My next guest is a friend of Donna’s and left a comment on her profile I posted. I was thrilled to read she wanted to join in and share her story (hint, hint ladies)! I’d like you to meet, Kharon a.k.a. Bibendum from the San Francisco Bay Area. I love the advice Kharon was given over the concern women have on the weight of motorcycles, but you’ll have to read that below!
How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Off and on for about 29 years, lots and lots since 2000.
How did you learn to ride? I have been riding as a passenger since I was old enough to hold onto the tank. When I was about 12 my Dad got me a dirt bike for Christmas and taught me how to ride (boy was my Mom pissed!). Started street riding in 2000 after completing the Motorcycle Safety Training Course.
What was your first motorcycle? Honda XR200 dirt bike
How many have you owned? Four – Honda XR200 when I first started out. Harley XL883C after getting licensed in 2000. Traded up to a BMW R1200RT in 2006 and I currently own a 2009 BMW R1200GS.
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Not to sound glib, but because it is fun … pure and simple. It also opens up opportunities to meet people and to really be part of the surroundings not isolated from it. I am always amazed how many people will approach me to ask questions and talk just because I am on a motorcycle; you are not hidden inside your car and it makes people feel more comfortable talking to you. I have met and talked to so many interesting people when riding, just because the conversation all started with a question about my bike, or where I was headed to.
Tell us about your riding. Commute frequently, always for pleasure and definitely for vacations as often as possible.
What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get the proper training and just do it! I hear so many women say they want to ride but are afraid because the bikes are so heavy. The best advice I ever got was when a friend told me, after I voiced the same concern about weight: “You’re not gonna carry it, you’re gonna ride it!”
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Nine days through the Southwest, covering five states and approx. 2600 miles. It was life changing.
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? No groups, although I did belong to the local HOG Chapter when I first got my Harley. I am on some forums, albeit infrequently; Pashnit, South Bay Riders, various BMW group forums, lurker on ADVRider.
Do you have a favorite riding story? There are many, but a recent funny one happened while on a five day group trip earlier this year; half way through our first day, and after going down Highway 1 to Cambria, the group stopped to see the seals along the coast. As I got off my bike and removed my helmet, I heard a guy from our group say to me “Wow, I have been following behind you and I had no idea you were a chick! You really know how to ride that thing. I should have known when you showed up on a guy’s bike this morning that you could ride that thing!”
What do you do when you’re not riding? Construction Project Management at Stanford University to pay for fun things. Other fun things: kayaking, fishing, photography, hiking and camping.