Thursday, May 8, 2008

Darden Reinowski on Getting "Down to Daytona" with Karen Davidson

by Darden Reinowski

Recently I traveled along with my crew and the Speed Channel to film the winners of Harley-Davidson’s Get Down to Daytona contest. We rode alongside with Karen Davidson, great granddaughter of co-founder William A. Davidson, and all six winners for the Women’s Ride at Bike Week 2008. The ride kicked off in Atlanta, heading to Savannah, on to St. Augustine, and finishing in Daytona. All this in Harley-Davidson’s efforts to encourage women to get behind the handlebars. The winners rode with their mentors who encouraged them to get on a Harley and learn to ride.
Darden Reinowski and Karen Davidson
Darden Reinowski and Karen Davidson "Get Down to Daytona"

Each women submitted a video to show how her mentor empowered her and supported her Harley journey. Two friends came together to inspire each other to get on a Harley and learn to ride, a daughter and father reunited, another woman was inspired by her father to push past her challenges, sisters connected through their motorcycles, a sister and brother bonded through learning to ride, and a woman’s dream came true when her boyfriend taught her to ride her own motorcycle. 
The six finalists were a blast to hang out with and interview: Carol Dicicco from Chalfont, PA; Tonya Lamia from Rockford, IL; Kimberly Ryon from Harford, PA; Shelli Strand from Birch Run, MI; Jennifer Thorne from Mt. Pleasant, PA; and Teresa Weston from Hermitage, TN.
We stopped at Harley-Davidson dealerships along the way to enjoy special parties and events for the winners, and encourage other ladies to ride motorcycles and boost their confidence in their ability to handle a bike. 
Along the way, folks were excited to see everyone riding through each city. Here, Ron Bigbie got some great footage of us rolling into the Savannah Harley-Davidson dealership. [We ride in around the 2:30 mark in the video below, and Karen's speech starts around 5:26]. 

Once in Daytona, the women joined in the Women’s Ride with hundreds of other female riders. A definitive bond had formed on the ride down south among the winners, all now part of the Harley family. The revving engines and energy reverberated through the crowd for a great end to the week. The video below from Women Riders Now features a look at the Women's Parade. 

Are you ready to ride? Check out Harley-Davidson's women rider community for info on learning to ride, finding a Garage Party, or getting your gear. 

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