I love it when someone raises their hand, or in this case Tweet, wanting to join in with the other lady motorcyclists on my blog! My next friend is Jen “JROD” Dunstan from Southern California. Follow her on Twitter @JRoD_70 and check out her photos on Tumblr too. And if anyone ever says to me, “You ride like a girl” I hope they mean like Jen!
How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 13 years
How did you learn to ride? Soon as I turned 16 I begged my parents to let me take the MSF course. I actually had my motorcycle license before my driver’s license, it was awesome :)
What was your first motorcycle? A 1985 Honda Rebel 250
How many have you owned? I’ve owned 6, still got 3 in the garage as of now. 1985 Honda Rebel 250, 2002 Suzuki SV650S, 1974 Honda CB360, 2004 Honda CBR600RR, 2004 Yamaha TTR125, and 2003 Honda CR125
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Both my parents are riders, my mom worked at Harley Davidson for a number of years too before I was born. Though they tried their best to hide their two wheeled adventures from me and my sisters as we grew up, Dad couldn’t resist and we always had at least one motorcycle in the garage. Every spring he would fire one up, my sisters and I would coming running with our mom’s helmet and jacket and we would beg for rides all day long. He’d ride us to the beach and back until the tank ran out of gas. He and mom would go out for rides and I would sit at home and just wish I too could know the open road like that. Super proud to say now that all 5 of us in the family have our M1 licenses!
Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? All of the above! Though these days I do much less on the commuting side – I find the freeways of California to be insanely dangerous compared to my small town roads on the east coast. I will occasionally street ride for pleasure but my main passion is now racing. I used to race my vintage ’74 CB360 with my dad back in New England with a group called the USCRA (United States Classic Racing Association). Now out here in California I race with the CVMA (Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association) on my CBR600. Racing motorcycles is an absolute thrill and the racing community is a tight family, one I’m proud to be a part of. I’ve also really gotten into dirtbikes living out here in the motocross mecca and my husband just bought me a 2-stroke CR125 to replace my kiddie TTR125 (yep he’s a keeper)!
What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?
1) If it is your dream, then go for it!
2) Take a MSF or comparable learners course. It seriously makes a difference and is much better than testing at your DMV!
3) Learn on a bike that is comfortable for you. Some folks new to riding think they need the newest, biggest, baddest bike there is out there. Not true! Mid size and small size bikes are tons of fun and have way too many merits for me to count here. Point is; do your research, sit on as many bikes as possible, and buy what is sensible.
4) Ride with like-minded riders who are responsible. I once was stuck on a group ride with a bunch of hooligans and hated every minute of it. From then on I promised myself I’d only ride with people I know to be experienced and responsible riders.
5) Try a track day! I think every rider should one day know the joys of an open track free from cars, pedestrians, cops, and other hazards. I had no clue track days existed until I was already a street rider of 6 years. Had I only known sooner!
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Probably the trip from Orange County CA to the Laguna Seca MotoGP race in Monterey Bay northern California … just under 800 miles round trip.
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? Race organizations: USCRA, CVMA. Online communities- OCmoto.com, Socalmoto.org and Girlclutch.com (racing) and I am a proud assistant to the annual Femmewalla Women’s Only track day event, happens every December at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. Please check out the FaceBook page!
Do you have a favorite riding story? The best day of my entire life was the day I married the love of my life, Alexander Dunstan, on the start/finish line of Chuckwalla Valley Raceway on October 13 2011.
We first met each other at a track day back in Loudon, NH, completely fell in love and we felt it very fitting that we tie the knot at a racetrack as well. Lucky for us we have some really amazing friends who made it possible for us to marry at our favorite race track and then share our combined passion for motorcycle and riding with a half day track event for all attendees.
Alex and I had a few laps all to ourselves that day and all the anxiety and stress of wedding planning melted away as we carved the corners together in unison.
What do you do when you’re not riding? When I’m not riding I’m probably working, hah! Which actually turns out alright because I work at Troy Lee Designs (mx gear company) so I still get to think/talk bikes all day anyway! I also enjoy mountain biking, crossfit with Pandemic Crossfit of Norco, and doing some art projects on the side whenever I get the chance.
I’d like to give a special shout out to the female athletes competing in motorcycle racing. They are pioneers in the sport and they pave the way for future generations of female riders and racers worldwide. The more we promote our ladies in the professional level, the more young girls will grow up seeing that they too can ride and race. Please everyone, check out our female racers and follow them/like them/view them, show some support! Social media is now a legit metric companies recognize and every time you hit the like button, you are improving these ladies odds of funding for future seasons of racing.
Melissa Paris @meligirl13 (AMA Daytona Sportbike #13 )
Elena Myers @elenamyers21 (AMA Daytona Sportbike #21)
Caroline Olsen @carolineracing (AMA Supersport #44)
Patricia Fernandez @lady_racer804 (AMA Supersport #804)
SHELINA MOREDA @shelina93 (AMA Harley Davidson Vance & Hines, Supersport)