For the Shift Kickers, a women’s motorcycle group, riding is about enjoying life and making friends.
For Suzan Lamey, who lives in Brooklyn Park, riding a motorcycle is a form of therapy.
Being out in the elements, seeing the sights, “It’s like watching a fire. It’s very soothing and relaxing,” she said.
That’s what got her hooked on riding a few years ago. She was also looking at getting a scooter to use in her pet-sitting business. Lamey had never given much thought to motorcycles.
“Until you experience it, you don’t understand it,” she said.
In 2009, she joined a local motorcycle group for women that had just gotten started, called the Shift Kickers, which she stumbled upon through Meetup.com.
Now she’s a co-organizer of the social group that plans various outings near and far, including rides that might go for an hour or for days, often weekly during the warmer months.
In the wintertime, their “offseason,” the Shift Kickers get together monthly to talk about motorcycles and to catch up, she said. The group’s next cold-weather gathering is coming up April 6 at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill in Roseville.
“It’s a chance for people to get know each other outside of riding,” she said.
Traveling as a pack
In the past year, the group has grown to more than 200 members, reflecting a trend of more women getting involved in motorcycling in recent years, she said.
The group is made up of all ages and all walks of life and comes from across the metro area.
Some are seasoned riders; others are just getting started, she said.
During the rides, the Shift Kickers travel as a pack. Safety is the top priority, and everyone watches out for one another, she said.
Through the years, the group has gone to see Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, toured a number of cheese curd factories in Wisconsin and visited the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.
Occasionally, the bikers have even traveled across the country, going as far as Eureka Springs, Ark.
Often on these trips Lamey takes the lead position. “I enjoy seeing all of those headlights behind me,” she said.
But it’s also fun to be in the middle of the pack, or the “tail runner” — the biker at the back, she said.
They make for quite a spectacle on the road. Often, the women get a lot of thumbs-ups while they’re out and about.