In an exhilarating interview, we spoke with Taylor Rooks on her unforgettable ride in a Polaris Slingshot, marking the 17th Annual International Female Ride Day on May 6th.
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As Polaris commemorates this special occasion, the focus turns to celebrating women who revel in the world of motorcycling, off-roading, and various motorsport activities. Breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes, International Female Ride Day serves as a rallying call to empower women and demonstrate that riding is not exclusively a man’s domain.
Taylor Rooks, joined by the esteemed Porshe Taylor, Founder of Black Girls Ride, embarked on a thrilling journey through the vibrant streets of Houston, embodying the spirit of inclusivity and advocating for women in power sports. Get ready to dive into this remarkable conversation as Taylor shares her exhilarating experience and highlights the importance of embracing women’s participation in the world of wheels.
You can learn more about her ride and women’s role in Powersports below.
Can you tell us more about the 17th Annual International Female Ride Day and what it represents to you and women everywhere?
IFRD is a global day celebrating the cultural, social and active lifestyles of women who ride and enjoy motorcycling and powersports. The day also marks a call to action for fast-tracking gender equality, awareness, and respect for women in motorcycling or motorsport. Created by Vicki Gray, IFRD is all about riding in celebration, unity, and support. IFRD promotes all women (those who identify as a woman) in motorcycling and encourages other women to take up the activity.
For me, it represents going on an adventure and trying something new. It’s something that makes a person feel empowered and it’s something that makes you feel part of a community, and for women that is particularly important. It’s fantastic that Polaris is continuing to push forward the movement that is women in power sports and encouraging us to be a part of something special. International female ride day is a momentous time for all women to be a part of that movement.
What specifically attracted you to Polaris and making this ride?:
The people at Polaris working to promote inclusivity within Powersports were genuine and passionate in every interaction we had. From the individual site operators/owners to their executive team, I felt the purest intentions in Polaris’ vision. Riding is fun and they want everyone to have that experience at least once.
Why is it important to encourage women to participate in motorcycling, off-roading, and other motorsport activities?
It’s important to encourage women to participate in these activities not only to be empowered but also to expand and support the community of women riders that has been built. This is the 17th International Female Ride Day, it’s growing and more and more women are turning to riding as an outlet or to just get outside and do something different. During my slingshot ride with Polaris, when I rode with Porsche Taylor from Black Girls Ride, I felt the welcoming support from her and I think that community aspect is pivotal for a woman who is new to riding. And on the flip side I also think it’s fortifying the community to welcome new women into the fold.
How did you react to your first ride in a Polaris Slingshot?: as soon as I got behind the wheel, I just felt so alive. There were some adjustments I had to make, like the fac there is no rearview mirror and you are so low to the ground. But once I started driving, the excitement took over! The wind in my hair and my music playing made me feel happy and free. My favorite part was stopping at stoplights and watching everybody’s eyes light up as they noticed this bright blue Slingshot jamming out next to them.
How does Polaris champion inclusivity and advocacy for women in powersports?
Polaris champions inclusivity and advocacy for women in powersports through supporting and highlighting women riders all across the globe through their Empower Sports Women Riding Council. The council joins women from all backgrounds and riding terrains as respected representatives of their sports, who will meet regularly with Polaris leaders to discuss breaking down barriers including increasing diverse female representation, combating biases and demystifying the sport for more women.
The council is made up of distinguished women who are riders, adventurers, leaders and entrepreneurs who bring unique perspectives and insights to the powersports space, Empowersports Women’s Riding Council members are champions for advocacy, empowering women, building community, sparking adventure and fostering safety.
How can events like International Female Ride Day help to break the stigma that powersports is a man’s sport?
IFRD breaks the stigma of powersports because there’s thousands of women riding groups including Black Girls Ride, The Litas, Windy City Women Riders MC, and more all over the world. It’s always empowering seeing someone like you, do something that some might deem unexpected or categorize for men. I think it is a sight to see, all these women hit the road and take different paths on their motorcycles, ORVs, Slingshots, or whatever they choose to ride and just have fun. It’s truly a testament of the saying, “ if I can do it, you can do it.” Anybody can do it, it’s for everyone.
Did Polaris let you in on plans to further support and promote women in powersports?
While I’m new to the powersports world, I am so excited to do more Polaris adventures. I took a spin in the Slingshot, and I’ve had my eye on the snowmobiles for a minute. I’m game for more to say the least and can’t wait to see the women in powersports community flourish even more.
Lastly, what would you like to see in the future of women’s participation in motorsport activities?:
I would say just that – for women to simply participate. I’m sure it can seem a bit intimidating or scary to hop in or jump on something they have never rode before, but as long as they have the desire and the guidance, all women should feel empowered to give powersports a try. Whether it’s a Slingshot or an ORV or snowmobile, I would say there’s something we all can enjoy.