Ladies First Track Day | Track Time

By Kristi Martel, Photography by Brian "jig" Moore

That’s it: I’m having a track day for my bachelorette party. If Sportbike Track Girl can get 50 women together for something like this, I can get my best gal-pals on the track to celebrate my last days as a single lady. Now all I have to do is get some sucker to propose...

If you’re a diehard feminist who can’t stand having a door held open, this might not be for you. I love being treated like a lady, so nothing pleased me more than joining this Ladies First Track Day, held just for women at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan, this past July. Apparently, there are lots of women who just don’t feel right getting on a racetrack for the first time with a bunch of dudes. And who can blame them? Testosterone and gasoline can be a scary combination, especially when some alpha-male spots the ponytail that says a chick has just passed him! At least one gal I interviewed said she wouldn’t have come if the event hadn’t catered specifically to women.

Brainchild of the Sportbike Track Time crew, this Ladies First Track Day offered all the usual amenities: tire service, raffles, photo-graphy and three different riding groups based on experience. But you don’t throw an all-female track day without a few extras. There were special seminars and on-track instruction for riders in the least-experienced group, a tire information clinic and two-up rides with the handsome and quick David Grey, Director of Sportbike Tire Service, plus a registration goodie bag and a set of women’s leathers to wear for the day.

All sorts of lady riders were welcome, from shy, timid types to full-aggro. And Sportbike Track Girl www.sportbiketrackgirl.com members paid a discounted $105 entry fee. One woman in my group had ridden for 20 years, but never on a track. Another had tried track riding before, but felt she’d improved here thanks to the coaching. The women in attendance were seriously pleased with the day and excited about coming back, including one church secretary who truly came to life out there.

I was over the moon to have a paddock full of men ready to set the rear stand when I pulled in, and to ride at any pace I wanted without hearing, “You’re fast—for a girl.” The only things missing were lap times, immaculate bathrooms and freshly peeled grapes.

Riding Grattan Raceway was the best part of the day. This little technical gem is tucked away in a lakeside community 25 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. You absolutely must stay at Belding’s locally owned Candlestone Resort and Golf Course for reasonably priced rooms and more reasonably priced glasses of wine. I fell in love with the event, the organizers and the new friends with whom I rode. The Ladies First Track Day is supposed to be an annual event, so keep your eyes peeled for the next one, girls.

In the meantime, gentlemen, these drinks won’t buy themselves. This could be your lucky day—I’ve got a bachelorette party to plan...

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