A group of women are riding their motorcycles across Saskatchewan to raise awareness of the female biker community.

The ride is part of an international movement, with thousands of women in nearly 100 countries embarking on similar rides.

The goal of the rides is to encourage other women to hold the handlebars - and urge manufacturers make gear specific for women.

“Women fit equipment different than men – we need equipment that fits. We’re the largest growing market, and they need to respond to us,” said Brenda Wilks, who has been riding a motorcycle for more than 10 years.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s 2018 survey, about one in five motorcycle owners are female – which is nearly double from the 2009 data.

Wendy Funk, who is leading the Saskatchewan ride, said she’s had trouble finding chaps that properly fit.

“Generally, the fit’s not there for women. My chaps will always be a little tight around the thighs. And it says ladies, but really it’s built the same way as the men’s chaps and they just put a ‘ladies’ tag on it,” Funk said.

At Saskatoon’s Harley Davidson, the amount and selection of gear made for women is on the rise, according to a store manager.

“What was available before I started here, about six years ago, has almost doubled when it comes to choice for apparel,” motor clothes manager Kathy Diederich said.

Funk said she’d like to see more companies do the same.

The women are riding with a medallion in their cargo, which has travelled from British Columbia and will be handed off to the next group in Manitoba on Saturday.