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 Bec Stockley of Adelaide, South Australia. Bec has found a love for track riding and here she gives us all an insight into track and why she is so passionate about it.
We hope you enjoy her story.
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"My name is Bec Stockley, I'm 30 and live in Adelaide, South Australia. I've been riding road bikes for just over three years and started doing track days last year. I was born to ride.
My Dad likes to remind me that my fifth spoken word was Mo'bike and that I used to sit in the back of the car as a toddler pointing at them as they rode past, this has always amazed him as although he rode, he didn't have a bike at the time. I remember being the only kid in Reception and Year 1 being picked up from school and jumping on the back of dads bike with my school bag, as a 5 year old, to go home.
I got my licence shortly after my Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. It was always a goal to ride side by side and this wasn't going to stop us. I bought my first bike, a Honda CBR250r Repsol Edition before I even went for my licence. It was the best thing I ever did for myself and it helped my Dad with his fight. After Dad recovered from numerous treatments and surgeries, he bought a brand new Yamaha MT07 and we were off. I don't know who's prouder really, but I know he's stoked he has bragging rights that his little girl is a biker.
Riding has become everything to me. I'm one of those lucky people who have found something to help me switch off from the world. Something to throw myself into and make my own. It's where I feel sane, it's where I've found my closest friends, it's where I feel a never ending sense of achievement. I spend my weekends watching ASBK and MotoGP. I message friends every day to talk bikes and accessories. It's a lifestyle. Even my amazing fiancé is used to me telling him "I'm only going out for lunch" and coming home at 9pm.
Currently I ride a 2007 Honda CBR600rr on the road and a 2004 Honda CBR600rr on track. I like the Hondas because they are generally a smaller, lighter and lower seat height bike. I'm 5"3 and 45kgs so learning to ride was always going to be a struggle, there is not a bike on the showroom floor that I can flat foot on. My confidence grew and now I can throw a 600 around like some of the boys. I hate when ladies say they're too little for a bigger bike. It's not the case.
My favourite place to ride is the Adelaide Hills. We're blessed to have such amazing roads so close to the city and there's always a new road to try. I refused to ride hills when I was a learner and now you can't get me out of them.
My new love is riding on track out at Mallala. I've completed two ride days now and it's the biggest buzz loading your bike and driving down the highway early in the morning with a convoy of people headed out to track knowing you're all there to push yourself, be better riders and have a world of fun. When I first got my licence I started heading out to watch friends and strangers push their limits around the track, the more I went, the more I knew I had to give it a go. The track riding community is pretty small - but surprisingly welcoming. It's like no other community I know, and for the most part, everyone's happy to help you. You watch riders swap tools and spares and lend a hand to make sure a fellow rider makes their next session. Champions and pro-racers giving tips and advice to novice Ride Day riders and everyone is full of support and encouragement. Over time, I got to know some of the regulars and started to get involved. I helped a team at the Adelaide 3 Hour in the pits with their stands, gear, helmets and visors and they placed third on the podium, it was nothing short of a fantastic day out.
I bought my 2004 Honda CBR600 only because I was too scared to crash my road bike and have nothing to ride. The first thing I did was set it up for track. (I'm extremely lucky to be marrying the most incredible auto-electrician who helps me out heaps!!).
For me this meant taping the headlights, removing mirrors and indicators and making sure all my failings were secured properly, but check with your local club for your own track and ride day specs.
I bought the required safety gear, full leathers, gauntlet gloves, boots and a helmet and I splurged on a set of entry level tyre warmers. I do still run a road tyre because I'm not doing times worthy of slicks and recommend you get advice to make sure your suspension is set as best as it can be - it makes a massive difference.
My first day out was absolutely incredible. I started the day with lap times over 2 minutes and had dropped 22 seconds over the day on confidence alone. The day starts with registrations and a quick scrutineering check to make sure your bike and gear check out and the day itself is made up of six 15 minute sessions in different groups which are based on your lap times, so you don't need to worry about pro-racers blasting past you on a practice day. Everyone in your group is at your level and within a few seconds of your own times.
My approach isn't to go as fast as I can - I want to improve my technique and learn to be a better rider and overall I just want to have as much fun as possible. It's an achievement to not only be a female rider, but to have given track riding a go and there are some ladies out there absolutely killing it in both the ride days the race meets.
My advice for woman starting to ride is to be brave and to do it for yourself. You're already achieving something many only wish they could, so don't let the drops or the fact you're struggling to u-turn get you down. WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE! Hell, I got a free iced coffee for dropping my bike TRYING to uturn out the front of my favourite biker cafe, The Throttle Shed in One Tree Hill - so it's not all bad. When I started I didn't know any females that rode and the networking that happens naturally will introduce you to some of the most strong and supportive woman you'll ever meet. So if it's something you want to try - don't hesitate and give it a go."
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Thank you to Bec for sharing their stories and if you would like to share your story with us simply go to the Contact Page of the website and fill in the form and we will gladly be in touch.
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