Learning to master the 2-wheel
Gone are the days when bikers were predominantly male and an increasing number of women have steadily entered this space. Vuyi shares why she too has pulled on a helmet an how her two-wheeled journey begun.
I must have been about 9 years old when I first got close enough to a motorcycle to be able to touch it. My uncle Mo had rolled up the driveway on an incredibly loud piece of machinery with a grin on his face only rivalled by the one he had whenever there was a beer in his hand. With great aplomb he had dismounted his iron horse and handed me his helmet. Fascinated but nervous, I remember slowly approaching the motorbike and studying it from headlamp to glistening tailpipe, before making a solemn promise to myself that I would one day command such a beast. Fast-forward a decade or two (or three – who’s counting?!) and I have finally realised my childhood promise.
For women from a conservative up-bringing the idea of taking up on two-wheels is most often interpreted as a form of rebellion. Women are not quite expected to do that sort of thing. Instead, we are moulded into soft-spoken care-givers whose lives are dedicated to the tireless service of others, not straddling a hulk of metal, wearing tight leathers!
Some readers may argue that times have changed and indeed they have; however, culture and attitudes – not so much. In my view, this is one of the biggest reasons why many women may wish to, but dare not actualize learning how to ride. Incidentally, the same highly raised eyebrows remain decisively in place when a woman rides pillion. Perhaps holding onto a man for dear life, with one’s bosom pressed firmly against his back is what some understand as what’s meant by the saying “behind every man is a woman”.
My 8-valve, 2-cylinder, 40.2kW, 6-speed motorcycle has a large colour LED screen to display vital info and 22l of storage space. At just over 800mm from the ground its perfect for my 1.57cm (barefoot) self and being an auto means I won’t have to worry about accidentally shifting into the wrong gear but instead allow me to focus on perfecting basic riding skills such as stopping without wobbling and accelerating from intersections without stalling the engine!
Most importantly, it will allow me to concentrate on safely navigating amidst motorists who unexpectedly change lanes or drive distracted. For forecast for 2020 includes many adventures and happy memories but in order to live long enough to share those with you I urge all motorists to watch out for bikers. We are people too and our loved ones expect us to get back home just as yours do.
Vuyi regularly shares her biking experiences on @bikinginheels