How did you become interested in riding?
As with most things in my life, I blame film. I mean what’s cooler than Marlon Brando on a Triumph in the Wild One? Well, maybe Lee Marvin on a Harley Bobber in the same flick…but you get the idea.
How long have you been riding?
Since the age of 21 – 16 years.
What kind of bike(s) do you have?
At the moment, a 2006 Triumph Thruxton, and a 1971 Yamaha AT1 125 dirt bike. I Just sold my 1968 BSA Custom, a little hotrod scoot (Lightning 650 frame and a ’71 Thunderbolt 650 motor). I’m also thankful enough to get to ride a 1947 Harley Hummer race bike custom built by the Kowalski Customs whenever there’s a good dirt day. Thanks EJ! Looking to build a 60’s British bobber project this year.
Advice for new riders or women who want to get into riding?
Just do it. While it’s so much easier now to be a new rider, with the global access to the community, the fundamentals remain the same. You are ALWAYS learning. The minute you think you’ve figured it out, it’ll bite you in the ass. Be humble, ask for help. Whether you join a club or not, ride with many people, often. Take classes. Track days, dirt, MSS, MSF, anything you can find. riding motorcycles is not a cool kid badge, it’s a skill you will work on for the rest of your life. Get out there and have fun!
Favorite moto adventure / dream moto adventure?
Getting lost. Whether on a bike or in a vintage car, I’ve never met a road trip I didn’t love. Typing this interview from the Paris airport before I hit the road from Paris to Biarritz for Wheels & Waves with two dear friends Stacie B London (East Side Motobabes, LA) and Irene Kotnik (The Curves Berlin) on Ducati Scramblers. That’s a pretty neat dream come true!
Favorite piece(s) of gear and why?
Always changing as this still ain’t easy for us ladies. Today it is a brand new, armored jacket just released by Breaking Hearts & Burning Rubber (a moto gear company owned by rider and friend, the badass Leslie Padoll. It’s got a classic 50’s biker fit (for a girl!), with soft leather, tons of pockets, back, elbow and shoulder armor. Looking forward to testing it out!
What is the best part of being woman who rides?
I don’t know exactly… I’ve always been one. The best thing about being a motorcyclist is the instant family one finds in the community. All you have to do is show up and not be a dick, and you’re in. This goes double for women, I think. The Miss-Fires was started as a way for women to find this sense of family and It’s amazing to see true, lasting friendships formed.
And what is the worst part of being woman who rides?
I’ve been riding a long time, and then it was harder to get your foot in the door. I was also incredibly insecure so I blame that more than being a woman personally. I wish I had asked for help, and gotten out there more 15 years ago. If I had, I’d have way more miles under my belt and WAY more fun! Having said that, women still find themselves up against the boys club to some extent. With motorcycles as in many things, I think women find themselves having to work harder to prove themselves.
Besides riding motorcycles, what other hobbies or passions do you have?
Good grief, where do I start? Motorcycles is a conveyance. And they’re neat, but I love my classic cars. That meme of “four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul” annoys the crap out of me. Bikes are a way to see the world, or go fast on a track. I am passionate about building and promoting community first and foremost. I run The Miss-Fires. I founded and ran the internationally recognized Motorcycle Film Festival, and since leaving the MFF, I am working as the Curator of Film for The Vintagent. I host a vehicular movie series called Cine Meccanica, and I make seats for custom and vintage motorcycles as well as creating classic car interiors as my company, Via Meccanica. I knit, sew, cook, blog about simple living, and urban homesteading, have made a few films, and generally obsess about the history of all things. Think that’s it for now… but ask me tomorrow 😉
Bonus question! Add anything else you’d like our community to know about you or women riders in general.
Get off the internet… and go ride!