The concept of International Female Ride Day (IFRD) and the International Ride Day history, actually rooted in a much earlier idea by its founder, finally came to reality with its introduction in Canada on that first Friday in May, 2007. It is the sole brain child of motorcyclist Vicki Gray, owner and founder of MOTORESS , an avid globally known motorcycling advocate. It initially began as a national event with the intent to become an International campaign. But in its first year, the “JUST RIDE! ” idea caught fire and went global.
Women motorcycle riders in Canada, across the United States, The Netherlands and Australia joined in. Embraced by thousands of women riders made its introduction an international success. Its achievements continue to drive it forward today, now a decade later and permanently etched into every woman rider’s agenda – now the first Saturday in May.
International Female Ride Day History
International Female Ride Day is a MOTORESS initiative—“connecting women with motorcycling” created by its director, an avid motorcycle enthusiast, Vicki Gray. Canada is where MOTORESS International main offices are, after relocating from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
“The day was born with the purpose of emphasizing the fact that many women ride and enjoy motorcycling at all levels. My initiative of implementing a day where female motorcyclists simply got on their motorcycles and rode would truly underline this fact”, stated Vicki Gray.
International Female Ride Day additionally promotes women in motorcycling and encourages other women to take up the activity. The numbers of women motorcycle riders steadily increases, and certainly more so in recent decades (women’s social values have changed, advanced, etc.)
International Female Ride Day provides a platform for women riders to bond with other women, develop friendships and continue to enjoy motorcycling!” exclaims Gray.
In its conceptual design, step one was to introduce the campaign under the principle of a synchronized day where women globally would simply “JUST RIDE!“. Ms Gray recalled similar successful campaigns such as “Live Aid” the famed coördinated music concerts to help HIV/Aids. Also the successful American motorcycle safety campaign “Ride to Work Day“. These global actions combined with a long-term goal of becoming a standard in women rider’s lives just as “mother’s day” has become.
“These goals, and the fact that every woman riding on International Female Ride Day becomes the woman rider role-model in her area; a representative of International Female Ride Day and its mission. It worked!”, states Gray.
During its humble introduction in late 2006 targeting the first Friday in May (which during 2007 was on 4 May) participation exceeded expectations!“When you introduce a unique new concept or campaign, you really don’t know how or even if it would be received”, states Gray. “The success was overwhelming and not just within Canada!”
In 2008 International Female Ride Day observed women riders and activities in Australia, Greece; the further reaches of North America, England and The Netherlands. There were even a few women at locations in Russia who promoted the day locally and participated.
Within one year International Female Ride Day became embraced, decidedly, by women riders themselves. It’s a campaign that hit the chord of every woman motorcycle enthusiasts soul and is here to stay.
Each year the campaign continues to expand and grow to such a way that has truly given it a phenomena or “movement” status. It is the largest campaign, the only campaign in the world for women riders.