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A growing sisterhood on wheels in Indiana’s motorcycle culture

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group quickly growing inside Indiana’s motorcycle culture is having an impact in and out of the motorcycle world.

Women are becoming a vital and influential part of motorcycle culture.

Jimmie “Tac” McMillian, president of the 317 Ryders MC, takes pride in women serving in leadership roles in the motorcycle club. “If you’ve ever been on the road with a woman and you pull up to the light, there’s a little girl sitting in that car. … The way they respond, just over-the-top eager, banging on the window waiting. So excited. It’s special.”

317 Ryder member Kim “All Out” Dennis said the sisterhood of hitting the pavement is rooted on being fiercely confident and free. “I have learned how to just be a family. I’ve learned bike tips right into care for your clothing, tips, fashions. We’re a family when it comes to our kids when it comes to our spouse.”

Another 317 Ryder member, Lynetta “Mocha” Miles, said, “I ride for the sport of it. It is fun. It is safe. I enjoy being out with the biker community.”

McMillian knows the impact of women riders by heart.

“My mom, she rode. I first learned with my father. My mom was a big part of my life of wanting to ride. She’s the main reason why I’m actually riding,” Mocha said. “She passed here (in) March … Like I said, this, this brings me closer every day. Of course, when I’m on this, I think about her constantly, every day, but … she’s a big big reason why I ride.”

Family and life changes are at the center of the riding journey for “Mocha.”

“It is one big family. To those who haven’t had or know about having a big family, this is just like that. I began in the motorcycle club around the time where I lost my husband. My son was going to college, leaving; he left. My other son was away. I needed a family. I was by myself. I was introduced through a good friend of mine, which is also a 317 Ryders MC, and I went to an interest meeting and they told me all about the club.”

Admiration of other women is a common starting point for many women riders. As the motorcycle industry continues to grow, women are a key part in moving the culture forward.

McMillan said, “We have women that put in more miles and … more time on their bikes than some men, and that is a power and it says a message to our women that ‘Hey, you can do anything.’”

Mocha said, “I encourage any women, any woman who wants to ride to take the initiative to do so. There is nothing like it.”

The goal of many women riders is to have fun but also promote independence, strength and nurture true interests for adventure, a true sisterhood on wheels.