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June 29, 2013

Women on 2 Wheels

Number of women motorcycle riders on the rise

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

For the most part it is has been a smooth transition. A few men still request help from her other male employees, but all in all people have come to rely on Sharon’s growing expertise.

Of course, owning a store that’s open seven days a week doesn’t allow Sharon as much free time to ride as she would like. Motorcycling still gives her that initial thrill of controlling a “big machine” despite her small stature, in the same arena as most men. Equality and power provide a buzz that many female riders can understand.

Too much power, Sharon found out, might not always be a good thing. Only recently did the 48-year-old sell her Honda CBR 650, more commonly known as a type of “crotch rocket.” Fun, she said, was a given with the “wicked” fast machine. Self-restraint and riding over her skill level tended to be a little more problematic.

“Speed and power are intoxicating and they will get you in jail or dead if you’re not careful. It took me a season of riding that bike to know that I needed to not ride that bike anymore or something bad would happen,” she said.

As women continue to evolve as bikers, Sharon said the industry will grow to meet their needs. Nothing but the open road remains ahead for this growing demographic.

“One day I thought what other industry or business could get in where there’s a whole new group of customers,” she said. “Can you think of one? What an opportunity.”

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