In our previous article on the Challenges of being a female rider, we talked about some of the challenges we face. In this article, we share with you 3 good bits of being a female rider and why you should own it!
Self- discovery and Personal development
This is a big one. Motorcycling has undoubtedly changed so many women’s lives for the better. Some of them found the experience calming akin to meditation; some found that motorcycling has given them a renewed sense of hope and purpose in life. For many others, motorcycling became an avenue to discover themselves and to discover the world around them.
Many motorcyclists would vouch that motorcycling is a great tool for improving overall mental health. While we don’t actually have cold hard statistics to prove the correlation between motorcycling and mental health, women have shared that motorcycling boosts their self-confidence and has improved their general outlook on life. Some even believe that their cognitive function has improved as motorcycling requires them to be alert and adaptive in ways that are so different from their daily routines. Plus, of course, how could we forget those feel-good hormones that get released whenever you’re riding? All of these are clear indicators of overall better mental health.
Motorcycling forced me to face my inner critic and fears head on, rather than succumb to them. When I was learning how to ride, I was more frustrated at myself than happy when on the bike and often asked myself “why bother”? But deep down, I really wanted to accomplish this for myself and so I persevered, learning how to tap into my courage and self-compassion. It is now so empowering to feel confident enough to hit the roads on my 196 kg motorcycle and explore all the places I ordinarily wouldn’t have, especially after all my tears and frustrations. I am nowhere as skilled as I’d like to be and still have a long way to go, but motorcycling has given me the space where I can do something for myself purely for the sake of it and that has made life so much more fulfilling.
Motorcycling means different things to every one – I can’t wait for you to experience your own journey of self-discovery and development, and then own that journey!
A sense of community
Motorcycling also helps to connect people who don’t normally have anything in common. Motorcycling, like sports, is favoured by people from all levels of society. It helps to bring people together from all walks of life regardless of their race or background.
Before I started riding, my social circle remained largely the same, consisting of my close friends from school and university, as well as the people I met from work. They’re all generally cut from the same mold and within the same age group. It’s not that I actively avoided socialising with people outside my existing circle, but I’m more of an introvert and struggle to find common ground to hold a conversation. However, ever since I’ve started riding, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with people whom I would never have met otherwise. Once someone knows you ride, the initial barrier immediately vanishes and there is so much to talk about! I’ve met people with so many different identities – older people, youths, corporate slaves, entrepreneurs, moms, adventurers, racers – all of whom are so willing to share their experience and lend a hand. This in itself has been an enriching experience. It is always so heartwarming to be greeted by fellow motorcyclists: the smiling eyes from under a motorcycle helmet at the petrol station, a brief wave from someone riding past you on the road, a nod of acknowledgement from a table at a restaurant you just entered and chatting with them thereafter. You’ll also get to meet people who are so supportive of the fact that you plucked up the courage to ride.
What’s more, once you have found your own riding crew, your motorcycling experience becomes a whole new adventure and I can say this rings true for me with my own motogirlfriends! There’ll always be something motorcycle-related to do together like test ride bikes, gear shopping, weekly breakfast rides, day trips, motocamping and even mototravel. As an aside – don’t let the idea of riding with the guys put you off though! The sense of community is extended by the male riders too. In fact, I have found that riding with the guys can sometimes be rather comforting as they would take extra care and keep an eye out for my clumsy self.
So yes, the motorcycling community can give you a sense of belonging that transcends barriers. If you’re not sure where to start, head on to FreeW group on Facebook to connect with other women riders 🙂
Inspiring other women
Do you remember when you first started riding and you looked up to a few female riders who inspired you? Do you also remember women saying to you “I wish I could ride too” or commenting that “wow you’re so brave ”?
It’s all about renewing the cycle – we get inspired by fellow women and we inspire others. Yet too often, we see women trying to bring each other down when in fact we’re all so much stronger when we lift each other up. This is made all the more evident through motorcycling. As women riders, we are able to empathize with our respective struggles and this is something we can use to our collective advantage – to encourage and to empower women across all levels of society. Just leading by example, coming out of our comfort zone and deciding to ride that bike can inspire other women to take the leap and be courageous enough to pursue their own dreams, whatever they may be. And there is nothing more fulfilling than helping a fellow woman rise up and achieve her potential.