Women’s World November 2017
Smokey Mountain Women’s Motorcycle Summit
By Myra McElhaney
Transformational! Inspiring! Life changing! Amazing!
These are some of the adjectives I heard as women were preparing to leave the Women’s Motorcycle Summit – Smokey Mountain Edition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The summit, held October 6 through October 8, was hosted by the Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities (SHSC), a recognized 501c3 charitable organization.
SHSC’s mission is “to provide opportunities for women to develop and refine their skills while encouraging the art of women mentoring women and serving people in the motorcycle community.” After hosting several summits in the Rocky Mountains Joan Krenning, founder and director of Adventure and Lynn Martin, vice president of the SHSC Board of Directors wanted to bring the event to the Smokey mountains, too.
About thirty women (and a few good men who love and support them) rode in from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin.
From women in their early thirties to one in her mid-seventies and everything in between. Married, divorced, widowed and single. Women who had ridden for over forty years and women who had gotten their license just months ago.
The bikes, three-wheelers, trailers and a sling-shot in the parking lot attests that SHSC welcomes all types of riders. Women who ride their own, women who co-ride with their partners and women who aspire to ride someday are all welcomed and encouraged. BMW’s, Harley-Davidsons, Indians and Victory’s parked side-by side and shared the road.
“With our faces to the wind, we enjoy, collaborate, inspire each other to live life with no limits and die with no regrets,” says founder Joan Krenning.
The Hearthside Cabins “Big Moose Lodge” provided a spacious and luxurious base camp with a spectacular mountain view. With sixteen bedrooms, two hot tubs, a theatre room, pool table and an electric fireplace it provided ample space for the whole group as well as smaller areas for entertainment, conversation and connecting.
The kitchen and dining area was the gathering place for a home-cooked breakfast with everyone pitching in. The early risers helped with cooking and late risers took care of cleanup. There were always plates of fresh baked cookies on the counter!
The days were filled with rides around the local area, visits to nearby motorcycle shops for demonstrations, T-Clock workshops and motorcycle maintenance by Verhulst Motorcycle Service.
Inspirational speakers set the tone for the event. The founder encouraged women to become S.T.R.O.N.G. Smart, Tenacious, Radical, Outrageous, Natural and Grateful. Humorist, June Cline entertained with stories she calls IMO’s (Idiot Moments) about learning to ride. Happiness expert, Sandy Weaver taught techniques for living a happier life. Dr. Laura Ellis shared the Science of Peak Performance.
During the evenings there were dinners, a wine tasting and sharing stories around the fireplace. That still left time for sitting on the deck to enjoy the view or to soak in the hot tubs.
Guests enjoyed visiting Dollywood Theme Park and the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. A few braved the legendary Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, navigating 318 turns in 11 miles. The event closed with the blessing of the bikes.
Attendees met fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, made new friends and took home many memories to cherish. Many agreed to meet in the summer at the Rocky Mountain summit.
Don’t you hate that you missed this incredible jam-packed event? Don’t despair! They are already planning next year’s events. You can get your tickets and plan your next vacation around riding and experiencing one or both incredible events alone or with your riding buddies.
The Rocky Mountain Women’s Motorcycle Summit will be held June 10-16, 2018 in the San Juan mountains of Colorado where you can ride the “Million Dollar Highway” and the San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway.
The Smoky Mountain Women’s Motorcycle Summit will come back to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in October of 2018.
Visit www.womensmotorcyclesummit.com for information and to sign up for the newsletter to keep you posted on upcoming events.