Back in the Saddle

All too often, the motorcycle media doesn't treat women as real riders—they're typically used as adornments in photos. And while that may make lots of male riders happy, you've got to wonder if it really helps the overall cause of motorcycling. There's probably a huge market of potential riders out there who feel put-off by such a belittling public image and who won't bother to walk onto dealers' lots as a result.

But in East Tennessee, the ranks of women riders are growing, with new clubs forming and more and more spouses climbing off the pillion to buy their own bikes. In this issue, Chris Barrett talks to some of them to find out how women may approach motorcycling differently than men, and what kinds of misconceptions they have to overcome.

And I'm sure this story will generate some grumbles. As we keep learning around here, each biker tribe doesn't necessarily like hearing about what the other biker tribes are up to. They just want to read about their own type of biking. But we try to put a different style on the cover each month because I think each group is doing or saying interesting things worth reading about, no matter what you personally may ride. There are a lot of different motorcycle stories out there—why not give them a chance?

That said, we're still in the market for a cruiser reporter—someone who knows the local scene and can tell its stories well. If you match that description, drop me a line at We want to make Handlebars as inclusive as possible, so every rider has a reason to pick us up.

UPDATE: A few issues ago, I put forth my reasons for placing my helmet up on the shelf some years ago. Well, then I saw a for-sale ad for a certain bike I've been keeping my eyes peeled for, and one thing led to another, and now the helmet's been dusted off. So, I'm back on the road. More about that later.

Coury Turczyn, Ed.