Today, I’d like to introduce you to Christine from Aurora, Ontario, Canada, a mid-life crisis motorcyclist; I was a bit older than mid-life, but I can relate! Find and follow Christine on Twitter @cmapapillon too! Enjoy Christine’s story and maybe find an answer on how to get your family involved.
How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I am just heading in to my 6th season.
How did you learn to ride? I took a motorcycle course through our local college for both levels of my graduated license; a requirement in Ontario.
What was your first motorcycle? Suzuki SV650
How many have you owned? Still own my first bike and still love it.
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Mid-life crisis. By 35 I’d been married, had two beautiful daughters, bought a house and a business and wanted to do something exciting. My favourite memories are on the road and during a cross country road trip with my family, we drove through the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I met so many amazing riders and loved the idea of having a hobby that allowed me to travel and be on the road. I had my license 3 months later.
Tell us about your riding. My riding has been pure pleasure and I am attempting to learn to ride off road.
What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Taking the motorcycle courses, both for my initial license and my graduated license, made me a better and more confident rider. Take the course. It’s worth every penny.
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? As I have ridden alone for 5 years, I haven’t taken many long trips. I’ve done a few day long trips and have always been within 300 – 400 kms from home. I am hoping that now my husband rides (see favourite story below) I will have many future trips.
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? No. I did try to join one near my home, and although the riders were so very welcoming, they were all men. I never found a women’s riding group close to home. I’ve done some poker runs and have ridden with friends and I do enjoy the group experience as much as taking off on my own.
Do you have a favorite riding story? I rode for 5 years, alone, and my family had no interest in riding. For my 40th birthday last fall, I asked for off road lessons and said that my husband and 2 teen daughters must come as well. I dragged them, kicking and screaming, to the course on the day of my birthday. We were separated in to 2 groups; I in an advanced group, my husband and daughters in a beginner group. I was back to the base camp before the rest of my family and got to watch them ride back in. My family came racing over the hills, throwing dirt and showing off on the bikes, circling around me. Within one month, my husband had taken his motorcycle course, passed and bought a bike similar to mine. We’ve been lucky with weather and he has been able to do quite a bit of riding with me and we are looking at new bikes so we can do long distance trips and maybe go off road. My daughters also want to ride, but I am making them both wait until they are 25 and are experienced drivers first. It was the best gift I have ever received.
What do you do when you’re not riding? What I assume every rider does; count the days/hours/minutes until I can be out riding again.