CARSON CITY, NV - Thousands of bikers from all over the country are gathering in Carson City this weekend for the International Women and Motorcycling Conference. The event is sponsored by the American Motorcyclist Association.
“It’s the AMA Motorcycle conference and it’s totally cool with all the women who come to ride motorcycles and be a part of this,” Rider Terri Gamino said. “Just seeing all the diversity sere, the diversity of women, of bikes and everybody coming together for the same cause; being a woman on a motorcycle.”
Allison Tunaley came in from Lookout, California and is spending the weekend with her family. Her parents are motorcycle enthusiasts as well.
“I’ve been riding more than half my life, over 34 years and my dad always encouraged me,” Tunaley said. “Just joining all these fabulous women in motorcycling, a lot of different bikes, different women, it’s nice to see all of them in one place.”
Friday deputies from the Carson City Sheriff’s Office put on a safety and skill demonstration for riders. The deputies go through extensive training.
“Especially here in Carson City we have a really extensive program,” Sgt. Mike Cullen said. “We train every month for a minimum of ten hours and we go to other training around the West Coast during the summer months and that training is pretty hard core.”
Tunaley says it’s never too late to start riding but stresses the importance of taking a safety course.
“If you want to do it, do it,” Tunaley said. “Take the motorcycle safety course, it’s a phenomenal course they’re everywhere and both novice and experienced riders can benefit. I took it after I’d been riding for ten years and I came out of these after three days a much better rider.”
Carson City Harley-Davidson offers classes every week.
“We have the safe riding course at our location and that’s one of the things that makes us so unique,” Carson City Harley-Davidson Owner Richard Tapia said. “We have the course on our property, the classroom, it’s great. It’s fantastic to be part of these events and being part of the community is what we’re all about.”
More women are taking to the roads on two wheels these days and say there’s nothing like it.
“It’s the freedom of riding, the freedom of being a woman on a motorcycle,” Gamino said.
“For me, it’s the peace,” Tunaley said. “This is the way to go, it’s just my Zen, my time just for me.”
The festivities run through Sunday.