HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – An international movement to celebrate women in motorsports is hitting the road in Huntington on Saturday, May 6.
The Valkyries Ladies Club, Huntington’s all-female motorcycle club, is hosting a group ride to celebrate International Female Ride Day, a day that highlights female riders and encourages women to take up motorsports.
The ride will start at Harris Riverfront Park at 10:30 a.m. and end at Fly In Cafe at 11:30, said President Wendy Jackson. She said the event is not only about recognizing and supporting the female rider but also about just getting out into the community.
“When people think of motorcycle clubs, they think of big, gnarly men — and we’re not that,” Jackson laughed. “We’re women; we’re mothers; we’re active in our community.”
Since Valkyries was founded in 2021, its mission has included fundraising for local causes that support women, children and veterans. The ride on May 6 costs $10 per bike, and all proceeds will be donated to Jeremiah Tree Foundation, a nonprofit that supports families caring for children with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
“As a mother myself, the work that they do for children in our area really touches my heart,” Jackson said.
Jeremiah Tree’s work ranges from helping caregivers locate services and resources to partnering with first responders and others in the medical community. The organization is best known for its BugHug Care Packs program, which distributes care packages to West Virginia’s children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses for families facing extended hospital stays. Eventually, the organization plans to build a universal-design, fully accessible recreational retreat in the Tri-State.
Jeremiah Tree Foundation President Deborah Davis said the Valkyries partnership grew out of a charity event that the Alliance and Battalion motorcycle clubs hosted for Jeremiah Tree last summer. Getting to know the Valkyries ladies has been “an absolute pleasure,” she said.
“We’ve been incredibly impressed with the work many motorcycle clubs do in our community, usually quietly and behind the scenes,” Davis said. “They support families dealing with medical issues, raise awareness about women’s health issues and encourage children in foster care. We are grateful for their support and can’t wait to join them for this event.”
Jackson said all riders are welcome on May 6, not just women.
“I hope to see a great turnout,” she said. “Women are still few and far between in motorcycling, but we’re hoping to change that.”
Jeremiah Tree Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports families caring for a loved one with a disability or chronic illness. Based in Cabell County, West Virginia, the organization supplies BugHug Care Packs to children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the state for pediatric patients and their caregivers facing a hospital stay of two or more nights. Jeremiah Tree is also working with the West Virginia Developmental Disabilities Council to create an online resource database for families affected by chronic illness and disabilities. Future plans include building a universal-design, fully accessible recreational retreat in the Tri-State. For more information or to view the organization’s wish lists, visit www.jeremiahtreefoundation.org.
Valkyries Ladies Club is an all-female motorcycle club established in 2021 to bring female riders together, with clubs located in Huntington, Charleston and Princeton. The club is for women 18 and up who own and operate a motorcycle. Valkyries hosts group rides, girls’ nights and community fundraisers.
International Female Ride Day® is a globally synchronized ride day for women motorcycle riders and women powersport enthusiasts. Its call to action “Just Ride!” asks women to be on their motorcycles or powersport vehicles on the first Saturday of May each year. Created in 2007 by Vicki Gray, a lifetime motorcycling advocate, the purpose of IFRD is to highlight the many diverse women enjoying the activity of motorcycling. Its goals are building awareness, expanding female rider numbers and promoting global parity across all forms of motorsports and powersports. The event is managed under the MOTORESS® canopy.