I have fought against stereotypical images of woman since I can remember. That was one of the reasons, why I bought a Harley-Davidson, I guess.
It is not only the woman I am but the woman I was perceived to be, that made me want to change things all those years ago.
I bought my first bike, I was nineteen then, with the revolutionary spirit of a student ready to fight all odds. Especially the machos who tried to impose their views of how a woman should be. I was determined not to let that happen.
And it didn’t. But it was a hard fight.
Many women on wheels will know the feeling. They might have fought the same battles. Some did decades before I did. Real battles, too.
The female dispatch riders, common in World War II and not unknown of in World War I.
What amazing women they must have been. A life at war, much harder than it is today of course but the gender roles seemed easier to transgress at a time when nothing was as it should be and the men were fighting far away.
In the UK women started their Enfield bullets and rode through wind, weather and war. Truly spirited and very brave females.
Inspiration that still exists and quite obviously so in historical re-enactment: female performers with costumes and bikes of the forties proved that this weekend in Fort George in Scotland.
To re-create the past is what historical re-enactment is all about.
Sometimes the past seems more modern that the present, at least where women on wheels are concerned.