Tag Archives: Kawasaki

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Mary a.k.a. @Murphdak

Sometimes I wish I knew more about technology than I do because right now I would be playing a soundtrack for you that sounded like a pig squealing with delight! Unfortunately, my tech skills lack, hence the ugly blog, and so you’ll have to use your imagination for the soundtrack.

Regardless, I am so happy >squealing< to introduce to you another female motorcyclist, Mary from Milwaukee, WI. She is also known as @Murphdak on Twitter. That’s where I connected with Mary (hint, hint: follow her on Twitter)! I offer to you another fascinating lady rider for y’all to meet!

Meet Mary a.k.a. @Murphdak

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 13 seasons

How did you learn to ride? I bought my first bike, a Suzuki GZ250 in 2000, got my learner’s permit and practiced in the church parking lot next door.

What was your first motorcycle? Suzuki GZ250

How many have you owned? 1 Suzuki, 3 Hondas, 2 Kawasakis, and 1 Harley, so seven! I bought my Harley Sportster 1200 Low in 2008 and have been riding it ever since.

Mary with her Harley Sportster 1200 Low

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I have since I was a little kid when my male cousins had them. I was always fascinated by vehicles so I would drive whatever I could, whenever I could. That came in handy when my father started farming. I was always willing to ride the tractors, snowmobiles, Bobcats and other various machines.

Tell us about your riding. I have been a commuter rider for years with one or two rides of about 200 miles roundtrip a year to my family’s houses. I have since been riding more, yet still commute to work. What beats a ride in the morning and a ride going home from work five days a week?

Nice commute!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? If you really have an interest in riding, pursue it! I also suggest taking the training course offered by many establishments. It is invaluable and you will use it every time you get on the bike.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? This past Memorial Day I went on a four day, 750 mile trip to and from the Mississippi River and around WI from Milwaukee.

Mary on the road!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I am one of the founding members of RockerFoxMC. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. We are a riding club mainly to encourage female riders to have a comfortable environment to ride in with other female riders. I will ride with anyone, however!

Do you have a favorite riding story? I do. The first time I went on a long trip to my sister’s house (100 miles) I was riding with my husband’s co-worker and my husband was tailing us in the car. My husband is very protective so the two of them had walkie-talkies hooked up between each other to monitor my progress … Oh, brother! Anyway, one thing that I did not expect was a giant hedge-hog to come waddling right into my path as I was riding 55 mph. I saw it just as it made it safely to the side of the road. Whew! It was a good ride even though I was a little nervous, but my husband was told that I was a very good rider by my riding partner. He’s been supportive of my hobby ever since.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a graphics services manager for a printing company in Milwaukee. I love music, books, travel, animals and, of course motorcycling.

Harley Davidson

21st Annual International Motorcycle & Scooter Ride to Work Day

Ride to Work Day June 18, 2012

For more information: http://www.ridetowork.org/

 

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Juju

I am so pleased my next guest stopped by the blog and left a comment! Another female motorcyclist to profile!! I’d like you to meet Juju from the Florida panhandle and she is on Twitter @Juju821.

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Scooter since 1980, motorcycle since 2006.

How did you learn to ride? With the scooter, I just hopped on and figured it out. You know—you think you can do anything when you’re in your 20s. But when I wanted to get started on a motorcycle, I took the basic riders’ course at the local Harley Davidson shop, at the tender age of 53. Then my husband picked up where that left off, since, as they say in the class, this qualifies you to ride your bike in a parking lot. So there was lots of practice afterwards until I felt comfortable.

What was your first motorcycle? A used Suzuki 800 Intruder. It was 13 years old when I got it, and it was a great first bike for me.

How many have you owned? Two, including the trike I have now, plus the Garelli scooter when I was in college.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? My husband and I rode his Kawasaki together when we were dating, but then we didn’t ride much after we got married, bought a house, etc. Then in the late 90s, he got another bike, and he was having SUCH a great time riding. But as we’d gotten older and grown into our own personalities more, we found that neither of us wanted me riding pillion behind him. But I told him that if he was going to ride as much as he wanted to, I was going to have to be involved somehow. By the time I’d finished the basic riders’ course and got the motorcycle endorsement on my license, he had hunted down the Suzuki for me to buy.

Tell us about your riding. Pretty much everything but racing.

I commute to my teaching job at a small state university on my trike whenever the weather allows—my students seem to love it that I ride, though I’m not sure why. Maybe just the novelty of it.

We do a lot of day rides: Sunday brunch rides, beach rides, rides to dinner, rides to visit friends.

But my favorite is our now-annual ride to the Blue Ridge Mountains in June for the Trike Talk Rally, sponsored by TrikeTalk.com. Of course, it’s mostly trikes, and it has grown in its five years from a handful of trike-riding friends meeting for lunch to a four-day event attended by several hundred riders. We do allow a few token two-wheelers for diversity’s sake. 🙂 There doesn’t seem to be a bad road to ride in that area. We like the Tail of the Dragon for a fun challenge, and the Blue Ridge Parkway of course is gorgeous. My favorite road in that area, though, is the Cherohala Skyway, and I’d ride it every day if I could. There’s also the Foothills Parkway, Sweetwater Road, and as I said, I don’t think there’s a bad road for riding in that part of the country. The four days of rides and the fellowship with other riders cannot be beat, and it’s become a highlight of our summer activities.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? I think you could not do better than to take the basic riders’ course sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Spouses can be great teachers, but they can’t always be as objective, unbiased, or patient as a rider coach can be.

And be of good cheer! When I was in the course, I thought, “Clutch, shift, friction zone, head and eyes, rear brake, front brake, watch out for nutty drivers…There’s no way I’ll be able to remember all this, AND enjoy myself out on the road.” But you know what? I did learn it—and now I love it. Just be willing to put in some good practice time even after the class is over.

Another thing: if you EVER decide that you want a trike, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a “real” motorcycle. So, what, it doesn’t have a motor, or it’s not a “cycle”? Just laugh in their face and ride off to have fun on your trike.

What is the longest trip that youve taken on your cycle? Last year, we extended our trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, riding on up the Blue Ridge Parkway into Virginia, to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. For an occasion like that, some people go to Paris, some go to Rome, but not the Youngs—we took a motorcycle trip! Between getting there, all the riding we did on the gorgeous, twisty mountain roads, and getting home, we covered roughly 2500 miles. We visited with old and new friends, discovered the North Carolina wine country, scaled the upper reaches of the Blue Ridge, and were treated to some of the best scenic views east of the Mississippi River. What a ride!!!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? TrikeTalk.com is currently the only riders’ group to which I belong, but it is the best. I’d encourage anyone who is interested in trikes, either as a current rider or a potential one, to visit the site and have a look around. It’s one of the most friendly and supportive Internet sites I know.

Do you have a favorite riding story? It’s a short one, but a good one! Last summer, we had stopped overnight to visit the lovely Sheldon Vineyards in North Carolina. We’d toured the winery and had the most delicious and graciously but simply served dinner at the vineyard restaurant, overlooking the chef’s huge and copious garden and behind that, of course, the vineyards. Full of delicious local wine and melt-in-your-mouth veal porterhouse accompanied by the chef’s fresh greens, we wandered back to our bikes for the short ride back to our hotel.

But a storm was clearly in the offing—we could smell the rain already. So instead of rooting around in my trunk for our helmets, we just saddled up and headed out. We virtually flew back along the narrow country road (only a couple of miles), hoping we wouldn’t get caught by either the approaching storm clouds, and hoping we wouldn’t get caught

What do you do when youre not riding? I teach English at the University of West Florida in the Florida panhandle, I read a lot, spend time with my husband and our dog, travel as much as I possibly can, and love to bicycle, 50-90 miles a week. Yes—it’s all about the wheels!

Juju and her trike!

P.S. Ladies I’m still taking names for profiles! Just leave a comment letting me know you would like to join in on the fun.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Elizabeth (Liz)

We have been around the world with the profiles of female motorcyclists. Today, we have another first – both mother and daughter motorcyclists have been profiled! Sarah (daughter) was profiled on May 16, 2012 and today we have Elizabeth (Liz, mom) also from Sacramento, CA sharing her story.

Liz and Sarah

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  Since I was 17. At first it was a practical solution to transportation … just kinda taught myself on a Honda 90, rode it for about 2 years. Didn’t actually ride a “real street bike” until I turned 50 … been enjoying the unique freedom of riding my own bike for about 4 years now.

How did you learn to ride?  I was a pillion for years, enjoying “my knees in the air”, then I watched my daughter Sarah ride her own bike, first on the dirt, then she took the MSF class, so I pretty much followed her steps. My husband coached both us via our radio communication.

What was your first motorcycle?  Honda 90

How many have you owned?  Honda 90, various dirt bikes … then GS500, then V-Strom 650 and now the Ninja 650 (three street bikes).

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  To have a much fun as my daughter Sarah was having!

Tell us about your riding. I mostly ride for pleasure and several vacations have been based on riding. The annual ride with all girls has been some of the most fun!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  You aren’t too old to have fun!  If you love being outside, traveling, but don’t want to ride in a car … start riding! It is the perfect way to get from one beautiful location to another!  Our friend Donna (@Demenshea) has been an inspiration to me. She is able to go on adventures, take beautiful pictures and share it all with us. I would also encourage other women to pick out their own bike!  Sit on different ones, pick one that you can comfortably put your feet on the ground and it doesn’t feel “top-heavy”. That was my frustration with the V-Strom. I didn’t feel comfortable.  Now with the Ninja, I am having so much fun!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  No sure, might have been the trip north to Washington and home through eastern Oregon, or the trip with the girls, south to Cambria and home.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? My family is kinda my “group”…  nothing online

Do you have a favorite riding story?  Not really an exciting story, but for me a real confidence builder, was when we had spent the day riding with a large group. While taking a break along I-5, one of our party called home and said it was raining there (about 50 miles north). Wow! It really was pouring … I just kept calm and remembered all I had been taught.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Reading, origami, knitting, gardening … adoring my daughters and granddaughters!

Liz riding!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Kari a.k.a. Bluekat

I found my next guest through Eve (May 14, 2012 profile). Kari a.k.a. Bluekat is from Oregon, Eve sent me a link to Kari’s blog, bluekat’s Journeys because Kari is also a female motorcyclist! I am thankful to Eve for the “introduction” and to Kari for saying yes!

Kari a.k.a. Bluekat

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? About 4 years, since 2008

How did you learn to ride? I took Basic Rider Training through Team Oregon.

What was your first motorcycle? 91 Vulcan 500

How many have you owned? Three. The Vulcan, a Suzuki C50, and my current Ninja 650R.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? It came out of the blue (no one expected it!) My husband returned to riding after a 20+ year hiatus. For some wild reason I decided to learn to ride. I was as surprised as anyone by this revelation.

Tell us about your riding. Mostly commuting. Sometimes it seems like it’s the only time I can find for riding. Great way to relax after a day at work. We also do a little touring, but usually only once a year.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Not much advice really, but if you want to ride. Don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t. I highly recommend taking a class from professionals.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last year’s tour from Oregon to Glacier National Park. I think it was a little over 2,000 miles altogether. Going to the Sun Highway opened on the last day we were there, and we had a fantastic ride over the pass.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? We are a part of an informal moto-blogger group. Some of us are local, but others are across theU.S.and even around the world. We’ve met and ridden with a few riders/bloggers in our area. In fact our Glacier Tour last year was with some other fellow moto-bloggers who invited us along. Most of my riding is solo, but sometimes with friends and family on occasion.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I can’t think of a favorite at the moment. There are so many good memories: the first time learning to ride, the first get together with fellow moto-bloggers, first trip to the Redwoods, and our trip last year to Glacier. They’re all favorites.

What do you do when you’re not riding? If I’m not riding motorcycles, you can probably find me on a bicycle, either on the road or on the trails. Guess I just can’t stay away from two wheels.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Highwaylass

These profiles of female motorcyclists have truly gone international! My next guest is from Cambridgeshire, UK. On Twitter she is known as @Highwaylass a.k.a. Shelia. She is a prolific blogger on Transport of Delight. Don’t forget to dial it into your RSS feed! Grab your helmet, jacket, and boots as we fly across the world to meet Highwaylass!

Highwaylass says, “The photo was taken in January this year when I was riding in Australia. There are some great stories about that trip too 😉 !”

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 1996

How did you learn to ride? I took my CBT in October, which is the first step towards getting a license in the UK- it’s a day of training, you start in a car park doing figures of 8 and U-turns, and then they lead you out on to the road, which after just a few hours on a bike I found quite terrifying. With my CBT I was allowed to ride on the road unsupervised, so I put my L-plates on and practiced every day after work in car parks and housing estates. I was helped by a couple of local riders I’d met through cix_bikers and the Wycombe Motorcycle Action Group: Ken Haylock and Rik Wells. They used to ride out with me and take me pillion occasionally so that I could see what I was supposed to be doing!  In May the following year I took a 2-day intensive course with a test at the end of it. I remember a blinding headache at the end of the first day and being really worried about having to take my test in the rain. The training school lent me a bright yellow pair of fisherman’s trousers so I felt like an absolute numpty. Passed, though! And the day after my test I was doing a cix_bikers track day at CadwellPark. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time …

What was your first motorcycle? I bought a Kawasaki KH100 to learn on. After passing my test I sold the KH100 to another learner and bought a Yamaha Diversion 600.

How many have you owned? Six altogether: the KH100, the Diversion, and a Kawasaki W650 which had a shocking backfire I couldn’t live with. “They all do that, it’s a feature, madam,” said the dealership so I traded it in for a Triumph Adventurer, which I still have. I owned Ruby Thursday, a 1200 GS for three years, but decided I didn’t need her and an Africa Twin. The Africa Twin is called 2Moos Lautrec, because the 2 little girls who live next door thought he looked like a cow. I asked FaceBook friends to name some famous cows and 2Moos was the winner, although it is a terrible pun. The Triumph doesn’t have a name, or if she does, she’s keeping it to herself.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I always wanted to ride a bike. I thought bikers were the coolest people in the world. My dad talked about buying me one to ride to college on, but it never happened – I suspect my mum declared it insufficiently ladylike. I didn’t know any bikers, so I got my car licence like a normal person and watched wistfully as the bikers filtered past me in the traffic jams.

When my then-husband’s car got nicked in 1995 I reached a deal with him that he’d take my car and I’d use his insurance money to buy a bike and get trained. I was gutted when the police found his car where the thieves had left it! But it gave me the final push towards becoming a biker. We sold his car and I spent the money on the KH100 and my training.

Tell us about your riding. I ride about 12,000 miles a year, commuting and touring. I used to live and work in London, and I rode to work most days as I found dicing with the traffic was a great way to kick-start my brain! At the moment I’m mostly cycling to work, and riding on weekends and holidays. I tour in the UK, alone and with friends.  I have done a couple of track days but I’m not quick. For me, riding’s about exploring this amazing world and meeting the fantastic people in it.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get trained, get good gear, and get out there. I wish I had started earlier. I was 26 when I passed my test but I could have done it at 18 and had 8 more years of riding. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you that it’s a man’s world. There are so many amazing and inspirational lady riders, both past and present.  Read The Rugged Road by Teresa Wallach; Lois on the Loose by Lois Pryce; and The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson if you need some encouragement. And then start your own adventure.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Most years I ride Land’s End to John O’Groats with a group of friends from the Round Britain Rally. We take about 10 days to do it and ride all round the UK. It’s about 2,000 miles, which probably doesn’t sound much to US or Australian riders but it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. There isn’t going to be an End-to-End this year, but I’m riding to Shetland instead for the Simmer Dim Rally.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? When I started riding I got to know the cix_bikers, an internet community from the days before the net had pictures. They gave me lots of advice and encouragement and I’m still in touch with some of them now. I’m involved with the two main biker lobby groups in the UK, the BMF and MAG, but my main club is the Round Britain Rally. It has a brilliant social side as well as the main event which is the navigational rally.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I have so many! Riding has brought so many amazing people and experiences into my life.  But I think probably this one, because it meant so much to me that my friends came to support me. My official description in the One and Other archive is “Harmonica Girl and Bikers.”

What do you do when you’re not riding? I plan future rides and write stories about past ones!  I am incredibly blessed in that I get to work some of the time as a motorcycle journalist. But it’s being a Public Relations Officer that pays the bills.

The photo was taken in January this year when I was riding in Australia. There are some great stories about that trip too 😉

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Eve

Don’t be afraid when I tell you that I stalk follow people in cyber space. That’s where I found my next lady rider Eve (formally known as GSXGRL, presently IRNGRL) from Grant, Alabama. She has blog Sunny Side Up that I’ve followed in my Google Reader for a while. Imagine my delight when I remembered she rode a motorcycle. I am so happy she said yes so you too can connect with Eve here and on her blog!

Eve

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I started riding my own motorcycle 18 years ago at the ripe old age of 34. OH, what I would give to be able to be 34 again!! You would have thought I was a teenager … I rode about a year on my permit, with or without a licensed driver. UG!!!

How did you learn to ride? On my own. Once I got the hang of it and found people to ride with I watched and learned.

What was your first motorcycle? My first bike was a 1994 black, teal and purple Kawasaki Ninja 250R. It was the perfect starter bike for me, a 5’5″ 110 lb beginner. Super inexpensive, including the insurance for someone with extremely limited funds.

How many have you owned? I’ve owned five motorcycles. I loaded my ’94 Ninja with lots of miles so I traded for a used green 250R, same bike but newer, then realized it had been dropped so took that back and got a new 1999 Green Ninja 250R. When I look back on that decision, I could kick myself (should have got a bigger bike). In 2004, ten years into my riding, I finally got the nerve to step it up. I decided on a 2004 Suzuki GSXF 600 Katana. Note the theme here … insurance is low on these motorcycles. The Katana was a little tall for me, so we lowered it ourselves. In 2010, I broke the resistance, and bought my new Harley Davidson XL883 Iron. Actually I traded the Katana and my husband footed the bill for the balance of the Iron on my birthday (at that point I exempted him from all further gifts, because after all … what more could a girl ask for!) Getting used to the foot position was the biggest obstacle, but that only lasted the first couple stops.

Eve’s bikes

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Why? Because I love to go fast! Because I’ve wanted one since I was a kid. It’s just who I am I guess. I love every bit of the riding experience.

Tell us about your riding. Pleasure or short runs to the store for small things. I like to travel light. I miss riding with my best bud Deb, aka BKRCHC from NY. She, having had a bike at a younger age but sold it long ago, got jealous of my new hobby so got herself a Honda Rebel. We rode whenever our jobs allowed us. And that was quite a good amount since I worked in the school system with summers off and she is a dairy farmer which left some time for day travel. She eventually got her HD 883 Low (which her husband had converted to a 1200 as a gift just before I left for Alabama). I didn’t get my Iron, until I moved to Alabama, and she is very sad to be missing out on the great rides we could be enjoying together. Me too!

Eve and Deb

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? It’s very important to have a healthy fear of motorcycling. A slight fear keeps you on your toes and focused on the road and where you want to go. You should work on defensive driving skills for all diving and bring them with you on the bike. You must look ahead and behind and KNOW what the drivers around you are going to do before they even know what they are going to do! Give yourself space and use your speed to get away from people who are not paying attention. Use your judgment; it might be just as good to go in another direction. Take classes, learn from others. But if you have a desire, by all means, RIDE!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I’ve been on many long rides but not many trips. My husband and I went on a Veteran’s Run from our home near Watertown, NY to Albany with a small group. We stayed the night near Albany and rode through the Adirondack Mountains the next day and headed home. Sadly long drives like that on the Katana were extremely painful for me. After years of riding with the weight on my right arm, my shoulder started complaining. I know I’m supposed to tell a favorite story about riding later, but I have so many that I thought I’d sneak one in here. The Veteran’s Ride originated from the Watertown/Fort Drum Nomad’s. The morning of the ride there was a downpour of biblical proportions but that wasn’t going to stand in our way. My husband (he on his 1200 Custom Sportster) and I geared up and made it to the meeting place in town. Dang those potholes are hard to see when they are covered up in water! Just a small hand full of diehard Harley riders showed up along with the ride leader. After waiting for about a half hour and deciding to head out, the leader said, “I can’t wait to go to work on Monday and let them all know that a tiny chick on a sportbike managed to come out in the rain this weekend, while they all chickened out and stayed home!” I had a smile from ear to ear under my full-face helmet the whole way!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups?I have become involved with a group called Mercury One. There are many Mercury One groups popping up throughout the country. Their goals are to serve others and raise money for charity, so we are not dependent upon the government. I have started my group Mercury One Riders on Facebook and would invite anyone to come see what you think. My goal is to inspire groups to form around the country to ride for charity and for Mercury One.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Heck YES!!! Too many to tell, but here is one of my favorites. When I got my first bike, the little Ninja 250 I was single, having been divorced for just a few years. In the two summers that I rode, before I met my husband, now of nearly 16 years, I experienced some of my most fond rides! I got bold and went on my first Poker-type Run but it was a mixed crowd with lots of Gold Wing types and only two other sportbikes. Naturally I fell in line with them. I let them know I was a newbie, and the two fellows took me under their wings for support. Through them I met some great guys to ride with. Mind you, I never dated any of them, mostly because that was not what I was looking for at the time. They treated me with respect and honestly, like one of the guys. This may be the reason why … on one of our first excursions we left heading for the Thousand Islands and since I lived near the area I brought the gang to one of the few windy roads on the way. Sadly when we got there the road had been freshly paved with loose gravel! Did that slow my experienced friends down … NOPE … off they went and there I was holding on for life testing my skills on slick rocks! Did I give up and go home with my tail tucked. NO. When I finally caught up with the guys, they were stopped at the convenient store on the highway getting water and patiently waiting for me. (OK OK it wasn’t that long of a wait!!) “I’m really sorry about that,” I say to one of the fellows sitting there. “It’s no problem,” he says. “Well,” I say, “you guys have something I don’t.” “Bigger bikes,” he nodded. “No!” I say …”you guys have balls!” That was it … they were my best friends for life!!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I was laid off from my position as an Educational Interpreter in 2005. Had a blown disk in 2006, no, not on the bike … in my back. The first thing I asked my Doc when I had my surgery in February was, how long will it be before I can ride? I was on the bike in April on the first warm spring day!! In 2009 we moved to the beautiful state of Alabama and as of yet I have not found the right job for me. I love photography, bird watching and gardening. I take my 83 year old mom, who moved down here to be near us, places she needs to go and am helping to raise our 14 year old daughter to be an independent and intelligent young lady. And as most of us, when not riding, wish I was!

As much as I love my Harley Davidson Iron, I do wish I’d been able to keep my Katana to jump on every now and then. But even though my two sportbikes weren’t the real hardcore version of Supersport motorcycles, I was able to drop onto the tank and let her fly. For those of you who know the experience, there isn’t much better fun out there on the road. However … I will say one thing … That Old Iron has just the right set up for me to drop down and have a little tank time too!!!

Eve and her rides

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Jenny

My next guest motorcylcist Jenny, or on Twitter @gaia3465, has a blog VroomCrunchSigh and says she’s from all over and just left Nashville, TN.

Jenny

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 4 years

How did you learn to ride? MSF course

What was your first motorcycle? ’90 Honda Hurricane

How many have you owned? 2

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Because of the freedom and confidence it gives me.

Tell us about your riding. Pleasure, maybe commuting in future.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Not to be intimidated and not be scared to give it a try.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? No trips yet, just long day rides.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not anymore.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not really, just the feelings of being in the middle of nowhere alone with your bike and your thoughts.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Dream about riding! And cooking, working out, reading, and learning photography.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Em Alicia a.k.a. Miss Busa

I “met” this next gal in cyber space. I was new to riding, Twitter, and blogging but somehow found dear Em Alicia from Augusta, Georgia. Right now I feel like a preschooler (my motorcycle skill level) trying to introduce a rider with a PHD in all things motorcycle. Find Em Alicia or @MissBusa on Twitter. She also has a blog  filled with stories of her adventures in riding, The Girl Gets Around. And check out her Facebook Team PLD Racing page! This gal has some skills!

Em Alicia a.k.a. Miss Busa

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I bought my first scoot in September of 2008, so 3 years 7 months.

How did you learn to ride? My husband taught me the basics in two sessions. Halfway through the second outing, he sent me out into traffic. I made him follow me in the car to “watch my six” the next day I started riding to work by myself.  I had to wait to take the MSF Basic Rider Course, but I got lucky and several cancellations enabled me to take it a month after buying my bike.

What was your first motorcycle? The first motorcycle I have ever ridden was a Kawasaki GPZ900R, the very first generation Ninja. The first bike I’ve owned was a 2008 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low.

How many have you owned? Four. After seven months on the Sporty, I bought a 2009 Suzuki Hayabusa. Eleven months later, after having wrecked the ‘Busa, I decided to throw my leg over a 2010 BMW S1000RR, which is the bike that I currently ride. I also own a dedicated race bike, a 2007 Yamaha R1.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was bitten by the bug riding on the back of my boyfriend’s GPZ900R. The dude was a maniac on two wheels. I was scared, but for some odd reason I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of fear and exhilaration. I wanted to learn to ride myself! However, my dad found out about my hooligan endeavors when someone caught me practicing figure 8s in the school parking lot and put a stop to the “nonsense”. He said he’d rather kill me himself then let me go through with it and wait for me to do it myself on a bike. He rode when he was younger, I really didn’t understand. But I was young and had no money to speak of. The decision had been made.

Life happened and eventually motorcycles were forgotten until 19 years later, when the opportunity presented itself again in the form of needing my own vehicle to get to a new job; the need of learning to ride was revived. I always dreamed of owning and riding a true American Legend and since I thought I was too old for speed, I opted to go ahead and buy that Harley. A kind of big deal for this German girl.

Tell us about your riding. My bike is how I get around; I even raced it until my husband surprised me with an early birthday present: a dedicated race bike with all the performance upgrades this girl could possibly want.

I commute year around, and ride every chance I get. I am a combat commuter, superbike sport-tourer, knee dragger, part-time drag queen, speed freak with land speed record aspirations, and am learning to turn my own wrenches. I would also like to get into flat tracking … one day.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? For the ladies out there already on two wheels: Ride hard. Ride safe. Hope to see you on the road or the track. 🙂

For the women who are thinking about learning to ride: Take a safety course, like the MSF Basic Rider Course, even if you are unsure if motorcycling is for you. The class is fun, you learn the basics of motorcycling in a safe and controlled environment and you will know by the end of it wether or not you like riding. Don’t ever let anyone pressure you into something you are not comfortable with. Learn at your own pace and expand your comfort zone on your own terms. Educate yourself from respected sources, such as skill books or participate in formal training such as rider clinics and even track schools. Your education, protective gear and level of riding skill is your only line of defense out there. Always wear your gear and ride in traffic like you’re invisible. Oh, and buy used! Your first bike should be something that is not too expensive and you are not afraid to drop and break something. You won’t know what kind of rider you are going to be, so don’t invest too much money in your first ride, you might find out two or three months down the road that the bike you bought just isn’t doing it for you for one reason or another.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest solo trip that I ever took was from my house to Deals Gap, to engage in a weekend of Dragon Slaying with the Women’s Sportbike Rally, which is held annually at Deal’s Gap. That’s about 240 miles one way.

The longest trip was with my husband who rides a 2009 Kawasaki Concours 14: Augusta, GA ~> Barber Motorsports Park; Leeds, AL for the Kevin Schwantz Racing School ~> Cherohala Skyway ~> Blue Ridge Parkway ~> Skyline Drive ~> Myrtle Beach, SC ~> Augusta, GA. 1824 miles in 11 days. I learned to race, we stopped a lot and laid around on the beach. It was the most fun I’ve had since skiing Black Diamonds in West Virginia.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I am a member of the AMA. I belonged to the BMW RA for one year, but didn’t see the point. I joined a local chapter of the Southern Cruisers, a riding club that doesn’t charge membership dues, but never actually made it to one of their meetings. I really don’t get the club thing, and I don’t like to pay money to belong. I’m not really a group rider, not to say that I can’t behave myself in a group, but I prefer to do my own thing or ride with just a select few. I don’t feel comfortable around street riders whose riding style I’m unfamiliar with. I have trust issues on the street and if you find me in a group, I’m usually in the back of the pack, riding sweep.

Do you have a favorite riding story? It is hard to pick just one. Any time you throw your leg over your machine you are risking exciting adventure. I think my all time favorite street riding story would have to be when I picked up my Hayabusa seven months into learning to ride. It is a three-day story of anxiety, nausea, elation, fear, adventure, excitement, and the awesome payoff that happens when you push your comfort zone a little and find you can do it, even though most people told you that you couldn’t (or shouldn’t). I’ll leave you with the link, if you would like to read how this Harley rider came to trade her classy V-Twin for 196 HP rocket sled. Check out the story here.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m currently unemployed. I wish I could land myself a gig in the motorcycle industry, working with the one thing in my life that I’m extremely passionate about, would make me complete. That is my Zen. I also enjoy writing, poetry, image editing and graphic design, digital art, photo retouching and restoration, and running and I am constantly chasing that next adrenaline rush (endorphins are good, too).

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Rachael

I’m going to start this post with a true confession: I have blog envy. My green eyes look at Rachael’s Girlie Motorcycle Blog and dream of the day I’ll have something so delightful! Not to mention she had a brush with greatness! You’ll have to check out that story here. Rachael or as she’s called on Twitter @FuzzyGalore hails from Long Island, NY. She did mention that she’s often referred to as Fuzz or Fuzzy. Sounds like there’s a story behind that nickname! Without further ado, here’s Rachael’s story!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? This is my 17th year on the bike. Not a whole lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like I’ve been at it my whole life. It’s such an all-encompassing lifestyle that I don’t remember what life was like without it.

How did you learn to ride? I learned to ride through an MSF course. The first moment that I threw my leg over the bike, I knew it was for me. Taking the MSF class was probably the biggest favor I did myself.

Then in my mid 30’s when I wanted to learn to dirt ride, I took another “dirt basics” class to get a very basic understanding of the body mechanics involved in that type of riding.

What was your first motorcycle? The first motorcycle that I bought myself was a firecracker red Kawasaki ZX6R. I can still hear my dad’s voice as he and I stood in the driveway looking at its sleek lines and shiny go-fast red paint, “Well? You gonna look at it or are you gonna ride it?”

Those first few miles were the most exciting and frightening miles ever. It was probably a good thing that most of my first year of riding was spent alone. I took it easy getting to know what it meant to ride a motorcycle without being pressured by anyone else. That bike was probably too much, too soon.

How many have you owned? I’ve personally owned 9 motorcycles. But, being one half of a motorcycle riding couple has put many more at my disposal. I’m pretty lucky that way.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I don’t know, really. Riding a motorcycle seemed like the most natural thing in the world to want to do. I come from a family with many motorcycle riders in it. You could probably say it was in the blood. I really can’t imagine NOT riding a motorcycle.

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? Yes, Yes, Yes, No. 🙂

Over the years my riding style and what I want from riding has gone through many changes.

In the beginning it seemed like there was a constant desire to go fast, to challenge myself to be a better rider. I did some track days and stuck to riding sportbikes and hung out with folks who did the same.

As things in my life changed, so did what I wanted from riding. I started to have more of a hunger for traveling, for seeing more of the world. The desire to go fast became a desire to explore and so I began to slow down and wander more. These days I’m usually just poking along looking at the scenery and that’s just fine with me.

My travels haven’t been especially far flung but ::knocks wood:: I’m not done yet. Thinking about the “somedays” and the possibilities is always very exciting to me. My daydreams of riding through far off places keep me striving to make those “somedays” a reality.

On an everyday level, I often find that there aren’t enough daylight hours to be able to sneak out for a pleasure ride. Commuting to work on my motorcycle gives me that little kick of fun that I need. It falls into the better than no riding at all category.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Gah! I am terrible at giving advice. I see myself as more of a pep talk type, really. So, with that ~You, yes you – are capable of more than you will ever know.

Whether you are just thinking about maybe riding a motorcycle, already riding and thinking about your first big road trip, learning to wrench your own bike or maybe thinking about trying a different type of riding like say – dirt: Whatever it is – You. Can. Do. It. The only real obstacle in front of your progress is you. You just have to be brave enough to take that first step of trying.

Above all else – your gender is not a handicap unless you make it one.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest single trip I’ve done so far was riding from Long Island toYellowstone National Park with my soon-to-be hubby, Kenny. The trip was a little over 5,000 miles in 10 days. In hindsight I wish we could have squeezed in more time but that is the ultimate commodity.

The trip came about because I wanted to see Mount Rushmore. Since we were in the neighborhood, we thought we’d work Yellowstone in as well. I had no guarantee that I’d ever be in that area again so it seemed like we should go for it.

It was wonderful and exciting and though taken at a faster pace than I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t change it. Those types of experiences teach you things about how you really want to do the next trip. Every journey is valuable.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? No, not really. I mean, I am an AMA member but that’s the extent of my “membership” in anything.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not so much a story per se, but I do have some favorite motorcycle-related moments. The top of my list would have to be watching my daughter Chloe who was 10 at the time, go from some tentative wobbling on her dirt bike to riding with a confidence and effortless grace that I greatly admire.

There is an absolutely joy that overwhelms your heart when you watch your children triumph. It is so full, so all encompassing it’s like your body can barely contain it. Watching the person I love most enjoying and progressing at something I love deeply – it just doesn’t get any better than that.

What do you do when you’re not riding? My biggest and most important job is being mom. As every parent knows there are a million things that go into that so it takes up the majority of my free time. But, since I have the most awesome kid ever, we’re always having fun doing whatever those million things are.

On a personal level, I love to ride bicycles, explore the world around us with my family and am working on learning to appreciate the small pleasures in life.

Rachael a.k.a. Fuzzy