April 15, 2017
Today is the day of our “Lita’s Season Opener”. It’s a short little ride from downtown Salt Lake to Nielsen’s in Bountiful because we weren’t sure what the weather would be like. Turns out today is supposed to be sunny and clear, and a high of 57. It’s still a little chilly for a big long ride, but it should be perfect for what we have planned. I’m going to see if I can make it as long/fun as possible. I’m thinking we should head up B street into City Creek Canyon, back down behind the capitol to Victory and on up to Btown. Maybe take Orchard Dr, but when I rode it last week the road was pretty worn down. This is the proposed route. Otherwise I think we should just take 89 all the way to Nielsen’s.
It’s exciting and little stressful, we’re expecting a fair amount of new girls, and I want to make sure we make them feel welcome. Before the Litas I was alone, I had very few friends that rode and ended up riding on my own for the most part. Since then, I have met so many people that ride, and gone on so many new adventures. I want to give that opportunity to other women, so I agreed to help plan rides and events for the SLC Litas. We’ve lost a number of girls in the past due to not having regular rides, and because some feel left out. It’s hard though; since we haven’t done events frequently, when we do get together, we all want to catch up with each other. But we all really want to meet new ladies, new women who want to ride and want to be involved. Today’s our shot to welcome new girls and add some new members.
April 18, 2017
Overall the ride was a success. I arrived at Beer Bar just after 12:30, parked next to an orange and white Triumph, and Jess’ bike. I pulled in super close to ensure at least a few more bikes could fit in the spot. The place was mostly empty, which ended up being great for conversation, it also made it easy to find Jess, and a girl who I recognized, but had never met. Her name is Alex, and I realized I recognized her from Instagram, she is one of the few girls that regularly tags the Salt Lake Litas, and I love her for it. Not long after I arrived Kathleen, one of the girls we met last summer and has become a regular at our events, walked in. We started chatting while perusing the menu, and it wasn’t long before a few more girls showed up. One being Martina, a babe I met at the Garage during the March Bikes and Burgers. At the time she was VERY pregnant, and has since had her child, so I was shocked (and super excited) when she walked the door.
A few more ladies showed up around 1, having been delayed by a protest that was marching down 200 East, so the police had blocked off any traffic between State Street and 300 East. That essentially meant the block in front of the bar was completely blocked off. (Also any of the corresponding blocks both north and south of the bar.) Eventually there were nine of us chatting, laughing and talking about summer plans. There were five new ladies in all, a pretty good turn out. It was a small enough group that we could all participate in the conversation and everyone seemed to be excited for future rides. Eventually, after we all had finished our food, we headed out to our bikes to start the ride. Most of us had been able to fit in the one spot, right in front of Johnny’s on Second (the bar right next door.)
As we walked out to our bikes, we began to draw a crowd. People began spilling out onto the patio to watch us gear up, and to marvel at the 9 women on motorcycles. I’ve never really gotten used to the stares that we get when we ride together, that moment that people realize that all of the bikes belong to women. It’s empowering and confusing at the same time. You want to scream, DAMN RIGHT, but it always makes me wonder why people seem so surprised. It’s so clearly because when people see 7 bikes lined up outside a bar, just about everyone expects that its men, so really it’s just nice to break that stereotype.
I led the group up State Street and into the Avenues; we took the loop around City Creek Park, down Victory and then took 89 the rest of the way (deciding that Orchard was too rundown). Upon reaching Nielsen’s we all parked, and rather quickly decided that we were all too cold for frozen yogurt. So we rode a short ways to Sip’s Coffee, an outdoor drinks spot just off of 89. After we received our drinks, we went and sat down (in the sun to warm up) and chatted for quite a while. The conversation mostly revolved around MC’s and the rules when starting a “club” or really any organization to stay on the good side of any local clubs. We talked about the struggle some of our branches have had with MC’s in the different cities, and how our UK branches, have to follow the strictest rules to avoid angering the clubs over there. We also noted some of the more well know 1% clubs in the area much to the surprise of some of our girls. It was surprising to me that a number of the girls were unaware of the local clubs and the potential issues they may have, even with a group of women who just like to ride.
As I stated before the ride was an overall success. For me, it was really encouraging to meet so many new faces, after feeling slightly discouraged after a few sparsely attended events at the Garage. The best part is the girls that text or otherwise messaged to say they couldn’t come but were excited for future events. It’s nice to know that there is still interest and that there are still plenty of women who want to find others with whom to ride. It also helps me to feel like I am helping other women find each other and giving them a place; doing for them what the Litas has done for me.
If you are interested in the Litas, including finding a branch in your area, please check out the main webpage www.thelitas.co. The next Salt Lake “event” is tonight (Wednesday 4/19) at the Garage on Beck.