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Not so long ago, seeing a girl on a motorbike was pretty unusual. And, if you did see one, you probably thought they had hairy armpits and spat! Bike riders had, and still do have, a pretty negative image.

Consider the benefits of a motorbike though: bikes are cheaper to buy than a car, cheaper to insure, cheaper to run, a breeze to park especially if you want to park close to where you are going, cheaper to fill with petrol, travel miles and miles on the smell of an oily rag and look REALLY great! Besides, you get to wear leather in all seasons and, if you're the one riding, you can have a cute guy hanging onto you from the pillion seat.

The not so good points? Bikes are not really designed for families, difficult if you have a lot of 'luggage' you want to cart around, cold in winter, hot in summer and have no radio. They mess your hair up and you can't use a mobile while you're riding one. Actually, maybe that last point is a good one! A lot of people will also tell you how dangerous they are but, if you're careful and watch of for lunatic car drivers, you'll be okay.

Don't let anyone tell you that you can ride a big bike because you're a girl either! You'll need to start out with a 250cc bike which is pretty small and light and then, if youÕve still got the bug, upgrade to something bigger. If someone tells you you shouldn't ride a bike you can't pick up, ignore them. You can always flag down a passing motorist to help you.

If you're wondering what sort of bike to get, there are two main BIG differences - cruiser style and racing. The difference is the position you sit in. On a cruiser you are more upright and most cruisers are chrome and colour and VERY nice. Harley Davidson motorcycles are cruisers. Racers are more like a jockey position with your feet under or behind your knees. Whichever you choose though, you're bound to have a great time!

Today, when you're driving around, have a really close look at who is riding motorcycles. Sometimes it's difficult to decide if the rider is a male or a female with the helmet on but, I think you'll be surprised just how many females you'll see. Perhaps it's a reflection of the changing role of females in society where they are having children later and taking part in many arenas traditionally considered as male domains. or perhaps it's just because riding a motorcycle is fun!

Screaming down the highway (within the speed limit of course) with the wind rushing past is really an amazing feeling. There are lots of fair weather bike riders, both male and female, who change to a car at the first sign of rain. Others are out in full wet weather gear in all temperatures and conditions. Are they crazy? I don't think so.... but then, I'm one of them!