brief, but Las Marias MC is in the middle of producing a short film called On the Road to Sisterhood. There’s a slew of patches you can buy in support of the group, and make sure to check out their catchy riding playlist.

Iron Sirens WC, Canada

As long as you’re a woman with a motorcycle, the Iron Sirens WC wouldn’t mind if you joined them for a ride. No parts of Canada are off-limits — you’ll find chapters in Addington County, Alberta, Rose City, Port Dover, Halton Hills, Muskoka, Wasaga Beach and more. The club often participates in open events where anyone can ride. There are also member-only activities planned for every month in 2016, some of them rides and some of them social gatherings.

Free Spirit Chapter, Michigan

Boasting more than 70 members as of this writing, the Free Spirit Chapter has been a Michigan mainstay since 1995. Washtenaw, Wayne, Livingston, Macomb and Oakland County women riders all gather for monthly meetings and regular rides. The club will participate in an event in Warren in February, the 9th Annual Bowling for Camp Quality, so be sure to check it out.

GRIPsters, Oregon and Washington

The GRIPsters, or Girls Riding Independently Proud, are spread out between Oregon and Washington. They’re open to any woman motorcyclist joining as long as you can attend the Portland meetings, which occur monthly on Thursday nights at the Bradford’s Sports Lounge.

Motorcycle Clubs for Women - riding motorcycle

Steel Cowgirls, Tennessee

The Steel Cowgirls, also known as the Motorcycle Women of Tennessee, are based in Nashville, but the group has been known to venture far out for certain riding events. When you join, you get official access to the group’s locked Facebook page so you can keep abreast of club news and upcoming events.

Diva Angels, Inc., Florida

Nonprofit Diva Angels, Inc. has both local chapters and a national chapter. You can find branches near you in Tampa Bay, Pasco and more. You can either join by sending mail to the group or save time by applying online. The women request that you show up to one of their chapter meetings before applying, though, so you can get a feel for how you’ll fit in.

Smokin Curvz MC, Virginia

Inspired by another Virginia motorcycle club called Bloc Burnaz MC, Smokin Curvz MC was founded in 2010. The women are dedicated to making Fredericksburg a better place through charitable acts. “We believe actions speak louder than words, and are ready to prove that we can ride with the big boys, cook the meals, take care of the kids, uplift our community and still look fabulous!” the group pledges.

Chrome Divas, Worldwide

Whether you call Australia, Canada or the US home, with more than 45 chapters there’s undoubtedly a Chrome Divas branch near you. Founded in 2002, the group began in Tallahassee, Florida, before growing bigger and bigger into the powerhouse that it is today. Feel free to add to the club’s numbers, but be prepared to abide by the rules, which insist that you’re respectful of other members. The Chrome Divas Midwest Winter Retreat is coming up in February, so don’t miss that.

Missouri Women on Wheels (MO WOW)

Why is MO WOW such a huge hit in its home state? Women of all skill levels and ages are encouraged to participate, which has led to the development of chapters throughout Missouri, including Ladies of the Roubidoux, Golden Valley Girls, Lady Road Runners, Lady Cruisers of the Ozarks, the Heartland Chapter and the Show-Me Riders. The group is currently filling its 2016 calendar and is welcomes new members.

Caramel Curves, Louisiana

Sometimes, a little competition is a good thing, as in the case of Caramel Curves, a New Orleans group created by a woman known only as Caramel (check out the piece Vice did on her recently).

Caramel started the club to go toe-to-toe with the male riders in the city, and the group’s popularity grew quickly. That changed after Hurricane Katrina, when many group members left the state for good, but Caramel Curves has since regrouped and encouraged many others to join.


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Greg Raines, Alexa Wirth, Darren Bockman, seabass creatives, AdinaVoicu