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Reader Story: If She Can Do It, So Can I

The cycle continues

By Jill Smith, Massillon, Ohio
8/22/2010


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It's a hot summer's day and I'm waiting at a red light. I turn my head left to follow the roar of 10 bikes and 12 riders as they zoom past me on Route 21. That looks like so much fun, but I'm 54 years old and I don't know if I could learn to ride a motorcycle, let alone pick it up from the kickstand. My vision fades as the last rider disappears around the corner.

A couple of days later, I see a woman older than me pumping gas into her motorcycle. I watched her get on it, start it up, and glide out of the station. Hey, if she can ride, I should be able to do it.

After many searches on the computer, reading reviews, watching basic rider videos, I bought a 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. I had read that it was a good beginner's bike. I practiced every single day for weeks in the parking lot by my house until I felt I could shift, stop, and start with no problems. My husband was so gracious to follow me in our car on my first ride on a real road. It was awesome!

Jill on her 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. She says she wears full protective gear when riding.
Jill on her 2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. She says she wears full protective gear when riding.

Any woman out there thinking of learning to ride a motorcycle, do it. Don't let age or gender stop you from it. It is a thrill to have the wind blowing, and the fragrance of the ride surrounding you. I am so glad I did buy my bike, and I’m looking forward to learning to ride it well in the basic beginner’s course in October.

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Reader Comments


Yay, Jill! I had been a long-time back seat rider (30 plus years) and just last year my hubby and I decided that I should learn to drive just in case of an emergency while we were out. Well, long story short, at 47 I learned to ride and my hubby bought me a bike of my own. I took the course and am still in learning mode but I wouldn't trade my own bike for the world! Ride safe and maybe we'll see you around!

Deborah Kennedy
Wichita, KS
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Yes, "older" gals rule! Jill, congratulations and keep going. All of us once had that longing look, that wish, and found the "oomph" that got us to the course, to the parking lots, and on the road. Time's a wastin'. On all those main streets, parking lots, food stores, cars passing us by, there are those young girls watching us make the moves, wind in our hair/sun on our face, sitting proudly on our iron horses, showing them, yes, it can be done, and what's stopping you? Nothing.

Joyce Liana
Troutville, VA
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
I love to hear about older women taking up riding. I'm 56 and took the MSF course, bought a 08 Kawasaki 900 Vulcan and really enjoy riding, although not often. Unfortunately, I have lost a number of friends the last couple of years from motorcycle accidents. Now I have not rode for a year and am really scared to ride. As much as I enjoy learning to ride I hesitate to take the plunge. Wish me luck - any encouraging words are welcome. Enjoyed the story!

Karen Tepfer
Wichita Falls, TX
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I was never interested in riding on or owning a motorcycle until the cost of gas kept increasing. My husband and son bought bikes and I said, do you think I could learn that? It took a while, and I flunked the riding test two times before I got my license. I'm now over 60 and have been riding only two years. Don't ever try to take my Yamaha away from me.

Connie
Concordia, KS
Saturday, September 18, 2010
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