Tag Archives: Rider’s Edge

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen

Oh my, do I need to have music playing as I announce my next guest, Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen?! We’re good. Hold the Royal Anthem because  my next guest is located a bit south of Portland, Oregon. Elizabeth named her bike Bengal and can be found on Twitter @ejjansen11! Without further ado, here’s Elizabeth’s story!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Bought my first motorcycle for myself on Mother’s day, 2005.

How did you learn to ride? I took at motorcycle safety class through HD, Riders Edge. However, I have a lot of previous experience on two wheels. Back in the mid 80’s, right out of  college, I raced bicycles for a few years. Yes, the Lance Armstrong kind of racing. This requires excellent bike handling skills, which we practiced on a regular basis. I also did some track racing which also requires quick reflexes in order to stay upright! Paying attention to the pack around you, paying attention to the road, cornering, balance and precision all translated directly to my motorcycle training. Needless to say, I passed the class with flying colors!

What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a 2003 anniversary edition HD 1200 custom Sportster named Christine.

How many have you owned? I have owned three motorcycles. My Sportster, a Dyna Lowrider, and now my 2007 HD Streetglide.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I was dating a man who rode.  He asked me if I would like to go on a ride with him and I said yes. When I was on the back, all I could see was this big head in front of me, and I felt like I was going to fall off the back! So, I said, if I am going to do this, I am going to take a class first to see if I like riding. The rest is history.

Tell us about your riding. I ride for pleasure.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Lots of advice. I have mentored a friend who is now a great rider. Listen to those who have experience. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel (pun intended). Take your time and ride to the level of where you feel comfortable. If the group you are riding with leaves you behind, or rides beyond your skill level, find another group. Push yourself to learn new skills, keep taking classes. Always wear your protective gear no matter how hot it is or hot you look without it. Those of us who have experience have seen what happens when someone hits the pavement. Don’t ride with a bunch of people who you do not know their level of skill. One person who is unsafe can jeopardize the entire group. Take your riding skills seriously. Learn your craft and then go out and have a ball!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I have taken three long trips. I live in Portland, bought my bike in Phoenix, AZ and rode it home. I also have taken a 1200 mile trip up to Banff and Lake Louise with some girlfriends. My boyfriend, another friend of mine, and I went to Sturgis last year, 3200 miles round trip! I am looking forward to doing more touring this summer.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I have a lot of friends but to be honest, the longer I have been riding, the smaller groups I like to ride with. So no, I am not a member of a group at this time.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Like most of the ladies here, there are just so many! We saw some amazing sites on the way to and from Sturgis. I think one of my favorite stories I like to tell is how we got caught in a nasty hail storm somewhere in the middle of Wyoming.

We were headed west and about seven miles from the next town in the middle of NOWHERE. No trees, no houses, just lots of wheat fields. Well, I was noticing that the wind was picking up and my boyfriend was riding faster and faster. We had the weather band on our radio and were hearing about a nasty storm that was close to the town where we were headed and was coming our way. My boyfriend was trying to outrun the storm and get to shelter before it hit. The skies were turning dark and the wind was howling into our faces.

Out of nowhere, a tumbleweed came right out in front of me and at that moment, I noticed that my friends headlight was not longer in my rear mirror. We pulled over and parked our two bikes downwind, so they would not get knocked over.  Just then, my friend pulled up and the wind had actually blown her off the road! She was able to recover and made it to where we were. We huddled down next to the bikes, with our helmets on and my boyfriends arms wrapped around us like a protective blanket. The rain and hail was pelting us and the bikes.

After about 20 minutes, a car drove by us, pulled off the road and offered us shelter to ride out the storm. Boy, were we happy to get in out of the rain! The inside of that car smelled like a wet cow! Once the storm passed, I was able to snap some amazing pics. We continued on our way and will always be grateful for the young couple who came to the rescue of three bikers!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I have a wonderful child and boyfriend, that I love spending time with. I like to cook, read, wash my bike, and be a soccer mom. I am a full time working gal working for Wells Fargo as a Mortgage Banker.

Elizabeth a.k.a. Queen

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Janine

Our next woman motorcyclist is from Maine, rides a Harley, and is named Janine. You can find her on Twitter @Dyna_Superglide. Janine has answered the questions and wrote a bit of her story too! Enjoy!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 5 yrs

How did you learn to ride? HD Riders Edge

What was your first motorcycle? 2008 FXDSE2

How many have you owned? one

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  To be in control of the bike myself.

Tell us about your riding.   I ride any free moment that I have.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? After taking the safety course you aren’t really ready for the road. Find a large parking lot and practice, practice, practice!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Trailered to Sturgis, but rode from Maine to Tennessee and back.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? CVOHarley.com and HOG

Do you have a favorite riding story? The one where the girl tried to remove her thong panties without taking off her chaps.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a powder coat painter.

Janine and her Harley

My husband, Al, drove one of the very first minivans ever made. It was a gift from my father. It was old and drafty, but it ran. It was the first of September and winter was fast approaching. He decided he didn’t want to spend another winter driving that freezing van, so we went out looking for a winter beater. In our search, we happened across a Harley dealership. Al had sold his `84 Lowrider back in ’99 for the down payment on our house, and he likes to stop and look at the bikes every now and then. Me, I could of cared less about looking at bikes until I came across the most beautiful bike I had ever seen. It was a ’06 CVO Screamin’ Eagle V-rod with so much chrome it sparkled! Needless to say, that was the end of our winter beater search, as he brought the V-rod home the next day.

We rode his V-rod every chance we got until the day he wanted to play around on it and I didn’t. He then suggested that I get my own bike so that we could ride side by side together. I liked that idea, all though I was nervous, as I had never driven a motorcycle. I signed up for the Riders Edge course, had my license in a weekend, and now needed to get my own bike. I had ridden a Buell Blast in the course and thought about purchasing one, but the instructor of the class explained that many women would buy one for learning on, but would upgrade within a year.

I knew that I wanted a Harley, so I decided to find myself a Sportster. I figured that an 883 would be a great bike to start with. We started going to different Harley shops and I would check out the 883’s while Al looked at everything else. One day he told me that I had to check out the CVO they had on display up front. It was love at first sight! It was the ’08 cobalt and midnight blue FXDSE2 Screamin’ Eagle Dyna. What a beauty, all chromed out, but what a price tag. It also looked huge to me. I vowed that someday I would own one.

To make a long story short…after a couple of weeks searching, I still had not found the bike that screamed to me. Al was getting frustrated with me and said, “Get the bike that you want now, ’cause if you don’t, you’ll regret it next year when you want something bigger.” I thought about it a couple of days, and then called the dealer where the FXDSE2 was. It was still there! I made a deposit over the phone and picked her up the next day.

I spent three weeks practicing on her in a large empty parking lot. Al then took me on short trips on the back roads. When he thought I was confident enough, I started riding with the group of people we hang with. They were awesome! They started me with short trips, with frequent stops. They would all give me tip and pointers on riding, and the best part was all the positive encouragement I received from them.

I have been riding now for five years. I have ridden my bike at Sturgis (where I dropped my bike for the first time right on Main St. and you wouldn’t believe all the help that came to help me pick it up!). I rode to TN and NC and did the Dragon. That was so awesome! The best part is I have the bike that I want, and I have the support of a loving husband and an awesome group of friends. What more could a woman want, except maybe some nice, warm, sunny weather to go for a scoot.

Ride safe!


Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Kari

I don’t know about you, fellow female motorcyclists, but I seem to not fit the “mold” of what people expect. Meet Kari from Orange County, NY; engineer by profession and motorcyclist by choice! Mold breaker extraordinaire. You can find and follow her on Twitter @karinajean! Check out her blog, karina jean | crafts, books, fish sandwiches, motorcycles! and other shiny things, you’ll find lots of things that make you smile!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? This is my third year!

How did you learn to ride? I took the MSF/Riders Edge course.

What was your first motorcycle? I rode for a full season on my partners SV650. The first motorcycle I’ve owned is my current DRZ400SM.

How many have you owned? Just one!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I took the course because my partner loves riding and I wanted to give it a fair shake. Once I learned to ride, I found out that I am also really into motorcycling!

Tell us about your riding. I have a 90 mile/day commute and it’s so much better on a motorcycle than in a car. We do at least one long (week+) trip with friends every year and lots of weekend trips. I would LOVE to do track days but that’s got to wait for a couple of years while we spend our money on more immediate concerns like fixing up our house. Sigh. Adult decisions!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Ride your own ride, stay strong and open to new and educational experiences, wear your gear, and get as much training as you can. You’ll be amazing.

And watch out for well meaning advice. Lots of people will tell you stories about their friends who have wrecked – I think women get this more than men do – and it can be really frustrating to feel like your decision to ride and the preparation you’re taking to mitigate the inherent riskiness of riding a motorcycle isn’t trusted by your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Surround yourself with thoughtful participants in motorcycling if you can – either in real life or online – and trust your instincts.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? In 2010 we rode through eleven states in eleven days. We covered about 2500 miles. My ride report is here.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? I love the forums at twowheelfemales.com and participate there a lot. I also ride with a small group of friends – at a minimum, we do our annual long vacation ride together – and we blog at The Rainmakers when we’re away. And I love keeping up with other motorcyclists through blogs and twitter!

Do you have a favorite riding story? In 2010 we were at Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, and at one of the Harley dealerships we stopped at I had a hilarious encounter. Now, I am fairly scrappy looking on the bike – full power ranger gear, with riding pants and a filthy white jacket. I ride a supermoto bike so it looks like a reject from the Planet Dirt Bike, and I have a “hat box” (top case) on the back at all times to carry my stuff. My helmet is white and at the time had a red racing stripe made out of sparkly tape. I was out of place at this dealership, and there was a big guy sitting on a bench with his biker buddies who agreed, and gave me a hairy eyeball as I got geared up to ride off.

As I got ready to start my engine I deployed my secret friend-making weapon – I rang the bicycle bell that I have strapped to my handle bars. That big biker dude? He LIT UP. He cracked a big smile, nudged his buddy on the bench, and said “I’m going to get one of those!”

The moral of my story is: No matter how different we look on our bikes, there’s a basic joy of motorcycling that we all share. Even if some bikers try to cover it up with extreme toughness. 🙂

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m an engineer who works in sustainability and environmental remediation.

Kari: I’ve got red hair, but I’m a little bit more pippi than pin-up. Arm-wrestling, anyone?

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Donna

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a lot of fun reading about all these women motorcyclists! Join me in welcoming Donna, or as she is known online, Demenshea! Donna’s blog Ride Like a Girl is a great read! Catch and follow her on Twitter @Demenshea too.

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 8 years

How did you learn to ride? I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation‘s class (MSF) in Sacramento. But one must realize that riding a motorcycle is a constant learning process.  One never stops learning how to ride a  motorcycle and the miles just keep adding to the smiles.

What was your first motorcycle? 1986 250 Honda Rebel.  A used Honda Rebel is a perfect learning machine for most people especially women, who need to be able to get their feet flat on the ground while learning for both balance and security.  The beauty of the old Honda is that you can pick one up cheaply, use it to learn and then resell to another learner for nearly the same price you purchased it for!  Another great starter bike is the Honda Nighthawk, for a more standard seating position, but a bit taller bike.

How many have you owned? I have owned 6 bikes. The Rebel, 2003 1100 V-star, 2003 Triumph 955i Sprint, 2000 Suzuki 1200 Bandit, 2007 Suzuki 1250 Bandit, 2009 Kawasaki 650 Versys.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I rode behind my husband three times, and decided I wanted to be in control of the motorcycle and wanted to open air freedom of independent travel that you can only get on the seat of a motorcycle.

Tell us about your riding. I am a distant tourer able to take several trips each year, usually covering between 20- 30,000 miles.  I also do weekly rides in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just for fun! I also try to get in as much California riding as possible.  I live in a state with some of the BEST riding roads in America.  I am a very fortunate rider!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? DO IT!!  If you have the desire, get the training at a local MSF or Riders Edge course and live your dream!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I have taken several, but the one that stands out most was through seven states and two Canadian Provinces.  I covered about 8,000 miles in 21 days.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I belong to several motorcycle forums, as Demenshea, but no official groups.  I did belong to the local chapter of Women on Wheels, but i prefer riding solo to any sort of group ride, so only belonged for one season. Belonging to a riding group is an awesome experience for many riders who seek a more social aspect of riding.  They usually provide monthly meetings and at least one organized group ride. If you are looking to meet other female riders, I can’t think of a better way to do it.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Several, but my favorites are the ones that I take riding skills from.  One such example is the day I picked up my new to me Triumph and dropped it at the bottom of the owners driveway at slow speed hitting the front brakes only 3 minutes after paying for the machine.  He ran down yelling, “OMG, you dropped the bike, but it seems ok,” and all the while I’m thinking, “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” ; )

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a freelance artist and art educator, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, well u get it! ; )

Distance rider, Donna!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Julie

Our next fabulous lady rider is Julie from Moorhead, MN. She is serious motorcyclist with some very valuable advice! Julie is active on Twitter — a must follow. Find her here @bonnyface. Julie also has a blog, One Wild and Precious Life where she writes about her travails and triumphs of a newbie Harley rider.

Julie and her 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL883C

How long have you been riding a motorcycle?  I started riding in 2009, so this is my 4th season.

How did you learn to ride? I took the Rider’s Edge course at a Harley-Davidson dealership.

What was your first motorcycle? 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL883C

How many have you owned? Just the one. So far.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I repeatedly saw another woman riding on my way home from work. I decided if she could do it, I could do it. And no better time than right now.

Tell us about your riding.  I am an everyday rider. Due to circumstances, I have been without a car for two years now. I ride my motorcycle everywhere, in darn near any weather. I use it for daily commuting, running errands, and out of town trips – both business and joyrides.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? If you have any nagging thought that you want to try this, go take a course. No shame in taking a course and deciding this isn’t for you. But find out. Don’t say “I wish I had…”  Also, there’s a saying – “Ride Your Own Ride” – which is good advice. You can get a lot of opinions from a lot of different places, but you’re the one that is going to have to ride the bike, the road, the rally. Take some time and figure out what you’re comfortable with. Know your limits. And don’t just “go along for the ride.” Make your own decisions.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Sturgis. It’s only about 500 miles one way, so it’s not that big as far as “epic” rides go. But there is some epic country between here and there that makes it a great ride.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not really. I’m a member of HOG, but not a local chapter. I have a group of friends on Twitter that are riders. I value their (varied) opinions and recommendations. But for the most part, I ride alone.

Do you have a favorite riding story? The very first day of the very first time I went to Sturgis, I was having breakfast at the motel. Sitting next to me was an older lady and her daughter. We started chatting and I found out that she was Gloria Struck. She was there because she was being inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame. She was 84-years old and had ridden from New Jersey. Her goal when she turns 90 is to ride the perimeter of the US. I really had no idea who she was, but she was very welcoming and encouraging. When I did some research later, I was absolutely blown away by my chance meeting. She’s a living legend.

What do you do when you’re not riding? Sit at a computer. 🙂 I work with websites, blogs, and podcasts – both personally and professionally.

Julie and Harley!

P.S. Ladies if you’d like to be featured, leave a comment and I’ll grab your email address and send you the questions!