Meet the motorcyclist and co-founder of the all-woman riding club, The Dahlias.
Steering Women Forward in the Motorcyclist Community
There are few things that scream badass quite like a motorcycle. We typically think of motorcyclists being male, reckless, and decked out in grungy biker wear. These traditional stereotypes of bikers are breaking at the seams as women motorcyclists across the country ride their way into the moto scene.
Hayley has led women forward in the motorcyclist community since 2015 when she created and co-founded an all-woman riding collective named The Dahlias. Based in Michigan, Hayley and The Dahlias strive to empower and inspire women riders of all levels by building a safe, relatable, and encouraging community.
Hayley at the annual “Babes Ride Out” event in NY
Hayley was introduced to motorcycling in 2014, through an ex-boyfriend. Hayley recalls, “I got tired of only riding with my ex and his guy friends and was sick of sitting on the back of his motorcycle.” Hayley also noticed that their rides were becoming dangerous and reckless. This inspired Hayley and her co-founder, Valerie Jones, to create a riding club for women that offered a more comfortable biking experience.
Not Your Traditional Club
Traditional motorcycle clubs have many rules and requirements. To create a more relaxed space for riders, The Dahlias only require members to be 18+ women with a valid motorcycle license and a love for bikes! “If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be riding motorcycles and leading this club I would have called you crazy,” Hayley laughs.
Hayley and her members do what many dream of, long-distance adventures on the open road. They’ve ridden through many states across the country while developing a deep bond and a sense of community along the way.
The Dahlias ride on
On top of being badass moto babes, The Dahlias believe in giving back to help empower local organizations. In 2017, the group hosted a fundraising event for the Planned Parenthood of Michigan. The following year, they partnered with the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit to host “Ride for Pride” charity event that benefited the homeless and at-risk youth in local LGBTQ+ communities.
Power of Building a Community
Social media played a huge role in the success of The Dahlias. “When we started it was just Valerie and myself. We created our Instagram account and it just blew up. I remember getting almost 1,000 followers on the first day.” She continues, “I think it’s because there wasn’t anything out there like what we were doing for women... and it’s important to create the space for them.”
The Dahlias became a social “beacon” for local women who have the same desire to ride. Hayley gets countless questions like "what do I do to learn how to ride a motorcycle?" or “I really like your group. Help me find something similar.” These women often look for support, guidance, and courage to take the first step.
“At first I suggest finding an encouraging mentor or organization that knows how to ride. Then sign up for the motorcycle safety course which will teach you the basics. Start by getting comfortable on a smaller bike, like a dirt bike, in a wide-open parking lot before going out on the roads. The biggest challenge is to just get out there and do it. You can’t learn unless you try.”
Leading by example
As a leader, Hayley learned to delegate responsibility and lead with the mindset of being the ultimate team player. “You really have to build a community, value other people’s opinions, and hear what everyone has to say. Otherwise, nobody’s going to be passionate about what you do and no one will want to be involved with what you do,” she explains.
For all The Dahlias members, Hayley always advises, “It’s good to be scared. If you’re out on the road and a little scared, then it means you’re riding safely by being aware of your surroundings.”
The Perfect Pair: Hayley and Xena
Adding to her badass portfolio, Hayley is the Social Media Marketing Manager for Xena Workwear! She was drawn to our brand from her experience as a woman motorcyclist.
“You’ll go to the store and there’s a very small section for women where everything is pink without much variety. Women want options, they don’t want to be limited to just one thing. Xena is making products that didn’t exist, that allow women to express their style and personality while breaking outdated stereotypes that built-up over generations.”
Hayley directing our Xena photoshoot