Motocross culture corting a nice female fanbase



Marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Suz-Ann Chomyszyn flies around a turn during the Alberta Mini Road Racing Association’s road race yesterday. The event, held during the annual Motorcycle Show, has attracted more and more women like Chomyszyn.

« You should feel the excitement when you are out there — there’s so much enthusiasm. Every time I ride, it’s such an amazing feeling. »

Riding on two-wheeled mean machines isn’t just for the boys anymore, say organizers behind the Edmonton Motorcycle Show, which rolled out of town this morning.

Instead, women are buying and riding motorcycles more than ever before, along with seeing what’s new in the recreational sport at this year’s motorcycle show, says show manager Laurie Paetz.

"Women are feeling like it’s time where they don’t want to be a passenger anymore -- they want more control," she said. "More women are being adventurous and are taking it up."

This year’s show broke attendance records on Friday night, she said. The same evening, women were offered half-off their admission for the event’s SHE Rides Night.

Paetz says the numbers of women attending the annual show at the Northlands Agricom is also growing and 45 per cent of all the show’s training courses are now catering to female riders.

Suz-Ann Chomyszyn is one of them. At 40 years old, she became a dirt bike racer over a week ago. The last time she hopped on a motorbike was when she was a teenager.

Women are attracted to the sport’s sense of adventure, she says.

"You should feel the excitement when you are out there -- there’s so much enthusiasm," she said. "Every time I ride, it’s such an amazing feeling."

Linda Thomas, a local motorcycle enthusiast, says women are attracted to motorcycling because of sense of freedom they feel when they get on a bike.

"It’s just total freedom. It’s a blast," she said. "We’re not going to wait around for men. This is total independence and women are figuring out how to do that."

Thomas is part of an all-female international motorcycle club that gives women the chance to ride.

Thomas says the Edmonton chapter of the Women Who Ride club are 75 members strong with riders as young as 19 and as old as 68.

Well over 32,000 motorcycle enthusiasts attended the event and organizers are already planning to add new additions for next year’s Edmonton Motorcycle Show, says Paetz.