Do you ride like a girl? Check these videos!

French stuntwoman Sarah Vignot girl

Have you ever been told you ride like a girl? It’s meant as a friendly banter, but it is insulting to women and a negative stereotype for young girls.

For motorcycling to grow, we need more female riders. But as long as this macho element of insulting riders for “riding like a girl” exists, it may be difficult to attract more women.

Such expressions are not only insulting to women, they also deter young girls from biking and are insulting to many men.

But not me!

I’m not insulted. In fact, I’m flattered. There are many talented female riders I would love to be able to ride like. Just check out the video of French stuntwoman Sarah Vignot at the top of the page or Kaitlin Riley in the video below!

How about Aussie racers such as Allison Parker, Kristie Gillespie, Jemma Wilson and Kristie McKinnon? How about UK women such as Becky Cook, Beryl Swain, Maria Costello and Jenny Tinmouth? And how about seven-time motorcycle land speed record holder, Valerie Thompson, of the USA?

Valerie Thompson rides like a girl
Speed champ Valerie Thompson

How about Aussie racers such as Allison Parker, Kristie Gillespie, Jemma Wilson and Kristie McKinnon? How about UK women such as Becky Cook, Beryl Swain, Maria Costello and Jenny Tinmouth? And how about seven-time motorcycle land speed record holder, Valerie Thompson, of the USA?

Author, mother and racer Leigh Hutton says she has heard people use the expression “ride like a girl”, especially when the Canadian migrant started racing in Australia.

“I think there has been a shift to the positive, though, especially since girls like Jess Gardiner have been doing so well and beating a lot of guys at major events,” she says.

Leigh Hutton, author of The Go Girls Chronicles female rider
Leigh Hutton, author of The Go Girls Chronicles

“Acceptance of women in motorcycle sport and riding in general has come leaps and bounds since I first arrived in Australia 12 years ago. Back then, we didn’t have our own class for Enduro racing, and there were few girls racing even the MX events I went to. 

“Over the years I’ve seen more and more girls and women taking up the sport, but when this shift first began, I’d say sexism in the sport peaked. All of a sudden, girls were getting more recognition and sponsorship and taking some of the money and the spotlight off the male riders. It’s taken girls like Allison Parker and Kristie Gillespie, and more recently Jess Gardiner, Meghan Rutledge, Mackenzie Tricker, Tayla Jones, Kristie McKinnon, Jemma Wilson et al – who are going fast (or in Kristie’s case, going big on a trials bike) and beating a lot of guys at major events – to silence those who doubted the allocation of money for things like international events for the women.”

Do you ride like a girl
Leigh, sister Rosie and father Gordon

So saying someone rides like a girl isn’t really an insult. In fact, it could be saying the rider is fast, trains hard and is gifted.

Leigh says it is a pleasant change to see talented female riders now garnering sponsorship without needing to “shed their clothes”.

“They are being respected as athletes, which I think could be one of the most telling signs that attitudes are changing,” she says.

Leigh is helping to create motorcycling as an aspirational sport for young women with her first novel in the Go Girls Chronicles series called Rev Girl in which the hero is a female dirt-bike racer.

“I’m so proud and excited to be raising my motorbike-crazy daughter in this day and age when a women’s champion like Jess Gardiner is getting nearly the same recognition and attention as many of the top male riders. Because she deserves it,” she says. 

“I think on a smaller scale, the term ‘Ride like a girl’ can still be heard in a derogatory sense. However #likeagirl has become a phrase female athletes from a range of sports are using to show pride in their abilities and achievements, especially in male-dominated sports. It’s almost turned a derogatory, sexist comment into a statement: We are girls and we can do it the same as you or even better!”

Rev Girl and Jump Girl booksBut Leigh warns female riders that it is vitally important to take the time to pick a bike that is the right size and seek professional instruction so that they are confident to ride safely.

“We need to make sure our bikes aren’t too heavy and that our style is good so we can keep smashing any stereotypes that girls ride ‘like girls’, as if that’s a bad thing.”

Leigh has just released her second novel, “Jump Girl”. You can download the books now.


  1. I believe there is a very big difference between a joke and fact and that is what we have to teach everybody. Saying to someone that they rider/drive like a girl as a joke should not be considered insulting.

    Let me explain a bit…

    Most riders are not racers or not professional rider, they are casual, on the road, in the traffic riders. There are studies out there and it is proven that due to the chemical and anatomical differences between a men and a woman there also is a difference in the way we drive/ride in certain conditions. For example, a female rider/driver does not have same stamina of a male a fact that is directly related to the type of muscle they have and the muscles males have. We (men) have extra slow muscles (Red Muscle Fibers) that react slower but give us more stamina and that means that a male rider can ride longer. In some cases men can lack these muscles meaning that they can`t ride as much as others, making his muscle structure similar to a female rider, thus… he rides like a girl.
    On the other side, a female rider has a view angle bigger than of a male with up to 11 degrees, meaning that their brain is aware on a larger angle meaning that their brain records and reacts on a larger scale.

    That is not called” insulting to women and a negative stereotype for young girls” it is simple anatomy.
    Why does everybody negate the facts and choose this false “politically correctness”?

    Peggy, the debate will allays exist until we (all, men and women) accept the fact that there are real differences that dictate who and how we are, making us different in every aspect of life. Otherwise, we would all be the same, dress the same, look the same, act the same… we would loose our identity and stop being humans.

    1. 320 words used to justify insulting women. Nice work. You forgot to include gay people, black people, Asians, short people, blondes, and Harley riders.

  2. Sad to see there is still any debate! Did I fight all that prejudice for nothing, back in the 1960s? It’s up to men to accept women as ‘different and equal’. It should not be pushed on to women, over and over again, to prove the point. – Peggy Hyde, road racer 1960s/1970s.

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