Posts Tagged ‘Stereotypes’

Leslie Porterfield

Bonneville Salt Flats.  It’s no stranger to speed records.

And if you stroll through the race pits now days you’ll probably notice a lot of ponytails beneath helmets.  And they belong to women racers!  Racing in general is no longer a male dominated sport and motorcycle racing is no exception.

Harley-Davidson has made no secret of their strong interest in the female motorcycle market.  From support of the Women Riders Month, the International Female Ride Day to the dealer garage parties, Harley is helping women all over the world to join together to ride and break down any old stereotypes.  In some ways this is old news because in 1915 the 20-year-old Effie Hotchkiss drove from New York to California on a 3-speed Harley.  Or if you prefer during WWII, Bessie Stringfield rode from Army base to Army base as the only woman in the Army’s motorcycle dispatch unit.  Solo women motorcycle riders are revving engines as much as the next guy.

Now we have the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, Leslie Porterfield (34).  Not only does she hold the world record as the fastest female on a motorcycle, but she owns and operates High Five Cycles (Dallas, TX).   And, among many other accomplishments she has become the first woman to earn inclusion in the prestigious Bonneville 200 mph Club.  The first woman in its 61 year history.  After a nasty crash in 2007 she came back in 2008 to set the land speed record of 232MPH in the 2,000cc turbocharged class (on a 2002 turbo-modified Suzuki Hayabusa) and in the 1,000cc production class (2008 Honda CBR 1000) set the record of 192MPH.  Then at the 2009 International Speed Trails she claimed top speed of the meet award with a 240MPH pass.  Motorcycle tuning is performed by Scott Horner (Heads Up Performance) and Rhys Griffiths (APEX Speed Technology).

It turns out that Ms. Porterfield is featured on the cover of MyTekLife Magazine’s current issue, and for those lucky enough to be in the area she will be visiting Buddy Stubbs Arizona Harley-Davidson.  She is the honored guest during the Hogs and Dogs event on June 26th.  The location is 13850 N. Cave Creek Road and the event will include an opportunity to get autographs, and hear Ms. Porterfield talk about what’s next and going faster.   As a sidebar, Mr. Stubbs has an extensive racing career too which includes winning the Daytona 100 mile race in 1963.

For reference — the world’s fastest motorcycle crown belongs to Chris Carr and Denis Manning who logged 367.382MPH through the measured mile.

Photo courtesy of MyTekLife Magazine’s

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lawschoolphpShe’s tough, tenacious, smart and demonstrated a willingness to take the Government to task.  I’m talking about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

She’s served on the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit for 10 years, heard over 3,000 cases and written over 380 opinions.  She has associated herself with and championed the cause of society’s oppressed and outcast. Sotomayor has written and spoke many times about her identity as a Puerto Rican and the “shock” she and others felt at the less-than-lofty place they held in America’s social fabric.  However, her writings are not limited to concerns about people who share her background. Sotomayor has often commiserated with other “minorities” who — through no fault of their own — found themselves disadvantaged.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently released papers which outline how Sotomayor has dealt with labels, discrimination or the bias of stereotypes.  She has taken strong anti-Government positions in several decisions including one case involving the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC).  The NYTimes reported in the 1994 case which Judge Sotomayor presided over, that jurors found in favor of the Motorcycle Club rejecting the government’s efforts to seize the 77 East Third Street clubhouse.  A federal lawsuit was filed under a 1984 law allowing the Government to seize property used in drug trafficking.  At the time the New York City Chapter of the motorcycle club was incorporated under NY state law as a religious, nonprofit organization, and the group that fought the seizure was formally known as the Church of Angels.

Given recent West Coast law enforcement events against motorcycle clubs that seems to be challenging the First Amendment’s guarantee to peacefully assemble, which the Court has interpreted to include “freedom of association”…. and other important issues like a motorcycle club’s identifying patches as a protected form of free speech…. being a motorcycle enthusiast who has faced two-wheel discrimination by public officials I applaud Sotomayor.  She has worked tirelessly for an America who often has a deeply confused image of itself that is in perpetual tension.

Photo courtesy of irreference.com

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