Did you know May is Women Riders Month? What better way to celebrate women who ride than by talking to a rider with over 20 years of experience? We asked Tiffany Raulston to tell us a little bit about why she rides, how she got started, and what other female riders she most admires.
Why I ride
It’s a feeling like no other; when you’re not in a car and on the seat of your bike, you enter into the great wide open! As cheesy as it may sound, I feel like when I ride I am one with earth and mother nature. I’m so much more aware of my surroundings when I’m riding.
The feeling of the roads – smooth, bumpy, debris, potholes, dirt, gravel…
The smells – good and bad, sweet and sour…tar, smoke, burning oil, gas, brake dust from truckers… I love them all.
The physical feeling – bugs smashing on my face and arms, the wind making my cheeks shimmy, my feet getting a massage from my floorboard’s vibration, freezing my ass off riding through the orange groves in Redlands…
When the ride is over, I just feel more alive.
My Riding Journey
During my 20 or so years of riding, many of my friends have chosen to ride as a passenger, which is cool too. That’s how I started.
It was on a Softail standard with upswept fishtails, and it was super loud. Although I still enjoyed every minute of being a passenger, I found that sometimes I would doze off because I was so relaxed. My husband Mark would tap my leg to make sure my eyes were still open. I also didn’t like Mark blocking MY wind, and that I wasn’t in control
Mark taught me to ride in a big empty school parking lot. He had the patience of a god! For me, trying to get the feel of squeezing the clutch and moving my foot in perfect timing to try and shift was the hardest. When I was working on my turns, one way was always easier than the other way.
I had to remember to never look down (because your bike goes in the direction you’re looking). My favorite part of learning to ride was rolling through the turns – it just felt so right and so good. When it was time to get my license and take the riders course, I breezed right through it.
The advice I would give to any girl who wants to experience the riding lifestyle is to take your time finding a bike you’re comfortable on. It’s scary to think how heavy these machines are. At first, I thought I would never be able to hold myself up on a Harley, which was my dream bike. You have to go sit on every bike – American, Metric, 3 wheels etc. and make sure you think about what kind of rides you’ll be doing. Whether you’re riding to work, taking long trips across country or leisurely cruising around town, you have to be comfortable.
My first bike was a Ninja 500 we happened to find for $500. I chose to buy it so I could practice riding. She hauled ass and I went on many rides with our friends through Cali, up in the mountains, and along the coast. I was the only one on a crotch rocket and the only female rider of the group, which was kind of cool.
After about 6 months of riding, we heard from a friend at a dealership that had this ‘92 Fatboy for sale. We immediately went to check it out and there she was – turquoise and cream – absolutely beautiful! I thought to myself, “Dang , it’s really big!” But, I had to sit on it and luckily it fit perfectly! The seat was low and I sank right into it. My feet touched the ground without any problem, and I could hold her up just fine!
The salesman told me to test drive it, I was still a little scared, so I had my husband ride it. He came back about 5 minutes later and said “If you don’t buy it, I will!” So I bought it and rode her home. Through the canyon we went and I was tearing up (tears of joy). I couldn’t believe it. It was so comfortable, loud, safe, and the beginning of a new adventure!
My Favorite Female Rider
The rider I admire is Maureen Powers aka “MO”. She was one of the first girls I met that rides, and I’ve always looked up to her and the experience she has. I asked MO a couple questions about her riding journey to share with other women riders.
What do you ride?
A 2009 Street Glide with 104 K miles
When & how did you get started riding?
When I was 14 my dad, who loved riding, and my older sibling who already rode, told me I had to get my motorcycle license before my regular drivers license. He had a Honda 400 which I learned on that and got my permit. This made me a better driver today, I’m defensive and always looking for the blind spot.
What was your best ride so far?
I can’t pick just one! Some of my favorites have been Red Wood Run, Binge Ride Out, and Sturgis, to name a few. I just love to go. For me, 1000 miles in a day is nothing!
My style is to take every back road possible. It took us 27 day just to get to Sturgis, and 2 days to get home. It’s about the journey. I went on a 2 week ride through Colorado, over all the passes, Zion, Bryce, 4 corners, Taos, New Mexico, Road to the Sun. You see so much out there.
My #1 love is how the road brings people into your life. A lot of the people I have met on rides are still friends to this day.
What’s the best advice you have for someone ready for the riding journey?
Surround yourself with people who understand our speed. Go at your own pace. Be committed. Know the rules of the road.
There are so many incredible women riders, and we are thrilled to celebrate them – not just this month – but all year long. Ladies, we want you to know that you’re never alone on the road. Law Tigers has your back.
If you don’t already have it, register for our free Rider Benefit Card.