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A Day to Remember

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Organized ride for International Female Ride Day brings more than 150 out to AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

July 5, 2023 (story from the July edition of American Motorcyclist)

By Keaton Maisano

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum was a bit busier than usual on Saturday, May 6.

The reason for the influx of riders stemmed from the celebration of International Female Ride Day, which inspired the Capital City Ride that had more than 150 riders register to come to the museum. Michelle Roach, organizer of the ride, said the event was a long time coming.

“We’ve been trying to do it for a while,” Roach said, “and I know there is a big base of lady riders here in Ohio, but I finally get to see it, and it feels good to say, ‘Hey, we’re here. Ohio riders are here.’”

Roach, who grew up with motorcycling and the AMA, went on several female rides throughout the years. Riding with the likes of Porsche Taylor — 2021 AMA Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award winner — and Vicki Gray — founder of International Female Ride Day in 2007 — Roach used her past experiences to help organize the ride.

“[My co-host] Carol [Garner] and I took something from each ride we attended since 2016 and we added that feature in ours,” Roach said. “I wanted to make sure they got everything they needed and enjoyed themselves, but most of all, I wanted them to have a reason to ride together.”

With participants from as far as Texas and Florida, Roach said the turnout was overwhelming and unexpected.

“It was tear-jerking, but I couldn’t let them see me cry,” Roach said while laughing.

Thanks to the ride’s sponsors, participants were met with a hot meal, which offered options of fried chicken, brisket and more.

While putting an emphasis on having a good time, Roach also noted the ride stressed the importance of inclusivity. Roach said being welcomed in by the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum to see the many female hall of famers meant a lot, so it was important that the ride brought together people of all races and skill levels.

“We welcomed everyone into this ride,” Roach said. “The goal for this ride was to unite women into a safe space where we can connect, [experience] fellowship and just network. A lot of ladies met new friends and connected with old friends. That’s the whole goal: just to get out there and ride.”

Roach said the plan is do another ride in 2025.

“This was the 17th annual [International Female Ride Day] and it’s going to keep going.” Roach said. “If I can do my part in bringing these ladies together here in Ohio — and from all over to come to Ohio — that’s exactly what I’ll do.”