Tag Archives: Racing

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Katherine a.k.a. @HarrieHarpist

I’m so excited about introducing my next lady motorcyclist! We “met” via Twitter her handle is @harrieharpist a.k.a. Katherine. She says she is also known by her school/bike/racing friends as Harrie (from her surname) and hails from Glasgow, Scotland. Katherine is a harpist (how cool is that ?!) and has a blog Strings Wings and Things! You know the drill … check it out!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 17, so 18 years this September.

Katherine

Katherine

How did you learn to ride? My first time riding a motorbike was actually on a speedway tryout course, but I took my UK road licence in the normal way – a day’s CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) first and then I took weekly lessons and rode everywhere on my little Honda H100 until I was ready for my full bike test. Some people do an intensive training programme and do the whole thing in 3 or 5 days, but I needed a bit longer to build up my confidence.

What was your first motorcycle? A beautiful blue Honda H100

How many have you owned? 11 altogether

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? My dad has ridden since before I was born (and my mum has a licence too although she no longer rides) and I’m a daddy’s girl so wanted to go out on the back of his bike. I was hooked! He is really into speedway so he used to take me and my brother to watch a lot when we were younger. Now I take him to watch British Superbike races whenever I can.

Photo by Guy Cope Images www.copeimages.com

Photo by Guy Cope Images http://www.copeimages.com

Tell us about your riding. Commuter, pleasure, vacation, racing, or ? All of the above! I started riding when I was at (high) school but couldn’t afford the beautiful bikes I saw in all the magazines. When I started again in 2006 after a long break from riding, I had a good job so could pick and choose a bit more. I quickly moved from road riding to trackdays and then to racing. My bike was my main mode of transport for a while and I rode all year round. I still ride on the road although I haven’t ridden very much recently as I’ve moved and my road bike is still at my old house. I can’t wait to get it back!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just do it. Find a sympathetic instructor (doesn’t have to be a woman) preferably who isn’t a close friend/partner/related to you. Accept that if you want to have a good choice of bikes to ride, you may never get both feet on the floor. Don’t take no for an answer. If you fall off, get back up again with a smile even if it hurts. Ignore any stupid sexist comments you get in shops or on rides, just go elsewhere until you find somewhere that suits.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I rode to France once with my ex husband and a big group of fellow Ducati riders. The mission was Ashford (in Kent) to Omaha beach (one of the sites of the D-Day landings in Normandy in France) and back in a single day – more than 500 miles on bikes that weren’t renowned for their touring capabilities. We had a further 100 miles each way to ride from our house to get to Ashford, but we did these outside the 24 hours thank goodness. It was one of the most amazing adventures I’ve ever had. I came back with a bent bike and a severely bruised foot after pulling away with my side stand down, getting my foot stuck under the bike and taking out my front brake lever, but I’ll never forget the experience and the friends I made. There was torrential rain for the last leg back from Normandy to Calais for the Eurotunnel, then delays in the rain when we got to the terminal, but we all made it home with some great stories. By the time I got back to my bed, I’d been awake for 24 hours.

Photo by Guy Cope Images www.copeimages.com

Photo by Guy Cope Images http://www.copeimages.com

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not any more, although I met most of my bike friends via internet forums in the UK.

Do you have a favorite riding story? I have so many! The French trip is up there, but I’ve also had some brilliant times racing. One of my favourite stories is from when I first started riding aged 17. I worked at a supermarket to earn the money for my insurance etc, and one of the other girls rode as well. One Sunday, we went for an evening ride after work. I was on my H100, she was on a really ratty AR50 so although we didn’t ride far, it took a while as we couldn’t go very fast. I think it was February or something.

Normally my dad hid my bike keys if it was icy as he knew I would try and ride regardless, but on this day I don’t think he had banked on me riding after work. It was so cold out, and when I got home I made the mistake of getting into a hot bath to warm up. When I got out of the bath, I passed out on the floor and came round to find my dad trying to help me up. For his troubles, I was sick all over his feet. It was my first experience of what extreme cold can do to your body and I am much more careful now!

Another favourite was my first ever time racing, which was a 3 hour moped endurance race. I was in a team of 3 with 2 other of my friends (both girls) riding a Honda C70 moped and it was brilliant. Another time I borrowed a friend’s R1 for a test ride with 5 other girls, all riding sports bikes. We stopped for lunch at quite a smart restaurant and caused quite a stir with our shiny bikes, leathers and helmet hair!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a musician – I play the harp and have just returned to full time study, so I’m normally practicing or playing in a concert somewhere. I have two greyhounds and love spending time with them. Other than that, I love running and cycling, although they don’t quite give me the speed buzz I get from my motorbike. I haven’t ridden in a little while, but riding a motorbike is part of my identity and is my greatest passion.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Nadieh a.k.a. Shoots

I feel like I’ve only found the tip of the iceberg when it comes to meeting lady motorcyclists! I’m so thankful for all the women that have step forward and shared their stories. Each one unique, full of wisdom, and real life lessons to learn. Thank you!

Buckle your seat belts because I am headed to Rotterdam in the Netherlands to introduce you to Nadieh a.k.a. @Shoots40. Nadieh is a motorcycle racer! Check out her web site Nadieh-Racing.nl.

Nahieh a.k.a @Shoots40

Nahieh a.k.a @Shoots40

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 3.5 years, plus 4 years of pocketbikes

How did you learn to ride? When I started out racing pocketbikes at 14, my dad took me to a big empty parking lot to do braking and turning drills preparing for my first race. I didn’t get ride a ‘real’ motorcycle with a clutch and suspension (’97 Aprilia RS250 street bike) on the track until I was 18, and was dragging my knee, foot peg and exhaust by the end of the first day … using skills I mostly learned from reading books.

Wilrijk-09

Pocket-bike

What was your first motorcycle? The above mentioned 1997 Aprilia RS250.

'09 Aprilia 250

’09 Aprilia 250

How many have you owned? The Aprilia is the only one I fully paid for myself. But over the years I’ve had the pleasure of racing full seasons on a Ducati 749RS, Triumph Daytona 675R and Yamaha R6.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was tired of always watching others ride! Instead of spectating at a race, or being the passenger of either of my parents, all I wanted was to ride a bike myself. Lucky for me we discovered pocket-bikes.

Ducati-10

Nadieh on a Ducati

Tell us about your riding. I’m a racer through and through. I took a few lessons last year to see if I wanted to get my license, but did not enjoy riding the streets at all. There are so many things and people to watch out for, to me it’s more like a chore. Also I have a tough enough time staying out of trouble driving a car (I’ve perfected the racing lines on local roundabouts, frequently push 70-75 on small back roads, etc). My budget doesn’t allow for the fines I’d surely pick up riding a bike. One day, when my competitive streak doesn’t have the upper hand anymore, I do hope to go on a motorcycle vacation in the mountains of Italy.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Just do it and don’t let anyone tell you women are lesser riders for whatever reason, because that’s bullcrap! Other than that, always make sure you’re having fun.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I suppose that would have to be my over an hour stint in the 2012 WERA Endurance race at Miller Motorsports Park, haha. Which so far is also the furthest I’ve ever traveled to compete in a race.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Closest to this would be the BWMRC Racing Team. This team was founded very recently, and its purpose is to help promote women in road racing (road as in Isle of Man). I’m lucky to be involved with the start-up process, and will be competing in road races for BWMRC in the future.

R6-12

Do you have a favorite riding story? It’s hard to pick just one. The absolutely amazing 2 weeks I had at Miller last year with SGA Racing, the awesome 6-way battle at Brno during my first year in the 3D Cup. When purely about riding though, I’d have to go with my elbow down story. It was my second season of racing, and the first test with my new Triumph Daytona 675. On the last day clouds and lower temperatures prevented any improvement of lap times, so I was thinking of something else to do when I realized my elbow was dangerously close to the ground in one of the corners. I asked some of the other racers who’d been behind me about the distance to the ground, and they immediately started making fun of me (“yea I got my elbow down once too, and then my butt, back and head followed”). The looks on their faces when I came by to show off my scraped elbow 30 minutes later were priceless!

TriumphElbow-11

What do you do when you’re not riding? Really everything I do has something to do with racing. I run my own team, and am in a transition year towards a full season of AMA. Most days are filled with contacting potential sponsors. I also work out daily, and have come to love riding my bicycle. In my spare time you can usually still find me at the track, hanging out with and supporting my friends. My other love is music! Whenever I do find a new sponsor, I can’t help but treat myself to a concert or new CD.

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.

XD_00399

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.

Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing?!

This looks fun … fully ATGATT of course!