When it comes to representation in certain spaces, Black women are often underrepresented, misrepresented or not represented at all. While these spaces would likely fail to exist without their contributions, they still fall short of welcoming them with open arms. When Porsche Taylor left her role as a marketing manager at Adidas in search of her life’s purpose, she decided to merge her passions for writing and motorcycles to create Black Girls Ride. The field of women in motorcycling within the print media space was nearly nonexistent—that is, until Taylor decided to change things up.
“Black Girls Ride Magazine is the first motorcycle magazine geared toward women of color, created on New Year’s Day in 2011. What I realized, at the time, was that there were only two women's platforms [dedicate to the subject], and none of them spoke to my community," shares Taylor. "The goal was to educate women on bikes and technology, on how to learn how to ride safely but also think about technology and gear that works to keep women ergonomically comfortable on rides. It evolved over time, but was designed to put a face to this community that I knew existed but had no representation in motorsports.”
The CEO feels that while society might say otherwise, Black women have always been active participants in motorsports.
“If we were to let society tell us, they would say that there were no meaningful contributions of Black women to motorsports since Bessie Stringfield rode in the thirties and forties, and we just know that's not true," says Taylor. "Black women have always been in the Black motorcycle community. We’ve been the ones creating, supporting events, cooking and handling everything for the campouts and registration for different rides, etc. With Black Girls Ride, you see us less in a service capacity, and more as participants in the ride. My goal was to showcase us on the ground, moving from state to state, what we look like on two wheels.”
As to be expected in such a community, sisterhood is an overarching theme. Taylor says there is a strong culture of women doing their best to help other women navigate the ropes.
“We are inclusive, and it's a safe space to ask questions about motorcycling. When we plan our rides, our goal is always to make everyone feel included and to make sure everyone has a great time," explains the Black Girls Ride founder. "The sisterhood in the community is wonderful. More times than not, you will see women go out of their way to help other women learn the lifestyle and how to travel and just motivate us to become better riders.”
While the platform is open to riders from various backgrounds, Taylor clarifies that Black women will always be the focal point.
“Black Girls Ride is definitely all-inclusive, and all riders are welcome, but we are unapologetic about the space we take up regarding being Black women on the ground. If the industry had been all-inclusive, as everyone says, then there would be no need for us," she continues. "The truth is, when it came to representation, we saw a lane and we built the road. I'm proud to watch the women that come behind us build their own lanes, too.”