My bikes and how it started
Don’t wait for live, ride to meet it!
My motorbike days started in my teens when we had a family quad bike. Not a motorbike, but the combination of this and my love for cars and adrenaline was enough to spark motorbike enthusiasm.
How it started
As soon as I turned 17, I was off driving; passing my test just 16 days after my birthday and within the year I had my IAM Institute of Advanced Motorists qualification. In these early days, my world was all about cars. This all changed when I lived in the Bahamas in my early 20s for 1.5 years, here on a remote island transport was difficult. I couldn’t afford a car, so I bought a Chinese Lifan Enduro 250 motorbike and had it shipped in. I’d never ridden a bike before, but that didn’t faze me. However, I was rather shocked by it arrived part assembled, Yikes. Thankfully a trade for a bottle of rum saw a local bush mechanic put it together and I was on my way. I was very soon found exploring the remote island of Eleuthera, where I lived, with my spear and fins strapped to the side for spearfishing beach adventures. So my first bike was quite an adventure, lots of sand and track riding. I then came back to England and realised that it was about time I actually got my full licence…I immediate passed my full access licence but years went by without having a bike. I guess early in my career and post-university I couldn’t see the financial commitment of a second vehicle as feasible when a car was vital.
MY FIRST BIKE
Then post accident, I was unable to do my commute cycling and thus was driving in our 3.5 litre V6 Mercedes-Benz Viano….which drinks petrol back and forth to work. I decided to get a bike, the Suzuki Bandit, to skip the traffic and save money….that was a few years ago and we now have more bikes! 🙂 haha I wouldn’t say I am a stereotypical biker chick, but I am definitely a biker chick.
The love for Harley-Davidson’s started on our honeymoon when we hired two bikes out in Texas and racked up 1,000 miles across 5 days exploring Mid-point café on Route 66, Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, and the breathtaking scenery of the Palo Duro Canyon. It was an amazing adventure [read about it here]. On one of our wedding anniversaries, we hired two Harley-Davidson’s in England and that was it. Within a few weeks, we decided to buy two, and the Harley adventure began. In the first three years, around my numerous surgeries, we managed 10,000 miles, countless weekend adventures, wild camped, explored 6 national parks in the UK, enjoyed sunrise rides over Tower Bridge in London and generally had a blast on two wheels.
Dirt bike enduro bikes
Following the accident, I was off work post the hip surgery, I was bedridden, but I woke up one day and turned to my husband “Please can I have a dirt bike?” I’m not sure what sparked it by let’s just say he was more than thrilled by the idea. As soon as I was mobile enough, we started the hunt and found a Yamaha WRF250 4-stroke. From what we had read it was a great beginner’s bike, friendly and reliable. That is was! We started with this, and once I was able, always following medical recommendations, I was blasting around on her, named Whizz. However, I soon realised she was just too heavy for me at 125kg. A bit of research and introducing Smokey, a KTM 200 2-stroke at only 85kg. Having fallen in love with the fiery power and such each of maintenance of a KTM 2-stroke, I’m confident I won’t go back. I’m now on my second EXC, but this time slightly younger with the ‘hip saver’ button AKA electric start.
Cruising and Enduro
The combination of the two bike types gives so much freedom. On the Harley-Davidson, you have the open road, the distance and the ability to strap a bag on the back and disappear for the weekend. It’s all about the freedom and the adventure. However, it’s rather sedating, and with my inner thirst for adrenaline, it doesn’t fully satisfy me. This is where the dirt bikes come in! On the KTM you can travel across epic terrain and explore the countryside in a totally new way. It’s fast, technically demanding and physically exhausting, whether it’s green laning or entering enduro races.
But, both of these types of riding have one great thing in common, and that is the ability to travel. I’ve now ridden in Texas, UK, Wales, Scotland, Spain, Andorra, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic and next year I’m off on a 13 day Alps adventure exploring 8 countries across Europe with Tour 1 . The scenery you can explore on two wheels is incredible. I’m looking forward to making many more adventures, most likely in countries I wouldn’t have landed in if it wasn’t for the bikes.
There is always space for bikes in your life!