I’m not sure how my next guest and I connected, but I’m guessing Twitter, @DaiquiriC her real name is Dachary – I really like that name, so unusual! Dachary is from Boston, MA and is also a blogger, Ain’t No Pillion. Follow her on both!
How long have you been riding a motorcycle? A little over 2 years – started in April, 2010
How did you learn to ride? My roommate at the time (now my fiancé – funny how life works!) rode and he was ATGATT and very safety oriented, so I took the MSF class. Crashed my bike the first time I took it out on the street, and that taught me cornering skills and to ride my own ride *real* fast. But I’d say I’m still learning to ride – constantly looking to improve my skills, beef up my offroad riding ability, and now I’m working on mastering a Ural with a sidecar, which throws a whole new wrench into the riding dynamic!
What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a used Kawasaki Ninja 250 that I bought off my roommate when he got a new bike. Can’t recommend them highly enough – the Ninja 250 is a very forgiving starter bike, and you can get ‘em pretty cheap used which means it’s not a big deal when you crash them! 😉
How many have you owned? I currently own bikes two and three: I upgraded my Ninja 250 to a BMW F650GS, and we bought a new Ural Patrol over the summer to bring our dogs along. Not a bad stable for someone who’s only been riding for two years! Each bike serves a different purpose and they’re very different to ride, but I love them both!
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve always had a fascination with motorcycles. When I was a kid, my cousin and uncle raced dirtbikes (motocross) and they had actually won quite a few trophies, but they had also taken a ton of spills and broken a lot of bones between the two of them. Whenever we went to their house, I drooled over their dirtbikes but my family was vehemently against me taking up the hobby. Far too dangerous, and not something that girls did.
Fast forward to 2009, and I caught a ride with a friend on the back of his bike (he was the guy who I eventually moved in with and later we got romantically entangled, but at the time I was dating another guy). We were riding in the city so we never got up to any real speed, but there was one corner we took just fast enough to get a bit of a lean… and I was hooked. I wanted to start riding right then and there, but the guy I was dating told the same old story: too dangerous!
Needless to say, we broke up a few months later, I moved into an avid motorcyclist’s spare bedroom and I was surrounded by bike-related stuff. For a few months that winter, we even had a Stella scooter in the kitchen. It didn’t take long before I gave in to my obsession with two wheels, bought the Ninja off the roommate when he upgraded to a bigger bike (also an F650GS) and took my MSF class.
I wouldn’t say I “wanted to ride” as much as “it became an obsession” – it was like a scratch I couldn’t itch. And the only way to itch it was to start riding!
Tell us about your riding. I ride because I have to ride. If I go for more than a week or two without a ride, I miss it. I ride for pleasure; I ride to run errands; I ride to get places (we’re a motorcycle-only household – Boston has great public transit, but if we wanna leave the city, it’s on a bike or rent a car). We both love bikes so our vacations are moto-oriented. We bought the Ural so we could bring the dogs with us on extended trips. If I had a commute longer than walking across the hall to my office, I’d ride. Basically, any excuse to ride – and plenty of times when I have no excuse but just want to ride anyway.
What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? My advice would be: just do it. Don’t let fear stop you from doing it. Don’t let men or family members who are well-meaning tell you that it’s dangerous and talk you out of doing it like I did for so many years. Start at whatever pace you’re comfortable; take a class if there’s one available; buy a cheap used bike to start so you don’t have to worry about dropping it; and gear up.
My first time out on the bike after taking the class, I low-sided at ~25-30MPH just a couple of miles from home. I was running a short errand to a nearby hardware store. But my roommate was ATGATT, so I made sure I had good, full gear before I started riding – and I wore it. It saved me from a trip to the ER and knee surgery. I was able to get up and ride the bike home, although I had to replace the pants because they were badly damaged in the crash. Good gear can save your skin and your life, and you can never predict what’s going to happen on the road, so gear up.
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest trip I’ve taken was Boston to Ushuaia via Mexico, Central America and South America. It was around 18,000 miles, and we were gone for around 4 months. At that point, I had only been riding for like 6 months. It was absolutely epic – we definitely want to go back. We also want to do RTW and we’ve been loosely planning for that in the next year or two, but we really enjoyed the Americas and we keep talking about going back – South America in particular. So I don’t know what the next one will be. In the meantime, we satisfy ourselves with jaunts around the US – we did Boston to Colorado over the summer for a little over two weeks, and took the dogs in the Ural. (That was their longest moto trip, and they loved it! If you ever want to start a “Profile of a Canine Motorcyclist” – sign my guys up! 😉
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Yes! I love bikes, so when I’m not riding, I enjoy the opportunity to poke motorcycle forums. I’m a member of the Yankee Beemers, which is a local BMW club based in New England – they do a lot of fun rides, often involving breakfast or lunch at someplace delicious. I’m also a member of F650.com for my F650 (we went to Colorado for their High Country Summit meetup), Soviet Steeds for my Ural, ADVRider for motorcycle adventure riding stuff, and Horizons Unlimited for world travel stuff. Also the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) because I support their fight for motorcyclists’ rights, and they do some cool stuff.
Do you have a favorite riding story? Oh, tons. Let’s see… there was the time I cracked some ribs riding an enduro loop with some guys from ADVRider… and there was the time we lost the bf’s license plate in Colombia… in fact, there was this absolutely crazy road in Colombia… and there was this epic day in Mexico… or the flat tire in the Peruvian desert… or the time we lost part of the bf’s hydration pack in the Atacama Desert in Chile…
Alright, there may be too many to relate here. Maybe I should start on a book? [Yes!]
What do you do when you’re not riding? In my day job, I’m a writer. For fun, I write. I also love to read or watch movies about world travel, in pretty much any form – preferably motorcycle, but also bicycle travel. (Those guys are REALLY hardcore! Nothing but respect for them. But I prefer my bikes motorized. 😉 I also love cooking… and gaming. But not video games. Board games. Mostly European ones. Yes, I know that’s a bit old fashioned, but I find it more pleasurable to gather around a table and have a good time with friends than stare at a screen, which is what I do all day for work.
If I’m not out riding, reading about riding, or writing about riding, I’m probably cooking with my friends or playing games with my friends… or both!