Mud flaps by women for women
With more and more women riding motorcycles, and companies such as Harley-Davidson coming up with new models and gear to satisfy female demand, options for decorative accessories remain surprisingly boyish. "I'm not really about dragons and boobies," says U of M student and motorcyclist Sarah Grannes. So Grannes came up with an alternative: She now sells "classy and tactful, yet badass" magnetic decals for motorcycle tanks and other hot metal surfaces via her website www.tankgirlmpls.com, with images designed by her collaborator Ashley Hay featuring women wielding various weapons—a machine gun, a sword, a mace.
"I go to a lot of places, and right next to me is a bike with a half-naked woman on it, and that's not how I roll," says Grannes. "When it comes down to it, 50, 60 years ago, women were looked at completely differently. It's taken a while for women to catch up to the hobbies of men."
Grannes says she hopes to start a female bike gang—she currently rides with mostly guys—and the website also promises "trucker mud flaps coming soon," though it's hard to imagine anyone threatening the hegemony of the reclining busty female silhouette. One possible bump in the road, however: TG MPLS shares two words with the comic book and movie Tank Girl; will this pose a trademark conflict? "I'm not really sure," says Grannes, "but apparently a lot more people know about it than I do."
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