Her Story. A series of blog posts telling the stories of 'women who ride' from all corners of the globe. We hope that by sharing these stories we can help encourage other women to build their confidence, learn from others and inspire others.
This month we have a story from Jessica who had the itch for motorbikes from a very young age. She grew love for motorbikes through her Dad's encouragement and then found a new passion in horses. With admiration for a strong female figure in her life, she continued to push her adventure limits and rekindled her love for bikes again.
We hope you enjoy her story.
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My name is Jessica Bone, I am 24 years old, currently living in Indigo Valley Victoria, Australia and this is my motorbike journey.
My motorbike journey started at an early age and was moulded and shaped thanks to my Dad. My Dad was a big inspiration and starting point for me riding motorbikes, from a very young age, before I could ride myself, he would tuck me in front of him on our Honda Z50 and take me for a ride around our modest one acre backyard. This was just the beginning of a motorbike filled life.
When I rode my bicycle, I would make sure I had gear on. Motorbike helmet and gloves and I remember pretending to be on a real motorbike, I had the motorbike bug already.
Once my feet could reach the pillion pegs on my Dad's Ducati Darmah, I was a regular passenger. He couldn't pull his Ducati out without me coming out and waiting until he'd ride, just so I could make sure he would take me with him.
Around the time I was eight years old I was finally big and strong enough to be able to hold and balance the Z50 by myself, so it was finally time for me to begin to learn to ride by myself. It took me around a week to have all the basics down pat and from then my confidence grew every ride. It wasn't long before I was hooked on seeing just how fast I could push the Z50 before ripping it into the corners of our backyard, well into my teens.
Growing up I also loved animals, in particular horses. Around 14 years old I put motorbikes on the back burner and pursued owning and riding my own horse. I eventually accomplished that dream and spent the next 7 years engrossed in the equestrian world. I would ride daily and developed an amazing connection with my horse, she was well and truly my one in a million horse. I agisted my horse at a ladies house who rode motorbikes and we got along fantastic. I thought she was super cool and admired her in a lot of ways, she was the strong female role model. She basically did whatever she wanted, she rode when and where she liked.
At the time I didn't realize how much the stories she told me would impact my future moto journey. She owned a few different motorbikes and she would often go out touring around Australia. We would chat and discuss motorbikes and horses when we saw each other. Even though I was currently riding horses and not motorbikes, we both rode for the same reason, freedom! I eventually lost my heart horse to a bout of colic, this absolutely devastated me and it would leave me not knowing what to do with myself for a while. It would take me some time before i went back to motorbikes.
After allowing myself to work through things and with encouragement from my Dad, I finally began to re-learn to ride motorbikes again. I began on my Dad's Suzuki DR200 SE and it took me a few weeks to regain my confidence and it would take even longer for me to save up the money to go for my motorbike license.
After a month or more of saving, at the age of 22, I finally had the money to go and sit my learners course. I passed first go and two more courses and a year later, I had my full motorbike license! Whilst I had been saving to go and sit my licensing tests, the opportunity to purchase my Dad's Suzuki DR200 SE came up and I jumped at it. So my official first bike was the Suzuki and I was stoked.
The Suzuki was the perfect bike to learn to ride on roads with traffic. She's light, easy to handle and there is the added bonus of going on or off road. She's the type of bike you can jump on and you have that weird feeling that she takes care of you. I'm not sure how many times I have come close to almost wiping out on dirt but in some miraculous way, she always corrects herself and we keep on going. A lot of my early riding on roads was all dirt. My dad is a firm believer of learning dirt before road. This was a common theme for teaching me not only to ride but to drive as well. In my Dad's wise words, "If you can ride well on dirt, you'll ride with no problems on tarred roads".
I did a great deal of riding on the Suzuki but it was time for me to upgrade. Before I go further, I should mention I haven't sold the Suzuki. Winter is off-road season and summer is on-road season in Australia, so it's nice to have a bike for each season.
As my Dad was a Ducati enthusiast, it was only natural I would follow in his footsteps. I decided to purchase a 1995 Ducati Monster 400 and I fell in love. I absolutely love the look of the older model Monsters, they're zippy to ride through traffic but still have enough grunt to sit comfortable at freeway speeds, not too heavy, sits you in a good riding position and handles all the different roads with ease. I've ridden her every where from down a dirt road, country highways, freeways and up the twisty mountain roads and I don't have a single complaint. I've got plans for more Ducatis to add to my collection, but they still may be a few years of saving away.
Motorbikes have impacted my life in a few different ways over the years but the biggest way they've impacted me is I have always been a woman who has loved doing things that are stereotypical 'male activities' or male dominated, and doing them well. That is a massive confidence booster for me because it allows me to prove to myself and others, that i can do anything I put my mind to, regardless of any other factors.
For any ladies who have been wanting to or even thinking about learning to ride, my advice to you all is just get out and do it because you will not regret it! You don't need any more of a reason than that, but if you do, do it because you want to, because you deserve it and because you are a straight up bad-ass!
Riding will allow you to meet so many more awesome people and the motorbike community is one of the absolute best communities that I have been involved in. Thank you for reading my moto journey!
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Thank you to Jessica for sharing her story. You can follow Jessica on Instagram at @_jessicabone
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