Women riders head to Daytona Beach for Bike Week

By Julie Broughton - Anchor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Bike Week is in full swing, drawing nearly half a million bikers to Daytona Beach and more than ever, women are hopping off the back of the bike and into the driver's seat.

About one-fourth of motorcycle owners are now female.

"I bought my husband his first bike," says Joni Brooks.

That was in 2006. Then Brooks decided to purchase her own custom Harley. It's even signed by one of the Davidson family members.

Brooks tells us she's a corporate executive in her "real life," and a motorcycle enthusiast in her spare time. She credits riding with saving her marriage.

"Just being together. And once I felt stable in my marriage then I bought my own bike."
Other women, like Ruth Murphy, first rode as a child.

"I've been riding since 1971. It doesn't matter what you ride as long as you're riding," she said. "It's better than the beach, better than a massage. I'm a different person."

Murphy is enjoying Bike Week with two friends, one of whom started riding again after a debilitating car accident.

"It sat in the garage for a year and then I got back on it and I attribute it to saving my life," said Kim Lafferty.

"We ride just as well as men," Murphy adds.

Several area businesses cater to female riders, including Roar Motorcycles in Daytona Beach and Chaps and Bags in Edgewater.

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