The Litas was created so women could ride with like-minded women. It turned into a much larger movement to empower rad women in all their ventures
When I first started The Litas at 24, I had no idea it was going to turn into the global all-female motorcycle collective it is today. All I wanted to do was ride with other badass women motorcyclists, and it’s become something even more incredible.
I’m proud to say that since our inception, The Litas female motorcycle collective has grown to more than 8,000 riders, in over 250 cities and 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, and Portugal. It’s been amazing watching so many female motorcyclists come together over their love of riding and dedicate themselves to our message of inclusivity and empowerment. And it all started with an Instagram post.
In 2014 I saw a group of women riding together on Instagram and I wanted to do that too. I was still pretty green at that point–I had no idea how motorcycle collectives were started or organized, I didn’t know anything about the pins, ranks, or patches that you see in other motorcycle collectives. I just wanted to hang out with women who loved to ride as much as I do.
I ended up posting a message on Instagram looking for women in the Salt Lake City area that were interested in meeting up to ride. Only one girl showed up that first time, but it was still a ton of fun: we rode, we hung out, it was easy. After that I kept reaching out to other female motorcyclists and in about 6 months we had between 60 and 70 women showing up regularly to ride in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over the years, I’ve realized that a person’s hobbies and interests are reflective of the types of people they identify with. Having these hobbies helps them form communities of like-minded people, and specifically motorcyclists are incredibly dedicated people. To love motorcycling is a deep commitment, and people throw themselves wholeheartedly into it.
I knew I wanted The Litas to be a community for female motorcycle enthusiasts, but I wanted this group to be something completely different from anything else before it. I designed it by just making choices that made sense to me, and what resulted was pretty amazing.
Expanding Our Community
The idea of starting branches in other cities was in the back of mind from the first meet-up I had in SLC. Our meetups had allowed friendships of all kinds to cultivate and having people to do fun things with was the main reason I first reached out.
We do tons of stuff together: we ride, we camp, and I’ve made connections with women I would never have been able to have befriended otherwise. It felt natural to expand our group into other places so that other women who love motorcycles would have the same opportunities that we’d been loving. After about a year of meetups, I posted on social media asking if any women in other cities wanted to start their own local branches.
I had about 200 girls reach out saying they wanted to start their own local collectives, and I was taken aback by their response. It made me realize that a lot of women wanted the opportunity to ride with like-minded women, and that’s when I knew we really had the opportunity to grow something special.
A New Kind of Motorcycle Collective
When it comes to motorcycle groups, people love to categorize you based on who you are, what you do, what you look like–everything. But I refused to let that happen to the Litas. We’re a network of female riders. We respect each other and each other’s bikes, and we have rules like any other motorcycle collective. But we’re new, we’re different, we’re a community built around people who love to ride.
Of course, our most basic qualifier is our womanhood. As long as you identify as a woman, you can ride with Litas. The women of the Litas are fiercely inclusive and extremely diverse across all categories: riding experience, race, ethnicity, class, and marital status. The Litas is all about women feeling free on the open road, as well as supported in their relationships with each other.
Some will try and say that we’re feminist group, but personally I don’t like that stance: women and motorcycles aren’t a new thing, and to pigeonhole us as a stereotype-breaking group just for women and motorcycling is too limiting. It’s incredible to ride with other women, and seeing them come together to do something that’s out of the social norm is incredible.
Community & Female Motorcyclists
This is why community is so important for female motorcyclists. Women who take on the challenge of riding a motorcycle, cultivating their practice, gathering all their gear–they’re a special type of person. That kind of woman is strong and stubborn and doesn’t care about what other people think: that’s a rad woman and that’s what the Litas are all about.
Our group is meant to be a safe space for these types of women to go even further. At the same time that we’re encouraging our members to ride, we’re supporting each other in all of our own ventures. We believe that with each other, our members are just as likely to ride for hours on end, as build their own empires.