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Women Riders Now - Motorcycling Lifestyle. Women. Men. Men Riding with Women.

Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

"I Ride Because I Can"

Making her motorcycling dreams finally come true!

By Susan Stevens, Nova Scotia, Canada

Do you have a story to share? Please send it to us, but read these submission guidelines first.

I ride because I can V Star 250
Susan Steven gears up on her Star V Star 250 for a ride near her home in Nova Scotia.

I had made a number of important life decisions in the year leading up to my 6th birthday. When I grew up, I'd go to Africa with Food for the Children that I kept hearing about in Sunday school and at our dinner table for kids who did not have enough to eat. I thought the best things to take would be shreddies, cherry cream soda, strawberries, hamburgers, smarties, and homemade chocolate ice cream — especially the ice cream, because it was so hot in Africa. I also decided I would have three dogs — a Lassie, Saint Bernard, and a German Shepherd. And while I received many nice gifts that year, what I really wanted was a motorcycle, because I had decided that I was going to learn to ride one as soon as I turned 16.

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I ride because I can Susan Stevens young girl
By Susan's 6th birthday (she's in the green shirt), she'd already decided that she wanted a motorcycle.

I didn't earn my motorcycle license and buy my first bike, a 2010 Yamaha Star V Star 250 until I was 43. My motorcycle journey began at a very young age and has had many unexpected twists and turns along the way. And it started with one very special woman.

I am the middle child of three. When my younger brother came along, my mother had three children under 5 years of age. Our neighbors were a young American couple. "Hippies," according to my parents, who were dodging the Vietnam draft. And while they adored children, they had none of their own — just a big, shaggy, black dog.

As I grew up, I spent more and more time with Sheri and Peter. My mother said Sheri was a true “flower child” and “free spirit.” She was, in fact, an incredibly creative and talented artist. We drew pictures. We painted abstract art. We watched Sesame Street and ate delicious peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches, singing and dancing with Big Bird and Grover between bites. In her garden we planted the most amazing sunflowers that grew taller than me. We skated on the lake in the winter and we swam in it during summer. We walked the dog, and we threw and chased sticks with him.

When I was 5 years old, she tucked me between Peter and herself on the back of their motorcycle and held me tightly as we drove around their yard with the dog barking and chasing us. It was — and remained — our secret. It was the most fun and excitement I’d ever had. On that bike, with those two people, I felt such joy and love.

The next year, Sheri got sick. A year after that, she told me she had to go home to see some doctors that would make her better. We wrote letters and exchanged artwork for years. Her letters were always filled with stories and illustrations of places where the leaves were always green and there was never any snow.

When I was 13, her letters stopped. Then, one day after school there was a card from her. It was, it turned out, from Peter explaining that Sheri had died. She was the first person I loved that I lost.

I didn’t learn to ride a motorcycle at 16. My parents wouldn’t consider it. In the years that followed, there was always something in my way it seemed – health, finances, university, career.

On my 35th birthday, after two back surgeries, I decided it was time. I took an 8-year rehabilitation program designed to regain enough strength, balance, and flexibility to ride safely. Just after my 43rd birthday I earned my license, bought my V Star, and started riding.

I ride because I can Susan Stevens
It was a long time coming. Susan rides her 2010 V Star 250.

I ride a motorcycle for many reasons. I ride because many people told me I shouldn’t or couldn’t. I ride because I love the contemplative solitude it gives me. I ride because of the in-the-moment focus it demands of me. I ride because I love the connection I feel with the bike and the places we travel through. I ride because I love the thrill of sharp corners and near misses. I ride because I feel strong and healthy. I ride because in some small way riding connects me to a time and place and a person that I carry with me always. I ride because I can.

Women Riders Now Inspirational Quote
Thank you to Susan for this inspiring quote. For more motorcycling inspired quotes, click here.

Every weekend I post my motorcycle stories and photographs on My home base is Nova Scotia, Canada. Within minutes I can ride along the seashore, take in the many freshwater lakes and rivers, or enjoy the rolling landscape of the countryside.

I never know which way I will head, how long I’ll be gone, or what adventures I will encounter. It’s all part of the escape and the freedom I love about riding. It is not about the destination – it’s all about the journey.

Do you have a story to share? Please send it to us, but read these submission guidelines first.

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