Friendly. Caring. Accomplished. Author. Coach. Motorcyclist. Are a few words to introduce my next guest, Liz from Ontario, Canada. Oh, I forgot to add social media maven as well! You can find Liz on Twitter @trilliumliz and Facebook Liz Jansen Speaks and at her blog Liz Jansen! I am so please she agreed to share her profile of a female motorcyclist with us all.
How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 42 years
How did you learn to ride? When I was 16, my younger brothers bought a Honda 50 to get around on the family farm. I picked it up from them.
What was your first motorcycle? 175 Honda XL.
How many have you owned? I’m only on my 5th bike. I tend to hang on to them for quite a few years.
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was 16 and it was there. Why not? And I loved it.
Tell us about your riding. I use my motorcycle for transportation as the season allows. If it’s either not too hot or icy, I’m likely to be using my motorcycle.
I also love long-distance solo travel.
What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Do it. It’s no different than anything else your heart is calling you to do. And do it only for your own sake, not for anyone else’s. Take a course from a qualified school – not a well-meaning friend, partner, family member. Be patient with yourself – there’s a lot to learn. Purchase your bike after you’ve taken the course.
Ride your own ride. Get the bike that’s right for YOU and ride according to your skill level. Learn as much as you can about riding and your motorcycle. Always wear good quality, functional gear. And have a blast with it! Enjoy the adventure.
Take regular refresher courses and challenge yourself to learn new skills. Off-road riding courses are excellent at teaching you how to deal with the unexpected when it happens on the road. And it invariably does.
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? A 2-month trip around North America in 2003. It followed a year in which I made significant personal and professional changes and was the beginning of a whole new life for me.
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I’m a member of a local association, although other commitments mean I rarely attend meetings.
Do you have a favorite riding story? Each ride I’m on is my favorite. I’ve been riding for a long time and it just keeps getting better and more meaningful. There is nothing like riding to connect me to the Universe and who I am. I get my best ideas and insights when I’m riding.
This summer I met Mary McGee at the AMA International Women and Motorcycling Conference. She’s 75, still racing vintage and plans to ride for another 30 years. She’s my role model.
What do you do when you’re not riding? My work has evolved from riding. All of my activities are designed to create the environment for others (men and women) to recognize their own greatness – through riding or using symbolism from motorcycling. I do that through writing, speaking, organizing events, workshops and retreats.
My book Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment* uses stories and symbolism from motorcycling to illustrate the transformation that occurs in all areas of life when we push our limits and discover how much we’re capable of.
I’ve had the privilege of being on the Executive Council for two of AMA’s International Women and Motorcycling Conferences and was the Project Manager for Canada’s first similar event. I’m also on the Board of the Motorcyclist Confederation of Canada – a national advocacy organization, looking out for the rights and safety of all riders.
Aside from that, I love to hike, camp, spend time in nature and with friends and family. I also volunteer with local charities.
*I recently purchased Liz’s book for my Nook. Very encouraging read. I highly recommend it!