Tag Archives: women

Calling all Female Motorcyclists!

The riding season for me here in Minnesota is pretty much finished. I don’t have the gear to ride in the cold. Hubby and I were not able to do as much riding as we hoped. Looking forward to next year.

You maybe like me and winter is slowly descending upon you. You longingly gaze out at your motorcycle while bundled up in your winter woollies hoping for another sunny 50 degree day when a blast of cold air brings you back to reality. The optimist inside thinks it could happen it is only November. Sigh.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzy Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Here she is like a caged beast at the zoo, my Suzuki 650 VStrom.

Focus Pam … this is where I turn outward to vicariously “ride” through all the fabulous lady riders I’ve met! And send a call out to meet more! If you are a female motorcyclist and would like to add your story to my series Profile of a Female Motorcyclist shoot me an email at pamela(dot)court(at)gmail(dot)com < trying to keep the spammers at bay!

Your story, your ride, your experience are all unique! We – your fellow female motorcyclists – need to hear your story too. xoxo

Cancer Bites

Hey there friends! Hope all is well with you and yours. My world has been turned upside down in the last couple of weeks. About two weeks ago my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had surgery a few days later. I’m about four hundred miles away from her and unable to get down there. She’s home recovering.

Let me tell you a little bit about my older sister. We’re sixteen months apart and grew up doing everything together. She is the bold outspoken one. She is smart and giving. She’s married with four adult children and grandmother to eight. She was the one that was there to step-up and help our mom after dad died suddenly. Then a couple years later when mom’s health deteriorated she was there caring and making decisions on her behalf. I love her a lot.

Ladies, please take your health seriously. The signs and symptoms for ovarian cancer are vague at best and many times thought to be something else. Check out Mayo Clinic’s health information for symptoms and more. My sister doesn’t have health insurance so ignored many of the symptoms until her daughters strongly suggested she see her doctor. It was diagnosed rather quickly. Not sure what the future holds for her. We are praying for the best long-term outcome.

I also found out my cousin’s daughter is just completing chemo for ovarian cancer. Needless to say I went to the doctor to talk all this through. I ended up having the recommended screening, an ultrasound. The test showed no ovarian/uterine cancer. Gals, when was your last check-up? Please, please don’t wait or put it off–get in there!! And don’t ignore symptoms … please!

Cancer bites.

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 Krista

1009854_10151846110861273_1587886099_nI’m so pleased to be able to introduce another lady motorcyclist, Krista a.k.a. Bikermissus from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada! Krista is also blogs over here, RideNewFoundland. And here’s Krista …

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since 2009

How did you learn to ride? When I was probably 23 or so my then-boyfriend had a CBR600. I bugged him to teach me to ride, and I did really well…until I popped the clutch and the front wheel came off the ground. I almost dropped the bike, and gave myself a bit of a fright. The next time I rode a motorcycle was five years later when I did the beginner course. It was a much better experience!

What was your first motorcycle? 2009 Yamaha V-Star 250

How many have you owned? I traded the V-Star on a 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Low, which I still own. I’ve since added a 1997 Yamaha YZF600R and a 2009 Suzuki Vstrom 650 to the garage. The Harley is going up for sale in the spring though. It’s a tough decision but I really don’t need three bikes.

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Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember, I don’t know why really. Maybe it was an image thing, or it seemed like the epitome of freedom. I always knew that one day I would have a bike. When I went house-hunting in 2008 I would only consider houses that had garages, and I didn’t even know HOW to ride at the time! It was always in the back of my mind.

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Tell us about your riding. As long as the weather is co-operative, I use my bike the way other people use their cars. Commuting, running errands, going to appointments, picking up groceries. On the weekends I like to get out of the city for a day-trip or an overnight visit with family. Since meeting my boyfriend four years ago, we’ve been using our vacation time to tour Newfoundland on our motorcycles, which is absolutely amazing. He’s a bike fanatic too, which is necessary I think.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? If you have the interest, definitely go do the course. Don’t coerce your boyfriend into teaching you how to ride on his 100 –horsepower sportbike. Don’t let anyone discourage you by saying that you’re too small to handle a bike, don’t have the co-ordination, don’t have the nerve, etc. I’m a small woman, and I can’t even drive a standard car but I’ve ridden big, heavy Harleys and very powerful sportbikes. Once you learn the basics and gain experience, you can ride anything.

When you’re deciding what to get for your first bike, go with your gut. Only YOU know what you’re comfortable on, and if that’s a 250, get a 250. Get a bigger bike when you’re ready, beginner bikes are always an easy sell. Better to start off small and build your confidence than to start off on a bike that’s too big and scare yourself out of riding altogether.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Last summer for our vacation we spent 11 days going from St. John’s to St. Anthony (and many side-roads in between!) and back, a distance of about 3000km (1875 miles). It was a truly epic experience, and we’re planning a similar trip for next summer, with some off-pavement thrown in as well since we both own adventure-touring bikes now

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Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I used to belong to a riding association, but it got political and dramatic so I left. Right now I ride mainly with my boyfriend and our small group of friends. Riding in big groups makesme a little anxious actually.

I’m active in several forums online and in the motorcycle blog community. I love seeing pictures and reading about the rides that people have done all over the world. There are so many people doing amazing things to/with/on motorcycles, I spend my winters reading about them. It’s very inspiring.

Do you have a favorite riding story? Almost every time I head out on the bike for more than an hour I’m left with a story…which is a big part of why I started a blog. Right now my favourite story is our ride to Cape Pine, and the strange coincidences we encountered. Cape Pine is one of the most haunted places I know of, and I’m convinced that  someone or something did not want us to leave. 

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What do you do when you’re not riding? I like to keep fit, and usually run about 50km (30 miles) a week. I’m not really competitive; I usually do only two races each summer. If I wasn’t so into riding I’d probably do more races…they cut into precious weekend riding time! I also love to read non-fiction, and usually have at least two books and two magazines on the go at any given time. To relax on the weekend you can’t beat good beer and good conversation!

Treatment for Chemical Dependency

Had a full weekend that include some chemical dependency treatment … a.k.a. getting a color blast to my hair. Sorry, but I love telling people I’ve been to treatment for chemical dependency and seeing the pitiful looks and, “I’m so sorry” comments.

Treatment for Chemical Dependency

Treatment for Chemical Dependency

Okay, so my chemical dependency involves me getting rid of my grey or is it gray hair disguised a.k.a. dyed.

I took my motorcycle to get my hair done and then went to Costco. Not sure how I can spend almost $100 and taking everything home on my motorcycle without hubby.

Any one else chemically dependent?

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Paige aka @Filosoficalfish

Delighted, that is how I felt when my next guest Paige a.k.a. @Filosoficalfish said yes to adding her story here on my blog! She lives in North Vancouver, BC and has a blog, The Philosophical FishOh my it is a must see and follow! Paige has quite a good eye behind the camera. Seriously.

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

Paige hanging out at the Cheakamus River

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I was on my brother’s dirt bike decades ago, and often rode on the back of his street bike. I had a couple of boyfriends with motorcycles, so I spent a lot of time riding two up. So although I’ve always been around motorcycles, I’ve only been riding my own for about four years now.

How did you learn to ride? I played in the gravel pits out at our cabin on my brother’s dirt bike many years ago, and when we travel abroad we often rent scooters to explore. But my husband encouraged me to get formal training and get my full license, so I took a week long course with the Pacific Riding School in Surrey, BC. Spending so much time on a scooter made learning a bigger bike a cake walk.

Paige on her SV650S

Paige on her SV650S

What was your first motorcycle? Well, if we are splitting hairs, my first motorized two-wheeler was actually an Aprilia SR50 sport scooter, and I still have it. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it because it’s just so much fun and so perfect for around the city streets. It’s so easy to maneuver in heavy traffic and drivers don’t have the hate-on for scooters that they do for motorcycles. Win-win! Plus it keeps me on two wheels all year round.

How many have you owned? If you include the Aprilia scooter in the count, I’m on number three now. After a year on the Aprilia I bought a Suzuki SV 650S and rode that for three seasons and put about 25,000 km on it. It was a great bike to learn on, even though I’d really wanted to start on a Ninja 250. The SV taught me a ton and it was such a wonderful torquey ride in the twisties. Nimble and fabulous and we grew together since it had so much to offer.

I traded the SV in for a Ninja Z1000 just a few months ago and already have 8500 km on the new ride. It is a major jump in power and it’s been interesting; a lot more twitchy but we’ve become good friends.

Two of my favourite toys

Two of my favourite toys.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I didn’t. It honestly never entered my mind. Scooters were for vacation fun, and I was happy on the back of a motorcycle because we could have conversations while on the road. But getting a motorcycle of my own was a bit of a chain reaction event. I ended up with the scooter because I was trying to buy a new truck and had become frustrated with dishonest dealers. I killed two truck deals and went and bought the fastest and sportiest little 50cc scooter I could find instead. I had it derestricted and put a Leo Vince pipe on it. I can wind that little bike up to over 95 k/hr! My husband started getting misty eyed about missing riding, so I encouraged him to get a new bike. I’d been telling him to get one again, for years. But when he did, the one he chose (a Triumph ST) wasn’t terribly comfortable two-up.

He wanted me to get my Class 6 license “just in case”, so I did, with no intention of ever owning my own, and I’d clearly made that statement when I took my course in a room full of testosterone. Day one on the lot in the course and my instructor, a former supersport champ, just started laughing and pointing at me and said “YOU are sooooo getting a motorcycle!” He’d thrown pylons at my head, buckets of water in my face, and jumped on the back and pulled my helmet around and covered my eyes said he’d never seen anyone keep smiling and laughing the way I did while maintaining focus and total control.

I bought the SV two weeks later. The rest, as they say, is history, and Kirk says his plan worked magnificently.

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Ninja at the top of Mt. Baker

Tell us about your riding. I commute on the scooter, it’s perfect for it. The Ninja is for pleasure and vacation riding. It’s great for a rip up the Sea to Sky or down Chuckanut Drive for fun, and with the luggage kit I now have, it’s perfect for long trips. And sometimes I get to combine the two and use it for work travel too. Can’t beat that!

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a course, have fun, stay calm. Don’t get pressured into anything. You don’t have to feel that you have to keep up to more aggressive riders, or have a bigger bike. Don’t play the numbers game, it doesn’t matter. Riding is an individual thing, even if you are in a group.  Leave the ego behind, you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. And stop over-thinking and planning, just do it. The more you think about doing it, and the more time you spend planning, the more time you waste! Maybe it will be for you, maybe it won’t be, but there is no time like the present to try.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? We just returned from a nine day trip down the Washington and Oregon coastlines, and then back up through the volcano region. It was a fabulous trip full of challenging roads and incredible scenery. And just four hours after we passed through the North Cascades highway there were eight mudslides closing the road until further notice! We logged 3,456 km by the time the bikes were put to bed.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Not really. I’ve never really enjoyed group riding – sometimes the dynamics become too much about egos and that tends to irritate me. So offline, no. Online, I have been active in a group that has been advocating for better motorcycle parking in Vancouver (www.mcarking.ca), but that’s about the extent of things. Mostly I ride solo or with my husband, and occasionally end up with unplanned small groups when I accidentally come across friends on the way.

Do you have a favourite riding story? So many to choose from! But I think my fave was actually on the scoot. I was waiting a a light when a guy on a big cruiser rode up next to me and looked at my scooter and puffed up and said  “Maybe you’ll graduate to one of these one day.” I smiled and said, “Why would I, my scooter gets up to 95km/hr” and costs 4 cents per km to operate. His jaw dropped and he said “That goes THAT fast?!?” I nodded, beat him off the line and left him far behind in the causeway. 🙂

Never dis my little scoot!

Don't dis my scooter!

Never dis my little scoot!

What do you do when you’re not riding? I am so happy to do what I love. I work for the Federal Salmon Enhancement Program in British Columbia as a biologist. I work with the major salmon hatcheries to support rebuilding, conservation, and harvest opportunities for Pacific salmon. I am also involved in fish health education within the SEP program, and teach a few courses in the subject area at the University of British Columbia. Outside of work we are boaters and are switching from power to sail soon. I also love kayaking and downhill skiing, and am a hobby photographer.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Heather a.k.a. @harleygirl122

Hello friends! Hope all is well with y’all. I’ve been busy making lemonade out of the lemons life has been handing me. All is well and life is moving on. Now for some fun. I love sharing stories of lady riders and so excited to have another one to share!

My next guest comes highly recommended by Janet a.k.a. @BikerChickNews and catch her on her blog too, Biker Chick News! Without further ado I’m pleased to introduce Heather a.k.a. @harleygirl122! She does have a blog, but hasn’t been out there in a while.

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How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was 12 years old.

How did you learn to ride? Trial and error and then riding courses including a course with the police in the UK

What was your first motorcycle? Honda 250

How many have you owned? 10 in total. Mostly Harleys. Now own a 2013 Fat Boy Lo and a 2010 Street Glide Trike.

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I always tell people that the itch to ride started when I was 3 years old. My Granddad gave me a little red tricycle and it was my first form of transportation. I went everywhere on my trike. I was brought up in a remote part of Scotland where there were no concerns about kids being out all day and not coming home until dinnertime. From there I went to two wheels and then added a motor. Mostly inspired by my Granddad and the wonderful feeling of freedom and peace that riding on two wheels gave me. It was my independence and now it’s my meditation.

Tell us about your riding. I ride to work every day I can and take long trips across country. I’ve ridden in other countries with friends and any chance I get I will get on a motorcycle to really experience the country I’m in.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Don’t give up! Take a course like Rider’s Edge and find a good dealer or female rider to support you. If people are honest it’s tough at the beginning. When I got my first Harley in the late nineties when I moved to the US I was the only women rider the dealer had dealt with. I was an anomaly and I was teased mercilessly but also well supported by the guys. They took me under their wing and many of them are really great friends today. But getting your confidence and going at your own pace is really important. Don’t outstretch yourself. Make sure you are comfortable on the bike. Take your time and don’t go too big too soon.

What is the longest trip that you have taken on your cycle? 5000 mile trip across the country to the Grand Canyon. Life-changing in so many ways.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? HOG and my friends and I formed a group called the IRG which was our answer to all the crazy clubs around that had rules, officers, dues and the like. We just wanted to ride..and not just bar to bar. So as a joke we formed the IRG and we had people at rallies coming up to us asking if they could join 🙂

Do you have a favorite riding story? Our trip to the Grand Canyon was so incredible and I still talk about it even though it was a couple of years ago. As we stood on the rim of the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise having gotten up around 3am to ride up there…there was not a dry eye in the house. a bunch of leather clad bikers who were not only speechless but also highly emotional. Such a magnificent sight and one I will never forget.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I love spending time with my furry children Rufus and Hemi.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Jodi

Once again, I am amazed at how lady motorcyclist cross my path! I’ve been pretty busy lately, hence the lack of blogging, tweeting, and commenting on other blogs (FYI I’m terrible at that, but I do read most of them!) Today I took a moment to see what was happening on Twitter and I caught one of @Moto_Diva’s tweets: “@npdriving: Motorcycle Diaries: Becoming a biker chick is tougher than it looks http://natpo.st/148KiRT  #cars

Needless to say it intrigued me so I clicked through to read about Jodi Lai from Toronto, ON. Jodi is the editor of Post Driving at the National Post and had a story titled, Motorcycle Diaries: Becoming a biker chick is tougher than it looks. I highly recommend reading the article! Once again, I reached out to see if she’d like to join in on the fun and Jodi said YES! Jodi tweets from @NPDriving, but doesn’t have a personal account. Check out and follow her on Instagram too!

Please give a warm welcome to Jodi!

Please give a warm welcome to Jodi!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I just learned to ride in June 2013.

How did you learn to ride? I took the weekend Beginner Basics course with RTI (Rider Training Institute) in Toronto.

What was your first motorcycle? I haven’t bought a bike yet, but I’m looking at getting a Suzuki TU250, which is the bike I learned to ride on.

How many have you owned? None yet. Hopefully, I’ll change this soon!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? When I first saw the new blacked out Harley-Davidson Softail Slim, I was determined to learn to ride so that motorcycle could be mine. I think that motorcycle was made for people like me. It’s sexy and has a sinister swagger to it. I also like being the anti-stereotype. I don’t see many Asian females on bikes in Toronto, and I wanted to change that.

Tell us about your riding. I really have no interest in speed when it comes to motorcycles. I’m more of a relaxed cruising type of rider. Eventually I’d like to ride to work, but I have to get better at riding first!

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What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? I’d advise taking a beginners course. They ease you into it in a very easy-to-handle way. Also, if people heckle you, just think how much more awesome you are then them. I think that every time a woman gets on a bike, she’s doing it for girls everywhere.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m the editor of Post Driving, so I drive a lot of cars, but in my spare time, I bake, rock climb, yoga and get tattoos 🙂

Well, I believe Jodi is the newest female motorcyclist we’ve met! Ladies, I’m still taking names to keep this series going! No matter where you are in the world I’d love to include your story. Email me at pamela(dot)court@gmail(dot)com {trying to keep the spammers at bay}!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet LC a.k.a. @SmartBikerChick

Y’all have heard me sing the praises of social media. Well, I have another verse to add by the name of LC a.k.a. @SmartBikerChick from Atlanta, GA, but considers herself a world traveler. Follow her journey on Twitter.

LC a.k.a. @SmartBikerChick

LC a.k.a. @SmartBikerChick

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I caught the motorcycle bug unexpectedly about five years ago.

How did you learn to ride? I took a motorcycle class to get my feet wet.  Then, my fellow veteran riding friends taught me the real ropes through the mountains.

What was your first motorcycle? Go big or go home, right? I’m not one for switching around, so I went for what I really wanted. BMW F800ST

How many have you owned? I’m loyal… one!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle?  After riding on the back of a few bikes, I decided it was time to stop dating guys just because they had a bike and to learn how to ride for myself.  Freedom!

Tell us about your riding. Riding is pure enjoyment; I ride for the fun of it.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle?  Do it!  Ride

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Most memorable trip was 450 miles through heavy rains… it was quite an adventure! I have stories for life from that weekend.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online?  I’ve been on twitter only a month, but I’ve really taken a liking to this motorcycle community.

Do you have a favorite riding story? A guy, who was trying to impress me, started talking about buying a scooter to ride around the city. I told him I had a motorcycle.

What do you do when you’re not riding? There’s life outside of riding??Okay, maybe there is. I have too many other interests to list here.

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).

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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.

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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!