Gather a group of motorcycle riders together and there's an palpable feeling of raising the energy. Make that a core group of predominantly women enthusiasts intent on adventure, learning and camaraderie and you'll ratchet up the energy level and impetus for positive change even more.
I've just returned from the American Motorcyclists Association's (AMA) sixth International Women and Motorcycling Conference (IWMC) in Carson City, NV. Once again I've been irrevocably touched and inspired. It's what draws people from across the continent and the ocean.
This is possible only because of the collective efforts of the unique community which forms for a common purpose. Here are 5 key contributors:
First and foremost, the AMA provides the vision, leadership and infrastructure to support such an event. Tremendous resources of people, expertise and finances are required to plan and organize four action-packed days.
People of Carson City and Virginia City
Local and state officials, public health (health fair), Carson High School, tourism folks and residents all pitched in right from the start and welcomed us with open arms, going out of their way to accommodate hundreds of riders. The wild west history combined with the desert, mountains and canyons made it a rider's paradise - whether one rode on or off-road.
As our community evolves, so too does its wisdom and the emergence of leaders. Whether one wanted to learn more about pushing past fear and perceived barriers, technical gadgets, proven health benefits of riding, accomplishments of early women riders, racing, maintenance, helmet construction, choosing the right motorcycle or women in the business, a subject matter expert was there to impart knowledge.
Sponsors and Exhibitors
Significant financial resources are required to pull these events off and keep them affordable for participants. This group also contributed through demo rides, informative and educational displays.
All of the above attract change agents. These are the incredible people lured by adventure, the opportunity to meet with like-minded others, travel with friends, cement relationships with people we've gotten to know through twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, establish new friendships and share experiences with close and geographically dispersed friends.
There were pioneers, leaders, adventurers, friends - sharing a common interest of motorcycles.
While the event is now over, the change it has enlivened moves forward. When positive energy is raised, the momentum cannot be contained within any boundaries.
Motorcycling teaches us much about life. Its universal messages can transform our personal and professional life and influence those around us. Like carrying the Olympic torch, it's up to each one of us to continue that energy for the betterment of all.
Liz Jansen, Ontario, Canada, is an author,entrepreneur, adventurer -- and rider extraordinaire.
She creates motorcycle experiences that instill a sense of adventure, freedom and community while traveling the transformative road to personal and professional leadership. Liz has worked with individuals, corporate clients, manufacturers, retailers and provincial and regional tourism associations. She is also a certified motorcycle instructor.
Liz's book Women, Motorcycling and the Road to Empowerment uses motorcycling as a metaphor to demonstrate the self-discovery and transformation that occurs when we challenge ourselves. Go to http://www.lizjansen.com/ for details.
For a toolbox of motorcycle related tips, go to http://www.trilliumtours.com/.