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Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Cellina

Serendipity. It means a “fortuitous happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”.  That is how I “met” my next guest, Cellina from  Los Angeles, CA. She also blogs at Motorcycle House.

Cellina on her ride!

Cellina on her ride!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I have been riding motorcycle since I was 14.

How did you learn to ride? From my father.

What was your first motorcycle? Harley Sportster 1200

 How many have you owned? I have owned 3 bikes.

1)      Harley Sportser 1200

2)      Honda Shadow 750 spirit.

3)      Honda Vtx 1300 C

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? At first I loved to see the roads from passenger seat but later I felt I should behind the bars.

Tell us about your riding.  I had my first trip as adventure motorcycling when I was teenager. Blue smoke and rarely made it out of third. I did not care that combination of freezing northern wind on my face, the smell of burning two-stroke and the realization that I am on my bike I could go anywhere started a love affair with motorcycles that continues to the day. That was my happiest day of my life.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just ride slowly and carefully. You must have four eyes while riding a bike.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last year when I had gone with my mother to the hill station. That was my longest trip.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Yes

Do you have a favorite riding story? Yes. I have many travelling riding stories.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I write an article related to motorcycle ride and equipment.

Thank you Cellina for sharing! If you would like to share your story in my Profiles of a Female Motorcyclist email me at pamela(d0t)court(at)gmail(dot)com!

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Profile of a Female Motorcylist: Meet Laurie (LB) a.k.a. @LaurieOnTheBike

I’m so excited to be able to introduce y’all to my new cyber friend Laurie (LB) from southwest Virginia! Laurie says she’s a novice on Twitter a.k.a. @LaurieOnTheBike so let’s welcome her with a follow. And she is a blogger!! Check it out, Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things.

Meet my new cyber friend Laurie!

Meet my new cyber friend Laurie!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 4 ½ years

How did you learn to ride? Officially, I took at MSF Class at a local community college, but I have also been mentored by a couple close friends. Meet “My Guys” over on her blog.

What was your first motorcycle? A 1983 Honda Rebel which I bought immediately after taking the MSF class. I rode my “baby bike” for 3 months / 1500 miles before moving on up to my next bike, a 2008 Sportster, 883 L;  I rode my “middle bike” for 3 ½ years / 13,000 before moving on up to my first new bike, built just for me.  My 2013 Softail Slim was such an amazing ride!  6500 miles of pure pleasure … until 4 weeks ago, when I was hit in an intersection.  I always thought that would be my final bike.  I’ll have a new one by spring.

How many have you owned? See above.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I rode behind a boyfriend for a year and when that relationship ended, I knew that I had to continue riding. It is the wind in the face, the adventure, the adrenaline rush, the joy and the sigh.  

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ?  I primarily ride for pleasure and travel.  I ride with friends and I ride solo.  In fact, each year I take a week long solo trip.  I explore new roads, towns, and states, and I take photos along the way.  My blog is a space for my riding and my photography.  I do commute to work, but not frequently (computer, coffee, lunch bag, purse).  I’m working on it though!

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What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a class and then start with a bike that you feel comfortable with and that will allow you to learn. Buy a used bike, learn to ride, and then ride the heck out of it.  Get comfortable and move on up as you gain experience.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? 1300 miles in this year’s solo ride to Southern Maryland, Eastern Shore of Maryland, and Delaware.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups?  I’m a member of HOG, and am a regular rider with a large group of friends.

What do you do when you’re not riding?  I’m a Women’s Health and Family Nurse Practitioner, as well as a Certified Menopause Practitioner; I’m an amateur photographer, have served on my City Council and am very active in civic and volunteer groups.

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Calling all Female Motorcyclists!

The riding season for me here in Minnesota is pretty much finished. I don’t have the gear to ride in the cold. Hubby and I were not able to do as much riding as we hoped. Looking forward to next year.

You maybe like me and winter is slowly descending upon you. You longingly gaze out at your motorcycle while bundled up in your winter woollies hoping for another sunny 50 degree day when a blast of cold air brings you back to reality. The optimist inside thinks it could happen it is only November. Sigh.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzy Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Focus Pam … this is where I turn outward to vicariously “ride” through all the fabulous lady riders I’ve met! And send a call out to meet more! If you are a female motorcyclist and would like to add your story to my series Profile of a Female Motorcyclist shoot me an email at pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com < trying to keep the spammers at bay!

Your story, your ride, your experience are all unique! We – your fellow female motorcyclists – need to hear your story too. xoxo

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Michelle a.k.a. @SturgisChick

I have a new friend on Twitter! Her name is Michelle, her family calls her Shelly, and goes by @SturgisChick on Twitter. She was born, raised, and lives in Sturgis, South Dakota. How cool is that?! Well, it gets even cooler … Michelle has a blog too, StrugisChick where she tells stories of her travels, adventures, and experiences. Another must follow.

Michelle near Sturgis, South Dakota on her Harley Fat Boy

Michelle near Sturgis, South Dakota on her Harley Fat Boy

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 15 technically but I didn’t get my license until I was 30 and didn’t ride for about 10 years during that gap.

How did you learn to ride? My boyfriend had a Honda XR500 dirt bike that he used on his family’s ranch. He taught me to ride but had to ride on the back with me because I couldn’t touch the ground when we stopped. After about 10 years without riding, I decided to sign up for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and start from scratch.

What was your first motorcycle?  The first one I rode regularly was a Kawasaki Sherpa 125,  which I borrowed from a friend. I later borrowed a Sportster from the same friend for a couple of years (I know! How generous is that!). The first bike I owned was a Harley-Davdison Fat Boy with a 1550 which I bought for my 40th birthday.

How many have you owned?  2 – the Fat Boy and my Kawasaki KLR650 which is a dual sport bike.

Bike trip, July 2013

Bike trip, July 2013

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was born and raised in Sturgis, South Dakota, home of the world-famous motorcycle rally.  How I could I not get bit by the bug? Although I was a ranch kid I always loved riding 4-wheelers and snowmobiles and eventually learned to ride a motorcycle.

Tell us about your riding. Having the Black Hills to ride just outside your door provides the best curvy roads and beautiful scenery. I love to ride for pleasure after work or on weekends and took my first motorcycle vacation in 2011.

On her way up Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado last summer

On her way up Independence Pass near Aspen, Colorado last summer

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? ATGATT – All The Gear All The Time.  No exceptions. South Dakota doesn’t have a helmet law which means many of my friends ride with t-shirts and no helmet.  But I’m willing to be a little warm on hot days to be safe and NEVER ride without my gear. [Amen, sister!]

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  I’m on it now. 8000 miles and counting so far. Left South Dakota to go up through Canada and do the Trans Labrador Highway and then down the east coast of the US.  Planning to head to Mexico and Central America and on to South America.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Several online – ADVRider.comHorizons Unlimited and Two Wheel Females and I’m a member of H.O.G. I plan to be active with local clubs (a dual sport riding club and my local H.O.G. chapter) and national groups when I get back home.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Strange as it may sound, it was when I had a wreck on my bike this summer. While riding the Trans Labrador Highway in early July in a remote part of eastern Canada, I came off my bike. It was an awkward fall and I broke my leg and had to be flown several hundred miles from there to have surgery. My boyfriend posted a message on a local forum and received several offers for help including places to stay.  People helped with all sorts of things – storing my bike, hauling my bike, taking me sightseeing while I was on crutches, and providing us with incredible support.  I met some of the most generous people who will be lifelong friends because of that event.  It forced me to let go of my schedule and be open to the entire experience (good and bad), which was one of my goals for this extended trip.  My accident was a life changing experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Taken in New Mexico, 2012

Taken in New Mexico, 2012

What do you do when you’re not riding? I was a hotel manager for 21 years and it was a full-time-and-then-some job.  In my spare time I went riding, hiking, gardening, camping and have always loved to travel.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Krista

1009854_10151846110861273_1587886099_nI’m so pleased to be able to introduce another lady motorcyclist, Krista a.k.a. Bikermissus from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada! Krista is also blogs over here, RideNewFoundland. And here’s Krista …

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 2009

How did you learn to ride? When I was probably 23 or so my then-boyfriend had a CBR600. I bugged him to teach me to ride, and I did really well…until I popped the clutch and the front wheel came off the ground. I almost dropped the bike, and gave myself a bit of a fright. The next time I rode a motorcycle was five years later when I did the beginner course. It was a much better experience!

What was your first motorcycle? 2009 Yamaha V-Star 250

How many have you owned? I traded the V-Star on a 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Low, which I still own. I’ve since added a 1997 Yamaha YZF600R and a 2009 Suzuki Vstrom 650 to the garage. The Harley is going up for sale in the spring though. It’s a tough decision but I really don’t need three bikes.

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Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember, I don’t know why really. Maybe it was an image thing, or it seemed like the epitome of freedom. I always knew that one day I would have a bike. When I went house-hunting in 2008 I would only consider houses that had garages, and I didn’t even know HOW to ride at the time! It was always in the back of my mind.

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Tell us about your riding. As long as the weather is co-operative, I use my bike the way other people use their cars. Commuting, running errands, going to appointments, picking up groceries. On the weekends I like to get out of the city for a day-trip or an overnight visit with family. Since meeting my boyfriend four years ago, we’ve been using our vacation time to tour Newfoundland on our motorcycles, which is absolutely amazing. He’s a bike fanatic too, which is necessary I think.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? If you have the interest, definitely go do the course. Don’t coerce your boyfriend into teaching you how to ride on his 100 –horsepower sportbike. Don’t let anyone discourage you by saying that you’re too small to handle a bike, don’t have the co-ordination, don’t have the nerve, etc. I’m a small woman, and I can’t even drive a standard car but I’ve ridden big, heavy Harleys and very powerful sportbikes. Once you learn the basics and gain experience, you can ride anything.

When you’re deciding what to get for your first bike, go with your gut. Only YOU know what you’re comfortable on, and if that’s a 250, get a 250. Get a bigger bike when you’re ready, beginner bikes are always an easy sell. Better to start off small and build your confidence than to start off on a bike that’s too big and scare yourself out of riding altogether.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last summer for our vacation we spent 11 days going from St. John’s to St. Anthony (and many side-roads in between!) and back, a distance of about 3000km (1875 miles). It was a truly epic experience, and we’re planning a similar trip for next summer, with some off-pavement thrown in as well since we both own adventure-touring bikes now

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Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I used to belong to a riding association, but it got political and dramatic so I left. Right now I ride mainly with my boyfriend and our small group of friends. Riding in big groups makesme a little anxious actually.

I’m active in several forums online and in the motorcycle blog community. I love seeing pictures and reading about the rides that people have done all over the world. There are so many people doing amazing things to/with/on motorcycles, I spend my winters reading about them. It’s very inspiring.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Almost every time I head out on the bike for more than an hour I’m left with a story…which is a big part of why I started a blog. Right now my favourite story is our ride to Cape Pine, and the strange coincidences we encountered. Cape Pine is one of the most haunted places I know of, and I’m convinced that  someone or something did not want us to leave. 

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What do you do when you’re not riding? I like to keep fit, and usually run about 50km (30 miles) a week. I’m not really competitive; I usually do only two races each summer. If I wasn’t so into riding I’d probably do more races…they cut into precious weekend riding time! I also love to read non-fiction, and usually have at least two books and two magazines on the go at any given time. To relax on the weekend you can’t beat good beer and good conversation!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Paige aka @Filosoficalfish

Delighted, that is how I felt when my next guest Paige a.k.a. @Filosoficalfish said yes to adding her story here on my blog! She lives in North Vancouver, BC and has a blog, The Philosophical FishOh my it is a must see and follow! Paige has quite a good eye behind the camera. Seriously.

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I was on my brother’s dirt bike decades ago, and often rode on the back of his street bike. I had a couple of boyfriends with motorcycles, so I spent a lot of time riding two up. So although I’ve always been around motorcycles, I’ve only been riding my own for about four years now.

How did you learn to ride? I played in the gravel pits out at our cabin on my brother’s dirt bike many years ago, and when we travel abroad we often rent scooters to explore. But my husband encouraged me to get formal training and get my full license, so I took a week long course with the Pacific Riding School in Surrey, BC. Spending so much time on a scooter made learning a bigger bike a cake walk.

Paige on her SV650S

Paige on her SV650S

What was your first motorcycle? Well, if we are splitting hairs, my first motorized two-wheeler was actually an Aprilia SR50 sport scooter, and I still have it. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it because it’s just so much fun and so perfect for around the city streets. It’s so easy to maneuver in heavy traffic and drivers don’t have the hate-on for scooters that they do for motorcycles. Win-win! Plus it keeps me on two wheels all year round.

How many have you owned? If you include the Aprilia scooter in the count, I’m on number three now. After a year on the Aprilia I bought a Suzuki SV 650S and rode that for three seasons and put about 25,000 km on it. It was a great bike to learn on, even though I’d really wanted to start on a Ninja 250. The SV taught me a ton and it was such a wonderful torquey ride in the twisties. Nimble and fabulous and we grew together since it had so much to offer.

I traded the SV in for a Ninja Z1000 just a few months ago and already have 8500 km on the new ride. It is a major jump in power and it’s been interesting; a lot more twitchy but we’ve become good friends.

Two of my favourite toys

Two of my favourite toys.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I didn’t. It honestly never entered my mind. Scooters were for vacation fun, and I was happy on the back of a motorcycle because we could have conversations while on the road. But getting a motorcycle of my own was a bit of a chain reaction event. I ended up with the scooter because I was trying to buy a new truck and had become frustrated with dishonest dealers. I killed two truck deals and went and bought the fastest and sportiest little 50cc scooter I could find instead. I had it derestricted and put a Leo Vince pipe on it. I can wind that little bike up to over 95 k/hr! My husband started getting misty eyed about missing riding, so I encouraged him to get a new bike. I’d been telling him to get one again, for years. But when he did, the one he chose (a Triumph ST) wasn’t terribly comfortable two-up.

He wanted me to get my Class 6 license “just in case”, so I did, with no intention of ever owning my own, and I’d clearly made that statement when I took my course in a room full of testosterone. Day one on the lot in the course and my instructor, a former supersport champ, just started laughing and pointing at me and said “YOU are sooooo getting a motorcycle!” He’d thrown pylons at my head, buckets of water in my face, and jumped on the back and pulled my helmet around and covered my eyes said he’d never seen anyone keep smiling and laughing the way I did while maintaining focus and total control.

I bought the SV two weeks later. The rest, as they say, is history, and Kirk says his plan worked magnificently.

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Tell us about your riding. I commute on the scooter, it’s perfect for it. The Ninja is for pleasure and vacation riding. It’s great for a rip up the Sea to Sky or down Chuckanut Drive for fun, and with the luggage kit I now have, it’s perfect for long trips. And sometimes I get to combine the two and use it for work travel too. Can’t beat that!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a course, have fun, stay calm. Don’t get pressured into anything. You don’t have to feel that you have to keep up to more aggressive riders, or have a bigger bike. Don’t play the numbers game, it doesn’t matter. Riding is an individual thing, even if you are in a group.  Leave the ego behind, you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. And stop over-thinking and planning, just do it. The more you think about doing it, and the more time you spend planning, the more time you waste! Maybe it will be for you, maybe it won’t be, but there is no time like the present to try.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? We just returned from a nine day trip down the Washington and Oregon coastlines, and then back up through the volcano region. It was a fabulous trip full of challenging roads and incredible scenery. And just four hours after we passed through the North Cascades highway there were eight mudslides closing the road until further notice! We logged 3,456 km by the time the bikes were put to bed.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not really. I’ve never really enjoyed group riding – sometimes the dynamics become too much about egos and that tends to irritate me. So offline, no. Online, I have been active in a group that has been advocating for better motorcycle parking in Vancouver (www.mcarking.ca), but that’s about the extent of things. Mostly I ride solo or with my husband, and occasionally end up with unplanned small groups when I accidentally come across friends on the way.

Do you have a favourite riding story? So many to choose from! But I think my fave was actually on the scoot. I was waiting a a light when a guy on a big cruiser rode up next to me and looked at my scooter and puffed up and said  “Maybe you’ll graduate to one of these one day.” I smiled and said, “Why would I, my scooter gets up to 95km/hr” and costs 4 cents per km to operate. His jaw dropped and he said “That goes THAT fast?!?” I nodded, beat him off the line and left him far behind in the causeway. 🙂

Never dis my little scoot!

Don't dis my scooter!

Never dis my little scoot!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am so happy to do what I love. I work for the Federal Salmon Enhancement Program in British Columbia as a biologist. I work with the major salmon hatcheries to support rebuilding, conservation, and harvest opportunities for Pacific salmon. I am also involved in fish health education within the SEP program, and teach a few courses in the subject area at the University of British Columbia. Outside of work we are boaters and are switching from power to sail soon. I also love kayaking and downhill skiing, and am a hobby photographer.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Heather a.k.a. @harleygirl122

Hello friends! Hope all is well with y’all. I’ve been busy making lemonade out of the lemons life has been handing me. All is well and life is moving on. Now for some fun. I love sharing stories of lady riders and so excited to have another one to share!

My next guest comes highly recommended by Janet a.k.a. @BikerChickNews and catch her on her blog too, Biker Chick News! Without further ado I’m pleased to introduce Heather a.k.a. @harleygirl122! She does have a blog, but hasn’t been out there in a while.

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How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 12 years old.

How did you learn to ride? Trial and error and then riding courses including a course with the police in the UK

What was your first motorcycle? Honda 250

How many have you owned? 10 in total. Mostly Harleys. Now own a 2013 Fat Boy Lo and a 2010 Street Glide Trike.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I always tell people that the itch to ride started when I was 3 years old. My Granddad gave me a little red tricycle and it was my first form of transportation. I went everywhere on my trike. I was brought up in a remote part of Scotland where there were no concerns about kids being out all day and not coming home until dinnertime. From there I went to two wheels and then added a motor. Mostly inspired by my Granddad and the wonderful feeling of freedom and peace that riding on two wheels gave me. It was my independence and now it’s my meditation.

Tell us about your riding. I ride to work every day I can and take long trips across country. I’ve ridden in other countries with friends and any chance I get I will get on a motorcycle to really experience the country I’m in.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Don’t give up! Take a course like Rider’s Edge and find a good dealer or female rider to support you. If people are honest it’s tough at the beginning. When I got my first Harley in the late nineties when I moved to the US I was the only women rider the dealer had dealt with. I was an anomaly and I was teased mercilessly but also well supported by the guys. They took me under their wing and many of them are really great friends today. But getting your confidence and going at your own pace is really important. Don’t outstretch yourself. Make sure you are comfortable on the bike. Take your time and don’t go too big too soon.

What is the longest trip that you have taken on your cycle? 5000 mile trip across the country to the Grand Canyon. Life-changing in so many ways.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? HOG and my friends and I formed a group called the IRG which was our answer to all the crazy clubs around that had rules, officers, dues and the like. We just wanted to ride..and not just bar to bar. So as a joke we formed the IRG and we had people at rallies coming up to us asking if they could join 🙂

Do you have a favorite riding story? Our trip to the Grand Canyon was so incredible and I still talk about it even though it was a couple of years ago. As we stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise having gotten up around 3am to ride up there…there was not a dry eye in the house. a bunch of leather clad bikers who were not only speechless but also highly emotional. Such a magnificent sight and one I will never forget.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I love spending time with my furry children Rufus and Hemi.