Tag Archives: support and encouragment

What is the best advice you ever received?

It could be personal, business, riding, or ? For me, the best advice I ever received was from my dad. He said, “Never let the bastards get you down.”

Not sure what all was going on in my life, but my dad gave me a hug and gave me that advice. Can’t tell you the times I’ve remembered his words. It reminds me of why crab pots don’t have lids. As long as there are two crabs in the pot they will always pull each other one down when one tries to climb out. One crab can escape. Two never.

It really taught me to think about who I hung around. What about you? What advice have you received that has made an impact on your life?

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Carolynn a.k.a. @CarolynnSells

Some days I just sit amazed at how I get connected with these lady motorcyclist. My next guest was referred to my by @KHaylock. Thank you Ken! It seems like I’ve had a streak of racing women lately and about to add another to the mix! Strap on your seat belts we are jumping the pond to meet Carolynn Sells a.k.a. @CarolynnSells from Isle of Man! You can find her on Facebook and check out her web site CarolynnSells.co.uk.

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was about 12, although I’ve been around bikes & racing paddocks since I was very little.

Carolynn's love of two wheels started early! Age 4

Carolynn’s love of two wheels started early! Age 4

How did you learn to ride? My brother got an off road bike & I used to ride that around our back garden. I nearly took out the family greenhouse, first time out.

What was your first motorcycle? My own was a Black & Red, Yamaha RD50 with Micron exhaust, which got me on the open road at the age of 16.

How many have you owned? Not many, actually… about 6, I think, but I’ve ridden a lot more than that. The first one I owned was my RD50, back in 1989, the last was the only race bike I owned, which I sold to my dad after I packed in racing at the end of 2009… My Blue & White RD350LC was my favourite. I miss that bike.

Carolynn's beloved 350LC

Carolynn’s beloved 350LC

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? My Dad has built & ridden bikes since he was a teenager, then he started racing when I was 5, nearly 6. I spent my childhood in the racing paddock & travelling around the country in vans, going to race meetings. Then, when I was 12, we went to the Isle of Man (we lived in Lancashire, in the North West of England, at the time) for my Dad to race in the Manx Grand Prix on the TT Course. I decided that I wanted to race there too, one day…

Carolynn's first race April 2000

Carolynn’s first race April 2000

Tell us about your riding. Initially messing about in fields, then commuting/transport & then eventually, my ultimate goal… real road racing.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get out there & do it… Anybody can do anything they want to do, if they have the drive & the ambition. Being female isn’t an obstacle.

Parliament Junior Ady3

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Well… each race on the TT Course was 150 miles & I completed 10 of those. We did do 4 weeks around Europe (France, Germany, Belgium & Luxembourg) when I was a kid, but my mum & dad were on the bike, me & my brother were in the sidecar with all our tents, sleeping stuff, cooking equipment etc.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? Both… I’m now a Director of the Manx Motor Cycle Club, who organize & run the Manx Grand Prix road races & am also one of two Rider Liaison Officers for the club & the event. I have set up a Facebook group & a page for the club too. When I first started road riding, I was a member of the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) and that is who I passed my CBT & road test with. I have also been a member of several Road Racing clubs (in order to get race entries) in the UK, Ireland & the Isle of Man, and of course, got my annual race licence from the ACU (Auto Cycle Union).

why arai

Do you have a favorite riding story? I have so many to choose from, but it has to be my win on the Isle of Man TT Mountian Course in 2009. 24 years after that first trip the Isle of Man and 6 years after my first race on the circuit, I became the first woman ever to win a race on the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course, when I won the Ultra Lightweight Manx Grand Prix race by over 62 seconds from the 2nd placed man. I’m still the only woman to win on that circuit, in over 106 years of racing. You can read about it in my 2009 race Diary, here.

Norma Farmer21

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a mum, who runs a home & works part-time as an Assistant Manager. I help organise road races & tutor newcomers in any spare time that I do have & get to play out, very, very occasionally.

P.S. One thing Carolynn didn’t mention was she is a Guinness World Record holder!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Lois

Have you ever heard the old saying, “you have not because you ask not?” Well, this applies to me and my next guest, Lois. I’m racking my brain trying to remember how I came across her website Lois On The Loose. You have to go take a look at all her accomplishments! Lois has several epic road trips under her belt, written two books (I’ve got to get these!!), a contributing writer and editor to several publications, and also does public speaking. Wow! Back to the old saying … I reached out to Lois earlier this year asking if she’d like to add her profile of a female motorcyclist to my blog. She said yes, but was about to leave on a trip and would do it when she had some spare time. And she did, so now I’m adding another lady rider to the mix. I am so glad I asked Lois. I think this is the 80th profile of a female motorcyclist! Join me in welcoming Lois Pryce from London, UK.

Lois Pryce

Lois Pryce

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 12 years
How did you learn to ride? I did an intensive 5-day course in London.
What was your first motorcycle? A 1959 BSA Bantam D7

Lois and her first motorcycle

Lois and her first motorcycle

How many have you owned? 8
Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I just thought it looked like a lot of fun!
Tell us about your riding. Adventure, exploring, off-roading, world travelling…

Lois in Morocco and a camel sign

Lois in Morocco and a camel sign

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Don’t let anyone put you off – there is so much fun to be had on two wheels and so many great people to meet – it opens up a whole world.
What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? 20,000 miles, from Alaska to Argentina
Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? No, but the collective of worldwide motorcycle travelers is an unofficial international club!

Peru desert riding

Peru desert riding

Do you have a favorite riding story? So many, I couldn’t even begin… they are all in my books
What do you do when you’re not riding? Play the banjo in the UK’s only all-girl bluegrass band The Jolenes, mess about on boats, go kayaking, write, read and grow stuff in my garden.

Seriously friends, I encourage you to hop over to Lois On The Loose to find out more about this amazing woman motorcyclist!

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 Kathy a.k.a. Guz

My next guest was sent over to me from @OrgChaosChicago, her name is Kathy “Guz” Guzman motorcyclist extraordinaire and blogger!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I have been riding for 38 years

How did you learn to ride? My dad bought my brother and I Honda 70 trail bikes.  I sat on it and just took off.  The wide knobby tires and bulky frame made it a perfect way to learn to ride.

What was your first motorcycle?  The Honda 70 Trail Bike.

Honda 70 Trail Bike

Honda 70 Trail Bike

How many have you owned?  I have owned 3 bikes in my life time.  The little Honda – a Kawasaki 550LTD that I rode all through college and my Harley Sportster.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  Freedom.  Time alone inside my own head while trail riding as a kid.  The open road and untold adventures the ride gives me as an adult.  Freedom.

Tell us about your riding.  I ride because I ride.  I take my bike everywhere.  Tooling around the city, long road trips like Black Hills and charity runs through neighboring communities.  I ride year round – and living in Chicago – that is saying something!!

Freedom!

Freedom!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  Get out there and do it.  Follow your passion – the ride will never disappoint.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  The longest road trip I have made was from Chicago to Sturgis and back again last summer.  15 women, bikes and the open, unpredictable roads – I can’t put into words how amazing it was.  Actually – I can – and I did – check it out here

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups?  Yes – *Organized Chaos Chicago – a woman’s motorcycle club.

me and leah rain

Do you have a favorite riding story?  So many really – each time I get on the back of my bike there is a new story being woven into the fabric of my life.  Riding with like minded women is a gift to me – the camaraderie and laughter shared – there is nothing like it in the world.

What do you do when you’re not riding?  Think about riding.

*Organized Chaos Chicago is a women’s motorcycle group, committed to creating a local community of women motorcyclists and friends of women motorcyclists.  Our mission is to support philanthropic endeavors in all communities, while reaching out to empower a community of diverse women through rides, charity events, Pride events and education. (Source)

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Julie a.k.a. Shooter

I’m loving cyberspace and connecting with gals from all over the world! My next guest I “met” through a Twitter connection is from Chicago, IL. Friends, I’d like you to meet Julie a.k.a. Shooter. Her Twitter handle is @OverLapLighting. Check out Julie’s web site OverLapLighting.com.

Julie a.k.a. Shooter

Julie a.k.a. Shooter

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 4 years

How did you learn to ride? Ride Chicago

What was your first motorcycle? Honda Shadow

How many have you owned? 3

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I thought it was cool!

Tell us about your riding. I ride for the convenience but most importantly the joy 

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? JUST DO IT!!!!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Chicago to Sturgis

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I am part of a new organization called *Organized Chaos

Do you have a favorite riding story? Just riding with friends is AMAZING

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am a theatrical lighting designer/ photographer [Check out her web site here.]

*Organized Chaos Chicago is a women’s motorcycle group, committed to creating a local community of women motorcyclists and friends of women motorcyclists.  Our mission is to support philanthropic endeavors in all communities, while reaching out to empower a community of diverse women through rides, charity events, Pride events and education. (Source)

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Rene’

I’m so glad my friend Rene’ and fellow Minnesotan is joining with her story! I’ve known Rene’ about four and a half years. I always knew she could ride, just didn’t own a motorcycle until … let’s let Rene’ tell her story!

I grew up in the “country” and we had mini bikes long before we had pedal bikes.  I started out on a Honda 50 before I even entered Kindergarten.  I have two sisters and we each had our own little Honda 50 … then as we grew, my dad replaced the 50’s with 70’s and then ’90’s … then as we were older, our friends had dirt bikes and so we usually rode Yamaha’s 125’s and 250’s.

Then my dad bought me an 250 Exciter and my mom a 650 Shadow which is what I preferred to ride because the 250 was a little small … then I “grew up,” went to college and got married.

I have always wanted to get back on a bike but money was very tight when we started out, then “life” came … kids, work … but I never lost the desire to get back on a bike.  I have been married 25 years with five kids. My husband finally agreed that it was “time.”

We purchased a Harley Davidson – 1200 Sportster full of chrome [can you say shiney?].  I have to admit, sometimes I just go out in the garage at look at it because it is just so pretty.  But then, riding it … wow.  I was nervous at first to get back on a bike because it has been so long, but very quickly, I thought, “Yep…this feels right!”  My husband also got a Harley so that we could go riding together as he really did not want to ride on the back of mine … plus, he wasn’t invited to ride on the back of mine 🙂

Rene's sweet ride!

Rene’s sweet ride!

I enjoy riding because there is a sense of freedom with riding a motorcycle.  Freedom from “everyday thoughts”…. when I am riding, I am only thinking about the motorcycle, shifting, looking at the rode in front of me, thinking about how the bike feels, the wind, the sounds … everything else such as work, responsibilities … etc … goes “out the window” when I am on my bike.

I only have about five miles to ride to work and back, but yet, it is enough to change my mood.  I look forward to going to work because I get to ride my bike to work and then I find myself watching the clock for the end of the day when I get to get back on my bike.  Also, I find myself constantly thinking about the weather.

Riding a bike takes some thought … what can I wear to work today?  Did I grab my hair clips?  Will my lunch and work shoes fit in my saddle bags?  Do I need to stop at the grocery store after work today?  What is the weather like?  Do I have my sun glasses?  All that stuff – it takes longer to get going to work but it is all so worth it … just being on the bike, makes all the extra “thought” worth it.  I find myself smiling inside when I am on my bike. Other women usually say, “I just don’t get it” and I think … “Yep, if you have not been on a bike, then, yep, you probably don’t get it.” It’s something only other bikers can understand.  And I am glad to be part of this group.

Advice … I have not been back on the bike long enough to have any advice – maybe … it doesn’t matter what you hair looks like after a ride – all that matters, is that you rode!

When I am not riding, I am at work or home with my kids – and if I have any extra time, I love to read but those are rare times.

34 years and Counting

Today hubby and I celebrated our 34th Anniversary! It has been an incredible adventure together. How’d we make it this far? Love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)

We don’t always get it right, but we don’t give up. It is worth it!

34 years and counting!!

34 years and counting!!

To Courageous Mothers

To the courageous mothers the world over. Happy Mother’s Day!

What gift did your mom give you? Here’s an old post I wrote as a tribute to my mom.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Crystal a.k.a. @cbarnwolf

I am so pleased to be able to share another profile of a female motorcyclist courtesy of Twitter! My next guest Crystal, nicknamed Crys, was commiserating with me about missing the International Female Ride Day last Friday because of the weather. Crys a.k.a. @cbarnwolf (on Twitter, Instagram, and Plurk) lives in Central Wisconsin and was experiencing the same cold, ice and snow that hit here Minnesota. She is also blogs, My Crystalline Life. Crys admits she hasn’t updated it in a while, but it is on her to do list!

Meet Crystal!

Meet Crystal!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I’ve ridden on the back of motorcycles with my dad since I was in grade school. I thought I was the coolest kid in school when I’d get picked up on his white 1976 Harley full dresser. I started riding my own almost 17 years ago.

How did you learn to ride? I went through a rider class held at our local community college and spent a lot of time on side streets. I still feel like a beginner every spring.

What was your first motorcycle?  I bought a 1983 Honda 650 Nighthawk.  I had to have a friend ride it home because I didn’t have a license or the first clue how to ride it.

How many have you owned? I’ve had three motorcycles.  That first Honda got sold early on due to finances and having young kids running around. About seven or eight years ago I bought my 1986 883 Harley Sportster. Two years ago I traded my Harley in on a 2006 Honda VTX1300R. I bought the Honda so that I could start doing longer rides.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I have always loved motor vehicles of all kinds especially motorcycles and classic cars. I love the freedom I get when I’m riding. The feeling of being in control of my destiny. I decided to get my license when I got fed up with waiting around for someone else to take me for a ride.

Tell us about your riding. I do mostly commuter riding. I took a break from riding for several years when my children were younger. I am planning on doing more pleasure riding and eventually would like to take vacations on the bike.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? The main thing I’d like other women to know is the one thing that I wish someone would have told me when I got on that first bike. Which is “Yes, it’s scary and that is okay. But it is well worth riding through it. You can do it!”  The only advice I have is go take a class, get your license and just do it. The only regret that I have had is not riding when I could have.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest I’ve ridden hasn’t happened yet. I hope to do some longer rides this summer. But up until now the longest I’ve ridden is about three hours worth of back country roads around south central Wisconsin.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I don’t currently belong to any groups. I think online or IRL groups are great and I hope to be more of a participator someday. But for now I tend to do more lurking in groups as I have time and following people on Twitter.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Fortunately since getting my license, ridding has been mostly uneventful. However, my family’s favorite story about me and riding happened when I was 12 and taking a weekend trip to upper Michigan with my Dad. We went for a three day weekend with another father/daughter. The first afternoon we hit rain. It was storming so hard that the rain was going sideways and I couldn’t see the edge of the road. We ended up pulling into a hole in the wall bar to get out of the rain. We walked in to this place looking like drowned rats. I’m sort of surprised they served us. We had Pepsi sitting at the bar while drip drying. By the time the rain had passed we were mostly dry and got on our way. It was a trip of a lifetime for a young girl. However, as pre-teen girls are apt to do, the other girl and I stayed up late the first two nights giggling and laughing. By the third day, I was so tired that I was falling asleep on my Dad’s bike. Luckily for my he caught me as I fell so soundly asleep that I nearly fell off the bike. I scared myself awake and got a very stern lecture. Needless to say I was awake the entire rest of the way home. And my family still tease me about being able to fall asleep on a motorcycle.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am currently busier than I’d like to be. I have two children, one that is grown and one that is half way there. I enjoy knitting and textile crafts. And if that doesn’t keep me busy enough, I’m going back to school for an associates degree in accounting.

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!