Tag Archives: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Lynnea

I have a new cyber friend for y’all to meet! Her name is Lynnea and she is from upstate South Carolina (I’m already jealous of her because I’m guessing she can ride most of the year). She found my blog and answered my call for lady motorcyclists! Yay!!

Lynnea and her Morini

Lynnea and her Morini

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 35 years

How did you learn to ride? By the seat of my pants! Just bought a Honda C250T and taught myself–in Boston, no less.

What was your first motorcycle? See above

How many have you owned? At least 11. I currently ride a 1975 Moto Morini which we had restored–I had it repainted to look like a cafe racer from TRON.

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1975 Moto Morini

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I tried driving my high school boyfriend’s Honda 350 and instantly loved it. I already loved horses and riding, but this was even better!

Tell us about your riding. Pleasure, although racing is still on my bucket list.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a MSF course first to see how you like it and to get real training.  Then buy a smaller bike to learn on.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Indiana to Massachusetts and back.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Italian Motorcycle Owners Club of North America, Inc. (IMOC), a club I founded in 1982 in MA. The annual rally draws over 600 bikes and is now the largest all-Italian motorcycle rally of its kind in the country. Yes, I am proud of my baby, and extremely grateful that the current officers have kept it alive and thriving over the years. Also belong to Old Crap Riders! group in Greenville, SC.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not specifically, but my husband of 28 years, Roland, and I met through mutual motorcycling friends. We have a 25-year old son who is a CPA, and our 19-year old daughter had taken the MSF course. We have met wonderful people over the years and made some great friends.

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What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a corn snake breeder; belong to a Star Trek Club; travel every year overseas (Roland is Swiss); former belly dancer and hand-weaver; love to be with my family and friends.

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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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 Christie a.k.a. @Christieland

About a year ago I profiled Krystyna (KK), or on Twitter @KK352, a true lady motorcyclist! I tweeted once again asking for help finding more female riders and KK responded with a recommendation to contact her friend Christie a.k.a. @Christieland. I did and she said yes!! Christie has some amazing skills you can check out her blog Passed by a Chick!

Christie with her racing mechanic, Nikki Nienow

Christie with her racing mechanic, Nikki Nienow

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 7 years

How did you learn to ride? MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation)

What was your first motorcycle? 2003 Suzuki SV650S

How many have you owned? 5

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I initially wanted to learn how
to ride simply to know the skill and see if I might like it.  I had this idea in my head it’d be cool to know how to drive well, ride a motorcycle, fly a plane, James Bond stuff like that.  In case I ever needed to make a quick getaway and that was the only vehicle around!

Tell us about your riding. Turns out I really liked it.  I had so much fun in my MSF class that I knew I wanted to buy a street bike.  I got the Suzuki SV650S and started joining group rides in the mountains and occasionally commuting through gnarly Silicon Valley traffic to my job at Google.

A friend suggested a track day, which turned into another track day, which turned into racing lessons, and then racing.  Four years later I quit racing, and at that point I was fast enough at Sonoma Raceway to qualify for AMA SuperSport but declined to make a run at the pros, deciding instead to cash in my chips and walk away in one piece.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  Take an honest look at your driving ability, if you can. Everyone says they’re a good driver, naturally.  But are you, really? Do you know how to drive defensively?  When unexpected things happen on the road, do you blame others, or think about how you could have avoided the situation better?  If you feel you’re a good driver and can also keep your ego in check, go for it.  For me, motorcycling changed my life.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  I rode my
niece’s boyfriend’s Harley from Omaha, Nebraska to South Carolina two
summers ago.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? No

Do you have a favorite riding story? They’re almost all favorites.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Ride my bicycle!  I race road
and mountain bikes now.  No more motor bike racing for me!  My
husband, a former pro motorcycle racer, and I are expecting our first
child in late August, so I’m not racing anything right now (except to
the bathroom, about a million times a day) but am still logging lots
of miles on my pedal bikes.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Jen a.k.a. @JRod_70

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!

Jen a.k.a @JR0D_70

Jen a.k.a @JR0D_70

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

Jen and her CR125

Jen and her 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!

JRD_TTR125_2013

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)!

JRD_CB360_2009

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!

JRD_CBR600RR2_2012

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.

JRD_SV650S_2010

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

Femmewalla

Femmewalla

J_DUNSTAN_BIKE

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.

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Best Day Ever!

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.

Stunning!

Stunning!

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.

Wedding Lap!

Wedding Lap!

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)

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Sofia a.k.a. @CandyStripes327

I’m so excited to be able to serve up another profile of a female motorcyclist! This time I have Krystyna a.k.a. @KK352 to thank for introducing me to Sofia. She is also known on Twitter as @CandyStripes327  or CVMA #327 at the track! Sofia is from San Diego, CA. Check out her racing profiles on BigHeadzRacing and GirlClutchRacing. Pretty cool stuff.

Sofia

Sofia

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  Five years

How did you learn to ride? Motorcycle Safety Foundation

What was your first motorcycle? 2003 Suzuki SV650S

How many have you owned? 5 total; 1x Gen1 SV650, 3x Gen2 SV650S and 1x CBR600rr

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? Initially it was all about commuting … but that only lasted a year. Now it’s a complete addition and I don’t want it to ever end.

SMMR T6

Tell us about your riding. Racing! I initially got into motorcycles because I needed to save money on my commute (30mi each way), with the intention of “never riding in groups”, “Never going to the track” or any such madness … let alone racing.

Now, I only ride track. I no longer had a street bike, but I am racing with Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association and supporting SoCalTrackdays. I am considering racing other organization such MotoWestGP (Willow Springs), WERA (Las Vegas Classic) and maybe AFM (Buttonwillow). I would like to race regionally to support my sponsors better. Currently I am sponsored by Torco Lubricants, Snug Harbor Motorsports, ACT Racing, Impact Safe-T Armor, Bell Helmets, OCSuperbike, Podium Tire, Racetech Suspension, Woodcraft, Bazzaz and Livewire Energy.

girlclutch

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?

1. Do it. The sooner the better.

2. Learn from certified instructors; As much as you may love your significant other, the student/teacher thing will be strife. Avoid at all cost.

3. There is a lot of free advice out there… and it’s worth less than you would pay for it. A lot of guys try to impress girls on bikes with their knowledge of riding and most don’t know what they are talking about so take advice with a grain of salt.

4. If you can avoid it, don’t race the Same Classes as your significant other… more strife. I haven’t needed to worry about this one, but we did talk about it and agreed it might not be a good idea as we are both pretty competitive.

Jan-19-2013-CVMA Race 9 RG__4966

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? 300ish miles … been a while since I did a street ride.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? BigHeadzRacing: A group of folks connected through corner working for SoCalTrackdays, whom also share other interests such as getting together at the Regale Beagle or Mission Valley Starbucks in San Diego

GirlClutch: An all girl club lead by my friend Christin, CVMA #61, which is mainly a street riding group

GirlClutchRacing: Also lead by Christin and a subset of the aforementioned group, this group is targeted at Racing.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Winning my first sportsman class, Amateur Formula Twins, after working my way up from the back of the grid after a bad start, and lead the entire race up to the very last turn where 2nd tried to pass me on the inside and forced 3rd place off the track when I shut the door on him. It was my proudest moment and was my inspiration for bumping up to expert after only half a season as am amateur. I have been chasing faster folks ever since, but I am working my way closer and even placed 3rd as an expert.

baseOf12

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a software engineer by trade, but I spent a lot of my free time doing much of my own work on the bike. I am also a bicyclist and I am looking forward to enjoying the off season with some surfing.

I definitely recommend that girls learn how to do simple maintenance on their bikes. Doing so will help with the skills of riding if you know mechanically what your bike is doing for you and foster a closer relationship with your machine. Honestly, I even talk to mine, and yes, I even name my bikes.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Janis a.k.a. @PerfettoJanis

I am so happy that it is finally riding season here in Minnesota! And I am happy that I have another woman rider to feature here on the blog. I met Janis via Twitter a.k.a. @PerfettoJanis. She is an avid motorcyclist from Perry Georgia, but her heart is in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. And she is a blogger on MySphereIsYourSphere writing on many things including motorcycling, cooking and eating … some of my favorite subjects! Without further ado, here’s Janis!

Janis with her Triumph

Janis with her Triumph

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Longer than I will admit – gives away my age. Let’s just say I was 12 years old the first time I swung my leg over.

How did you learn to ride? Funny you should ask, and I do not recommend this method. At the age of 12, I took my first ride on a Honda 125 with my very sadistic cousin who was about 14. I can remember how bad I just wanted to ride that thing for myself. After listening to me whine and beg for what seemed like all day, he relented. He got on the back with me and showed me how to pull in the clutch and shift the gears. We took off and while still in first gear, he hopped off. He failed to show me how to brake, or even where the brakes were. I rode around the block over and over. I was having the absolute thrill of my life. My older sister saw me go by on about the 20th trip and freaked out. She came running after me, demanding for me to get off that thing. Of course, I had no idea how to do that. I don’t remember figuring out how to stop, but somewhere along the way, I got stopped safely and from that point motorcycling was in my blood for good. Flash forward many years, I took the MSF course!

What was your first motorcycle? When I was 15 years old, my dad bought me a Honda 125, just like the one I “learned” to ride on. Unfortunately, I only saw it once in the back of my dad’s truck as he changed his mind and decided he didn’t want to put his little girl on a motorcycle.

My next first motorcycle was a Buell Blast. I put 1500 miles on and took it straight back to the dealer demanding that they sell me a real motorcycle.

How many have you owned? Five – including a Suzuki Hyabusa with 205 horsepower. It was just plain stupid fast.

Janis at Deals Gap Triumph

Janis at Deals Gap Triumph

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? From my first experience to my own first motorcycle, I cannot remember ever wanting anything more than to just ride. I love the sound, the smell, and most of all, the thrill of the ride.

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? I ride for every reason you can name and probably some you cannot.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? I have often been asked for advice from women who want to ride, and I always tell them that riding is something that will provide them with an independence unequaled to anything else in life. Riding will touch you to your very soul. For me, I can solve my problems while riding. I can create a “think tank” that will provide me with the quiet time necessary for my deepest, innermost personal dilemmas. I get in touch with God, as well as myself. If I am stressed, and who isn’t, I can get on either of my motorcycles and within a very short period of time, my stress is gone. My advice is just do it!

Janis at San Rafael Swell Utah

Janis at San Rafael Swell Utah

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I take an extended trip every summer. Two summers ago, I shipped my bike and flew to San Jose, CA. I rode back from San Jose, CA to Perry, GA. I intended to do the whole trip solo, but got stuck with another rider to Grand Junction, Colorado. So from Grand Junction to Perry, GA, I was solo.  I wanted to make a coast to coast trip out if it and travel on to the coast of Georgia, but by the time I was near home, I found the extra eight to ten hour round trip a little more than I wanted to do at that time. I rode almost 5,000 miles that summer as I criss-crossed my way across the states. In June, I will be taking off for Montana and hope to travel to Oregon and maybe Washington too.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? I belong to Women On Wheels, a fantastic organization for women who love motorcycling. We accept all women who love motorcycling regardless of the make of their motorcycles and which part of the seat they occupy. We have real life meetings, rides and events as well as an online forum. I also belong to AMA.

Janis with her Fatboy at Niagara Falls

Janis’ Fatboy at Niagara Falls

Do you have a favorite riding story? One of my favorite stories is about a trip to West Virginia from Florida with friends, a married couple. We were about two hours from our destination when we were hit with a deluge and soaked to the core before we could manage to get off the road and into rain gear. Not wanting to unpack my whole bag for dry clothes for such a short distance, I decided I could just wear my Frogtogs rain suit. My friend’s husband was horrified by that prospect and let me know that if I should “go down,” I would expose everything my mamma gave me to whomever would be witness. Well, we were only another hour away and I would be fine. Off we went. I was getting pretty tired of the circular tan on my hands from the cutouts of my gloves, so I took them off and stashed them in my bags. I will say that I never ride without a helmet, but saw no concern for my skin. We got to within a half mile of our destination and had to ride on “Loop Road.” Loop wasn’t quite accurate for this road’s name. It was a loop with switchbacks, it was also a steep climb up, and it was slanted at about a 30 degree angle. Half way into the arc of the switch-back, I froze. After a berating from my friend’s jerk-husband, I attempted to proceed. It is a very difficult task to take off in the middle of a circle going straight up at a slanted disadvantage. I dropped my bike. I rolled down the road which meant I was rolling down a mountain in West Virgina – the mountain state. And I had zero protection for my body, especially my hands! My Frogtogs ripped, but thankfully only at the knee, and my hands, which I instinctively put out to break my fall, were gouged full of gravel, dirt, and mud. My hands were bleeding and so was my knee, but hurt most of all was my pride. The lesson I learned was to never ever ride without gloves, and a Frogtog rain suit offers protection only from the rain!

What do you do when you’re not riding? For my career, I am a high school English teacher. I just completed my Master’s in instructional technology/media specialist, so I am hoping to land a job next school year as a media specialist (librarian). For pleasure, I am an avid reader, and currently writing the next great novel!

P.S. Ladies! Let me know if you’d like to share your story too! Email me at: pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com < Trying to keep the spammers at bay!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Jayne

It is amazing all the wonderful lady riders that have joined in sharing their stories. From newbies to iron butts every story is filled with personal experience, wisdom, and the love of two wheels! I am so please to be able to share another story. Friends, I’d like to introduce to you Jayne, female motorcyclist from Portland, OR. She has a must follow blog A Broad Abroad Resources & Inspiration For Women Who Travel (or Want to!) and follow her on Twitter too @jayne_a_broad.

Jayne and her adventures!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I’ve been riding my own motorcycle since the summer of 2009, after being on the back of my husband’s motorcycle all over Europe for eight years.

How did you learn to ride? I took a four hour “sniffer” course in Germany in 2008, to see if I really wanted to learn to ride my own; the instructor was wonderful, and by the end of class, I knew I wanted to ride my own bike. Right after moving back to the USA, I took the basic rider course from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in the summer of 2009, and got my license immediately afterwards. Then I set riding goals for every month, such as a certain number of miles to complete, a certain scenario to undertake (riding in the rain, stopping on hills, etc.) or a trip to take. I also read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Motorcycles, a really excellent book that filled in a lot of blanks for me.

What was your first motorcycle? A 1982 Honda Nighthawk 650. I rode it more than 11,000 miles in those two years I had it, including from Oregon to Jasper, Banff and Kootenay National Parks in Canada, Glacier National Park in Montana, Yellowstone, and the Lost Coast in California. It was funny: every time I road it, men of a certain age – in their 50s or 60s – would walk over and start waxing nostalgic about the Nighthawk they had once upon a time. It was a perfect first bike for me – and I lost 25 pounds while I owned it, which meant that, by the time I sold it, I could sit on it and be flat-footed (I’m 5′ 4″). I sold it to a woman rider, which made me very happy – and I wept as it was hauled away.

How many have you owned? Just two. I’m now on my second, which I expect to have for many years. I switched to a KLR 650 in the Fall of 2011. It’s been a big learning curve: the bike is a lot taller than the Nighthawk, and much lighter. My husband, a Honda Africa Twin rider and experienced motorcycle traveler, lowered it an inch and a half, then bought a very expensive seat for it that would lower it another inch and a half. I also bought boots —  Irish Setter work boots, size 8 for men (extra wide) — that add at least another 3/4 of an inch to my height. I couldn’t find any motorcycle boots that provided the height I needed, fit my feet properly, and that I felt were safe enough for riding – so glad to have found these work boots!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I had started thinking about it back in the 1990s, when I was in my 30s. I researched Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses – and then never followed up. I had thought of it as a fun, economical way to commute – I was living in Austin, Texas at the time. But I kept talking myself out of it. I so regret not getting a license then. I moved to Germany, met a really cute German guy traveling through Ireland by motorcycle (we’re married now), and he took me all over Europe on the back of his bike. I loved being a passenger (still do), but I also really wanted to learn to ride myself. I knew if I could learn to ride, we could take a lot more stuff with us on trips. I also thought I’d enjoy being a motorcycle rider – and I was right! My husband was super supportive. Unfortunately, to get a motorcycle license in Germany is *terribly* expensive and much more difficult than in the USA: you have to take a written test that is way, way harder than what we have to take in the USA. Also, my German is dreadful – although I could take the written test in German, the actual riding test is in German, and all of the classes I would have to sit through for several weeks would be in German as well. At one point, I was thinking of going back to Kentucky, where all of my family is and which has a treaty with Germany regarding driver’s licenses, staying for five weeks, taking the MSF, getting my license, and then going back to Europe and getting a German license – which, including plane ticket, would cost about as much as getting a license the proper way in Germany. But we ended up moving back to the USA in 2009 – I was in a MSF course just three months after arriving!

Tell us about your riding. Since learning to ride, I’ve put more than 6000 miles on my motorcycle each year. We do one big, two-week trip every year, and as many weekend, overnight and day trips as we can squeeze into our schedule. We like scenic drives, and love to stop at beautiful vistas, historic sites and quirky sites along the way. Camping is a special joy – other campers always come over to say something, to check out our bikes and our gear and to ask us about our travels. I get a lot of men saying they wish I could talk to their wives, because they haven’t been able to convince them to start riding on their own.

I also am ATGATT –  after seeing all the photos of road burn online by people that wear shorts and t-shirts while riding, I would never ride any other way.

My husband is faster than me. I told him long ago I’ll go my own pace, and he has the choice of following me at that speed, or going ahead at his own pace and waiting for me to catch up. He usually chooses the former. I am little Ms. Speed Limit. It’s not that I try to go the speed limit – it’s just so happens that the speed limit is usually as fast that I want to go. That’s so much slower than the majority of bikers want to go, therefore, I rarely ride with other motorcycle riders, except for my husband.

Most of the time, I’m riding with my husband. But I sometimes go on my own – to run an errand, to get my haircut, and a few times, on a ride of my own when he’s out of town. I’ve commuted to downtown Portland a few times, and found it absolutely wretched – traffic is horrific, and some of the stops, either because of traffic lights or traffic jams, are quite precarious – sharp hills, steep curves, etc. I also hate trying to park in a city. When I have to go downtown, I prefer taking twice as long via the bus.

We try to regularly practice on gravel roads – I want to be good enough to travel to some remote ghost town somewhere on back roads with confidence. I will never be a real off-roader – I accept that. I ride my own ride, and I don’t care if that’s slower or more careful than others. I’ve gotten a little flack from younger male riders who can’t believe I “don’t do more” with my KLR – I guess they think I’m supposed to be shooting up and dirt and gravel roads most of the time. I’m going to keep practicing on gravel roads, but I’m not aspiring to ride the Dakar Rally!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Everyone says this, and I totally agree: take a MSF class, or similar course, to learn to ride. A friend or relative is NO substitute for a qualified, experienced, trained teacher – the reality is that a lot of veteran riders have very bad habits they will teach you.  In addition, take a refresher course every couple of years – it will really sharpen your skills and identify bad riding habits. I have a lot more to say about getting started as a female rider, including how to choose a first bike, on my own web page on the subject.  

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? We take a trip of more than 2000 miles at least once a year. I think the longest trip was up into Canada, as I mentioned before. We’ve also gone all the way down to the LostCoast in California, and this year, we took two weeks and went all the way to near Yosemite, and then back up through Nevada to home.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I don’t. I’ve been to a couple of P.O.W.R. (Portland Oregon Women Riders) meetups, but since I ride most of the time with my husband or our friends, I haven’t really had time to do their rides as well. That said, I really encourage any woman who wants to ride to seek out such groups – it makes a really big difference to have lots of invitations to ride when you are a beginner.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Not really – they’re all my favorite!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a consultant, helping nonprofit organizations here and abroad with communications, community/volunteer engagement, and management issues. In the last 10 years, my work has taken me to Germany, Afghanistan, Serbia, Australia, Egypt and Hungary. I also am a very slow bicycle rider.

Shopping for Motorcycle Boots

I’m looking to replace the riding boots I’ve been wearing before next season. Truth be told they are a pair of leather over-the-ankle boot with an inch heel not a true motorcycle boot. >Gasp< They offered protection for this newbie who hadn’t been on an interstate until this season. Which brings me to believe I need new boots. Not to mention I’ve worn the sole out leaving me without traction.

They have served me well, but time to upgrade!

I’ve been on a few sites but not sure what I should get or why. Friends, I’m asking for your recommendations. What motorcycle boots should this novice be looking at? One of the problems I have had is that I have big feet and a normal width. I wear a 10 1/2 – 11 in women’s shoes. TMI?

Can you help a gal out?

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Lori a.k.a. BeemerGirl

I want to go on record that I don’t cyber-stalk people unless I really want you to join in with your story and profile of a female motorcyclist. I am so grateful that my next guest didn’t block me in her email account. Lori stopped by the blog and left a comment which was my invitation to contact her – ladies this series isn’t over until your story is posted – and she graciously said yes, but life was crazy.

I’m so happy she took time out of her busy schedule to share her story! Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to introduce Lori, a.k.a. BeemerGirl or Steel Cupcake from Hotlanta, Georgia. Check out her motorcycle adventures on her blog For Love of a Motorbike.

Lori on her Beemer

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  Started in early 2008

How did you learn to ride?  Private lesson as introduction to a motorbike, turned into forays of  street time riding with hubby running guard…trying to avoid traffic in the suburban sprawl near a huge metropolis.  Then graduated to the Experienced Riders Course with MSF.

What was your first motorcycle?  A Suzuki S50.  A piece of junk that was 3 years old with less than 700 miles on it.  But it taught me to be a better rider since I had so many mechanical issues to overcome while learning to ride. The husband thought it was just me as I was learning.  Then he had to ride it 120 miles one day and realized the issues the motorbike had.

How many have you owned?  Three in all.  The Suzuki first.  And I currently own a BMW R1200R and BMW R1200GS.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  I wish I had started earlier…you remember…when you were day dreaming in high school of how fun it would be and how hot you would look.  I never gave it much serious thought until my brother planted the seed in 2007 after I mentioned riding a bicycle across the USA.  Even then, it festered in my subconscious for a year until one day I suddenly decided I wanted to get my license.

Husband was happy when I mentioned it to him since that meant he was going to be able to get a bike too.

Tell us about your riding. I would love to be able to commute on the bike.  But my commute is 19 miles of surface streets in 60 minutes.  I sit at too many stoplights for too many cycles to make it enjoyable.  Rather I focus on getting away on the weekends.

Even though I have a husband that rides, and we have such a synchronized riding rhythm, I think it is crucial that we ladies ride alone every so often.  Gives you a different perspective and boosts that confidence.

Hubby and I have always gone on lots of weekend day rides.  Our schedules are now allowing us to begin going on some overnights.  But I have also taken quite a few long distance solo trips to visit the five corners of Georgia.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? We’ve all said it: Ride your own ride.

Take an MSF class to learn to ride.  Don’t let your husband, or his friends, teach you for your first lessons!  It’s easier to not get upset with an instructor, and too easy to get short with the husband.

As you start gaining experience, learning to ride on the road, have discussions with others in your riding party.  Discuss “what if” scenarios.  It gets you thinking of situations you might not have conceived of, and starts you theorizing of what you would do in that situation.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  A 5 day ride to two GA corners at 1000 miles, or a 3 day ride covering a whirlwind 1300 miles, both solo.

Recently…husband and I just finished a 2 week excursion to Maine, 3800 miles, 14 days, finally meeting some blogging buddies, even rode up Mount Washington in New Hampshire.  We did not want the vacation to end!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online?  Belong to a local meetup group.  But since I am not into large group rides, or riding to bars…we basically only meet up with them at coffee and chats mid-week.  Otherwise, I have a plethora of blogging buddies to chat with, or live through vicariously.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I can’t think of one!!!  I just love riding and meeting people.  I love the looks of pulling up someplace on the bike and people realizing I’m a girl.  I love waving at kids staring at me from the back seats of cars.  I love the change in air temperature when crossing a river.  I love the smell of freshly cut grass (always ride lead through that ladies; otherwise it gets swirled up into your helmet.)

It isn’t all play, though.  We volunteer to be Motorcycle Marshals for the Multiple Sclerosis bike rides in Georgia.  It gets us out helping a great cause, cheering people on, and trying to keep people safe.  All while practicing our slow speed maneuvers.  It is such a rewarding experience.

We are talking about taking it to the next level and getting certified as Race Marshals.

Lori riding as a Motorcycle Marshal

What do you do when you’re not riding?  Work to support my growing addiction.  Daydream about the next vacation.

Thank you Lori for sharing your story! Ladies, I invite you to leave a comment and let me know you would like to join too. Ride safe friends.