Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Harley-Davidson Dealership Hosts A ‘Garage Party’

By Matt Sanctis, Staff Writer

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Phinana Crite of Springfield was about 20 years old when she took her brother’s motorcycle for a test drive.

She ended up crashing through a row of bushes and into a neighbor’s yard. Although she still rides occasionally as a passenger, she never drove a motorcycle again.

But on Wednesday, March 31, Crite, along with about 30 other area women, packed the showroom of Mid-Ohio Harley-Davidson in Springfield to spend a few hours getting comfortable with the bikes. For three hours, the businesses hosted a free women-only “garage party,” teaching guests about everything from proper clothing to how to pick up a motorcycle once it falls to the ground.

Even though she hasn’t driven in years, Crite said she’s thinking of learning to ride again.

“It’s kind of a way to challenge myself instead of just looking on,” she said.

Jennifer Cubbage, marketing director for Mid-Ohio Harley, said there are more women like Crite every year.

In the early 1990s, women only made up about 4 percent of new Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders, Cubbage said. Now, that number is about 12 percent.

This is the third year the business hosted the event, and Wednesday’s was the biggest turnout so far, with about 30 participants, Cubbage said.

Jody Best of Vandalia was one of several women Wednesday who tried to pick up one of the motorcycles after it was laid on its side. Employees showed how to crouch and use momentum from the legs and backside to get the bikes upright.

Best already rides, but the party was a chance for her to gain more confidence on the vehicles and meet other female riders.

Patricia Woods-Smith of Springfield has been riding dirt bikes since she was 7. But she said there’s always something new riders can learn.

“I really find it as a freedom to express yourself,” Woods-Smith said of riding. “It’s something where no one else has any control. It’s you.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0355 

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