Tag Archives: Canada

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 Kellee a.k.a. @KelleeI

The internet sure has made the world smaller. Because of blogging and Twitter I’ve met and introduced lady riders from around the world all with the same passion for two wheels. I only wish I could met each and every one of them face-to-face!

My next guest Kellee a.k.a. @KelleeI from North Vancouver, BC, Canada and I “met” through Twitter. She is an avid motorcyclist! Okay, that maybe an understatement. Read on …

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 44 years.  Yes, since I was five.

Kellee a.k.a. @KelleeI

Kellee a.k.a. @KelleeI

How did you learn to ride? I grew up as 3rd generation rider in a motorcycling family.  My grandfather started the family retail motorcycle shop in Ontario in 1937, which my brother still runs today.

What was your first motorcycle? Honda Z50

How many have you owned? 35 or so

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I grew up riding  and competing  in trials and then enduros starting  at age 14.  At 19, I walked away from riding other than riding on the street and the occasional track  day or enduro/off road ride.  I went back in a significant way at age 30  simply because I missed riding  and I missed the riding community.

Tell us about your riding. I retired once again from competition  (national and provincial enduros  after being in the top 3 in the women’s class for 9 years) at age 38 but continue to ride both off  and on road for fun and adventure. I must admit by heart is in the dirt and love exploring new riding areas from Nevada to Baja to Morocco.

Kellee on the roads of Morocco

Kellee on the roads of Morocco

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a course.  But take the time to find the course that is right for you. Always be improving your skills.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last year.  8 days and 2800 kms around Morocco including 2 days off piste [had to look that word up here] through the Sahara.

Kellee in the Sahara

Kellee in the Sahara

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? I belong to a few.  Currently, I am the Chair of the Motorcyclist Confederation of Canada,  which is a national motorcycle  advocacy and safety group  pursing a better rider experience for all and Past Chair of the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  I also belong to a few off road clubs both on line and off line. I am passionate about giving back to a sport that has given so much to me.

Kellee says this is from their MCC day on this hill this May.  They were lobbying for motorcycle safety.

Kellee says this is from their MCC day on this hill this May. They were lobbying for motorcycle safety.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Many. One fun one is after riding in the in the Sierra mountains in Baja, myself and few female riding buddies  had a serious debate.  Are we tomboys with princess moments or  a princess with tomboy  moments.  Also, riding across the Sahara desert last year over 2 days and only getting stuck once gave me a great sense of accomplishment.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am lucky to have a great career  as the Vice President, Insurance and Driver Licensing for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.  I  love my job and have a great team. Living in Canada, I also downhill ski in the winter plus throw in the odd spa appointment of course.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Grace a.k.a. @SeismicCoach

I am so glad on February 11, 2010 I decided to start this blog to chronicle my journey into motorcycling. It has not only recorded my story, but has opened the door to share other lady rider’s stories as well! We are such a beautiful and diverse group and I have another female motorcyclist to add. Please welcome Grace or on Twitter @SeismicCoach from British Columbia, Canada. Check out her web site Seismic Coaching.

Grace a.k.a. @SeismicCoach

Grace a.k.a. @SeismicCoach

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Two years, but missing this third season.

How did you learn to ride? I learned to ride with the fine folks at Pacific Riding School. I come from a road cycling and technical mountain biking background with some race experience. Some key bicycling skills translated naturally (with minor adjustments for a heavier bike) into motorcycling, including leaning and counter-steering, looking far ahead, looking beyond the turn, traffic awareness, braking concepts (front-wheel vs. rear wheel), and keeping an eye on road conditions.

What was your first motorcycle? A 2007 Suzuki Boulevard S40. It’s a great starter bike that, like me, was small and compact with a solid thirst for adventures.

How many have you owned? Just the one so far. Looking to buy the next one ASAP.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’m an adventure motorcyclist at heart. I still love to mountain bike, but motorcycling takes adventure and travel to the next level. Everything about the open air appeals to my core – the smells, sharper focus and awareness, open to the elements, and even the dynamic “textures” of air during a ride – can’t get enough of it. At the time I got my Class 6 licence, I was several months into launching my own consulting business and had just finished Big Contract #1. Learning to ride anchored the deep-soul gratifying independence and flexibility borne of building a business. Now it permeates much of who I am and how my business grows.

Tell us about your riding. Every ride is pure pleasure regardless of purpose. I took a couple of short solo trips within the province and gained some new skills and confidence at Reg Pridmore’s CLASS course in Rosamond, California. I live in a more rural area with easy access to city centres. Many rides are about scouting different routes and back roads.

Duffy Lake loop

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?Taking the MSF course (in Canada, MSA, Motorcycle Skills Assessment) is a no-brainer.

1)     Try custom-fitted vented earplugs. It’s a personal preference and, given that I like long rides, I no longer get headaches from sustained loud noise;

2)     Although not imperative, solid bicycle handling skills can ease the transition to motorcycling. Just remember the front brake lever is on the right-hand side on a motorcycle.

3)     Age is inconsequential;

4)     There’s a reason that you’re curious about motorcycling. Listen to that inner voice. Take a stand for your curiosity and desire to keep learning. No such thing as a silly question as everyone had to start at Square One, including the pros.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest trip was an overnighter from the Fraser Valley area of British Columbia to Campbell River on Vancouver Island. The first day of the trip felt longer because Island weather greeted me with sun, rain, wind, hail, sun, clouds, sun, more rain, more hail… in July! Oddly, I didn’t mind it. The plan with the next bike is to take multi-day trips. With my business, I have the flexibility to take an extended trip and notify clients well in advance. I’m currently savouring the process of dreaming, planning, and researching that first big trip.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I’m a member of the LIME (Ladies International Motorcycle Enthusiast) group based in Vancouver, but I tend to ride solo or occasionally with a friend.

Do you have a favorite riding story? One of my favourites is the time I refueled at a quiet gas station in Fort Langley, BC. Imagine a petite woman, solo and gassing up, as an older gentleman with grizzled white beard and tousled hair limps toward her with a crooked, toothy grin. His first words were, “That’s a really nice bike. I remember my first bike when I was 15…” His was a love story of his first bike and the impact of riding throughout his life. I leaned on my bike and listened to the whole thing – wasn’t in a rush. I soaked in his every eye-twinkle, chuckle, and gesture. That could be any of us x years from now. Everyone has a unique and beautiful story, motorcycle-related or not.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I run, mountain bike, and kayak… oh, so West Coast! My business recently launched an initiative called Moto Leadership which brings relevant leadership development to professionals who ride motorcycles, although it’s also open to non-riders. The first event is slated for June 2014 in British Columbia, so there’s plenty to keep things hopping. And, as always, there are extended trips to plan!

Remix: Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Madeleine

We first met Madeleine back on April 22, 2012. I’m doing a bit of a remix of her profile since some things have changed and she’s updated some of her answers. I also wanted to share that Madeleine is going to embark on another adventure this summer and is looking for a rider to join her.  She will be riding to Alaska starting on Friday June 28, 2013. Details will be posted on her site. Madeleine is looking for only one riding companion, not a group of riders. This rider needs to be able to pull their own weight because it will be a budget ride staying in hostels/motels and some camping when necessary. Madeleine rides between 300 to 500 miles a day depending on weather and road conditions. Now back to the profile!

Madeleine from Worcester, MA is our next lady rider! She has taken some long adventurous trips. You can find Madeleine on Twitter @mvelazquez57 or on her blog Miss Rider which is filled with stories and pictures.

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Around 25 years

How did you learn to ride? Chasing my son around the trails riding dirt bikes. Love motocross!!!

What was your first motorcycle? Street bike, Kawasaki Vulcan 500 (hated it). Dirt bike, Yamaha 125 something, don’t remember any more.

How many have you owned? 9 including dirt bikes

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? The thrill, fresh air, freedom, excitement (too many fun words to describe why)!

 Tell us about your riding. Commute to work, mostly on a 50cc scooter now.  Pleasure riding.  But mostly, long distance touring, like coast to coast alone.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get on two wheels and ride, ride, and ride some more so you can get so tired and sleep at night.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? My longest ride was the summer of 2012. 24,140 kilometers (~15,000 miles) with a ride from the Boston area to the Panama Canal round trip that included Sturgis, South Dakota and Canada, 9 countries, 23 American states. (Check out the details on her blog.)

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? No, I am a solo rider now.  I do have a membership to the American Motorcycle Association and love reading the monthly articles posted by other riders.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Yes, read about it here in my blog. (Check out the pictures too!)  I have so many wonderful riding stories, but this one is my favorite because it involves the animals.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I ski in the winter and teach high school students.

Madeleine standing on a motorcycle!

Madeleine standing on a motorcycle!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Voni

A friend on Twitter, @urbantweeter, thought I may be inspired by meeting a millionaire. She sent a link so I checked it out! Needless to say it was not what I had expected. What an unexpected delight to find a million mile female motorcyclist Voni from the Big Bend of Texas! Checking out her blog is a must and find her on Facebook too! I took a chance and sent Voni an email asking if she would join in the series Profile of a Female Motorcyclist. I am so honored that she replied YES!! It is with great pleasure I introduce you to Voni, a million mile rider!

Voni, million mile motorcyclist

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Over a Million sMiles over about 37 years

Celebrating 1,000,000 miles!

How did you learn to ride?  Trial and error – lots of trial and a few errors.  My million miles have been accident free.  Since the thought of traffic scared me, I rode my first hundred miles in my yard in rural Iowa. But once I got started, it’s been a collage of the most amazing vistas.

What was your first motorcycle? Yamaha RD250

How many have you owned? 15, more or less, mostly BMWs

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? So my husband and I could take our two kids on family camping vacations. Something we could all share.

Tell us about your riding. Touring is my favorite. I’ve ridden in all 50 states, all of the Canadian Provinces, New Zealand and five countries in Southern Africa. Lately I’ve gotten the most fun on a Yamaha TW200 dirt bike I call TWouble on the rocky roads around our adobe here in the desert in Texas.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just do it. Being scared is good because it keeps you focused. The joy the daring will bring is immeasurable!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Since we retired, my husband and I live on the bikes at least four months a year. We tour all over the US and Canada and camp in some of the most beautiful and remote places. Before that, I often toured alone for weeks on end since Paul didn’t have the vacation time I did as a teacher. One year I rode 73,660 miles in 6 months just because I could. In 2003 I rode in and finished with bronze medal status the 11 day Iron Butt Rally.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Oh, yes. Lots. When I’m not riding I love to read and share about motorcycles. I’m probably most active with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the Iron Butt Association.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Many! Motorcycles have colored my life in the most amazing hues.

What do you do when you’re not riding?  I love reading. And photography! And visiting our grandsons. And music.  And just living life to the fullest.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Caroline

This past week we’ve met lady riders from Oregon, Wisconsin, India, back to Wisconsin. Today we are off to Kanata, Ontario, Canada to meet Caroline! You can find her on Twitter @CarolineLewy and I just found out she has a couple of blogs too! Maritime Adventure 2011 and Rocky Mountain High on our Harley’s 2012.

Caroline riding

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  Just completed my 2nd year.

How did you learn to ride? My husband, Jim, got his motorcycle license the year before me and I automatically became a passenger. We travelled on his/our bike, a 2009 Harley Dyna Super glide that first year to Lake Placid, NY, Pittsburg, PA, New York City, NY and all around Ontario. It was so fun with our friends (who we learned to ride with), but I saw more ladies riding along side their husbands and wondered if I could do that too! Plus, my tailbone was killing me on those long road trips. The next summer, August 2010, I took the motorcycle safety course with my girlfriend and bought my bike, rode the rest of the summer until the snow flew!!

What was your first motorcycle? A 2011 Harley Davidson Sportster SuperLow

How many have you owned?  Only this one.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I Love adventure, trying new things and have always wanted to travel small town Canada and small town USA … alongside Jim! We have always been outdoor enthusiasts, whitewater kayaking, camping, and hockey!

Tell us about your riding. Mostly pleasure, vacation and to work sometimes.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? To have to ride everyday at first to build confidence and familiarize yourself with your bike and local roads.  Having a mentor is a great idea.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? This summer to Colorado, 7500 km (4660 miles) round trip.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I was a HOG Member when I first purchased my bike.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Well, riding to Key West, Florida, to Tennessee, (the Tail of the Dragon) and Mount Evans, Colorado. We met so many nice people along the way!!

Caroline and Jim

What do you do when you’re not riding? Work as a hairdresser in my own Beauty Salon, love to bake, ski, knit and walk.