Many of the riders I talk to, especially female riders, got into riding through their family or community. Motorcycles are in their blood. They’re usually excellent, heartwarming stories about familial bonding or an ambiguous “destiny,” but to be honest, they’re just not that relatable.
Most people do not grow up around motorcycles. Most people do not have family that has ridden for generations. Therefore, most people never ride.
I want to share my story, because my story is something “most people” can relate to. I didn’t have family that rode. My dad did, but only for a few years before I was born. I never even considered riding an option.
In fact, I grew up believing I was clumsy, staying away from competitive sports and anything that required even just a bit of hand-eye coordination. I say “believing” because, when I learned to ride, I realized that my reflexes are actually pretty good, and my bike has become nearly an extension of myself. My clumsiness was just a story I made up.
I also used to be part of the cultural group that believed bikes are inherently dangerous. And that’s a completely natural response when my only interaction with motorcycles was hearing about horrible accidents that happened in the news or to a friend-of-a-friend. If you only heard about car accidents and had never driven one yourself, you’d be afraid of cars, too.
But once I got on a motorcycle for the first time, shifted gears and felt the wind rush over my helmeted head… I knew I had to learn. I know riding isn’t for everybody, but if you feel the pull, if you’re even halfway interested, give it a shot. Take the safety course. If you don’t like it, no worries! But if you do, your life will never be the same.
The story of how I learned to ride a motorcycle is actually pretty long, so I’m going to break it up into a series. In a while I’ll post the first part, and as I post them I’ll link all of them here. In the meantime, if you also got into motorcycles in a nontraditional way, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.