RACING PAST NORMS: Charman Hutchinson and April Ryan at the Morgan Park event, with Ms Ryan riding and kicking goals.
RACING PAST NORMS: Charman Hutchinson and April Ryan at the Morgan Park event, with Ms Ryan riding and kicking goals.

The women shifting gears in motorcycle culture

MOTORPSPORT: IN HER nine-to-five grind, April Ryan works in a corporate office, but on the weekends she ditches the business scene for a different world all together

Swapping heels for headgear, the Brisbane motorcyclist said there’s nothing like taking to the track as she did today at Morgan Park’s The Motorcycle Sportsmen of QLD track day.

“In my job, you have to be really presentable and deal with senior management and then I come out here in the pits, with dirt on me and I haven’t showered properly for like three days.”

“It’s such a different world.”

The rider started five years ago after finally taking the plunge and hasn’t looked back since, attributing her addiction to the strong support base of the sport.

“One of the key things is that everyone has a kinship, regardless of who you are, what you are, and what you ride,” she said.

“It’s weird when you meet people who don’t ride and you find yourself really boring because you don’t have anything else to talk about.

“It really takes over your life.”

It was the second time Ms Ryan had come out to Morgan Park this year with her brand new bike, and had achieved a PB of 1.39 to show for it.

“I used to only do the Ladies Day every year and bring a different bike because I was a uni student back when it started, and I would buy a bike, sell it straight after and then buy another,” she said.

“So it’s good to get used to one and know how the bike’s going to react to the track.”

While Ms Ryan admitted the sport could be a boy’s club at times, more and more women were getting involved and she hoped the numbers would only continue to swell.

“There’s a female group called East Coast Female Eiders that I’m in that was made to literally give more support to women,” she said.

“A lot of the time, guys may say they’re really appreciative of it but you’ll find that’s not necessarily the case or they try and pretend that they are. It can get a bit much.

“It sucks being held back by any gender expectations or norms and I think that a lot of the time women have a lot to give and if they want to ride they should definitely go for it.”



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