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 Stephanie Holman of Nova Scotia Canada. She is not afraid to get out there and try new things and in doing so has found a love for racing.
We hope you enjoy her story.
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"I’m Stephanie Holman, 25 years old and from Nova Scotia, Canada!
I’ve always been on a bike or around them ever since I can remember, whether it be a four-wheeler or dirt bike. My brother and I had a Suzuki LT80 growing up, I wasn’t allowed to ride it alone because Mom and Dad knew that I always had a need for speed.
I got my first dirt bike when I was about 13. I had seen this bike sitting out by the shed of a house my Uncle and I were working at. I mentioned to my Uncle that I wanted a dirt bike, he came back to the truck and said that I could have the dirt bike if I did the dozing job for them, I left with a 1985 Honda XR80! Not exactly with my parents permission (Moms) since she didn’t know, but Dad did. He knew I was going to be arriving home with the bike on the back of my Uncle's truck and ever since then I have loved riding anything with two wheels.
The biggest reason I got into biking was from watching Motocross events on TV after school and just thought that was the greatest thing ever, just how fast they were going and all the jumps, so being the age I was I thought that someday I would be just like them… or at least try something like that. I didn’t do anything too crazy, just rode a little figure 8 track into the field across from my parent's house, getting berms in the corners, small ones but they were there and ruts, I thought it was the best thing! After riding it for maybe a year or so I seized the piston trying to jump start it and decided to sell it in pieces.
As motorcycles never seem to leave your system completely, I soon filled the need with a CRF100.
My main plan with this bike was to get my bike license and make this road legal. I had asked around and the law changed which meant I wasn’t able to do that, so it was just a trail bike and I thought maybe I would try some things on this bike and rode another track into the field behind my parent's house. I made a tiny jump out of wood and with some tips from my boyfriend I managed to get a little bit of air, but it felt like I was going pretty high even though I was only like a foot off the ground. I took my CRF on a few fun ride days at the local off-road park and did a couple of jumps (not overly graceful) but I had a blast while doing it!
I got the idea in my head that I was going to get my bike license and get a street bike. I had to convince my Mom this was a good idea. Along the way my Dad had bought a cruiser so this gave me some ammunition to let me do the motorcycle safety course. Well it must have worked because my Mom and I were on our way to do the bike course… together!
We pass the course and not long after my Mom has got a cruiser as well and we are practising riding in the parking lot of the high school I went to. This was a big bike for me to be learning on, I’m only 5 ft tall and might be 90lbs soaking wet! We did it and next thing I know we are driving an hour away to possibly purchase my first street bike a Honda CBR125.
We arrive and I can tell my Mom is not wanting me to go through with the purchase but I do… and we try loading it on the truck, had some difficulties, then a kind gentleman helped us put it on and off we went with my first bike in the truck! I couldn’t wait to ride it but I wait until my Dad gets home from work and off we go up our road for a little cruise. After a little scare with a porcupine, we made it back safely and ever since then I have been hooked on having a street bike and the feeling off freedom while riding!
In between all this I started dating a guy who worked at a motorcycle shop, decided to do something a little more interesting and got a job at the shop!
Later on I decided to purchase a 2003 Suzuki RM85 to maybe ride in a Motocross race or a Harescramble. This was my first ever 2 stroke bike and it took me a little bit to get used to the power difference from the CRF. I haven’t done any racing with it yet, but one day I’d love to check it out!
Since working at the shop and having already been told about my boyfriends past race experience, I was very interested in hearing more about roadracing and how to go about it. One chilly day we decided to head to the local track so I could see it first hand. We got talking more about the CBR125 and how that would be a great bike for at the track, so being the person I am I start pricing up the gear I would need to get out there, and what I needed to do. My Mom had talked about buying me a new bike jacket, I asked if she would mind putting that money towards a suit, she questioned me as to why I would need a suit on the street, I told her what it was for and that the track is one of the safest places for riding a bike (this took a little bit of convincing as you can imagine!). That summer I was able to watch my boyfriend do an invitational Kawasaki spec 300 race in Ontario at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
A year or so later, after I had purchased the gear I needed I was finally able to experience the track first hand on my 125. It was a blast, I wasn’t going overly fast but that didn’t really matter to me, just being out there was good enough. So the following year I did the High Performance Riding Academy at our local track, Atlantic Motorsport Park.
That was the most fun I have ever had, learning what my bike is capable of and where I feel comfortable. Once I finished the school, I decided to try and get my times a little faster before I would try and enter my first race. I did just about every available track day & practiced as much as I could, until I finally felt ready to enter my first race. This race consisted of 250s and me on my 125. I had practiced that morning on starts, since I have never started a race before. The time came to get out on track and do two warm up laps then grid, I even remembered my grid spot. Sitting on the grid with all the other riders, and watching for the starting lights to go green, next thing I knew we were off! I had got an OK start and made it around a few times when next thing I know I’m off my bike! I pushed my luck just a little bit too far in one of the corners and my front tire lost grip. My race was over but luckily I only ended up with my pinky a bit banged up and a dislocated thumb. I was quite upset with not finishing the race but knew it wouldn’t be my last!
September 2017, I enter my next race which was an all female race. I got a decent start among bikes ranging from 600s to my 125 and managed to finish it! Never thought finishing second last would be so exciting!
My motorcycle collection has grown a bit since then with a 2005 XT225 and the newest member a 2017 CB300! Now it’s the challenge of waiting for the winter to be over so I can do some more races and put some time in on the 300."
- - - - -Thank you to Stephanie for sharing her story and if you would like to share your story with us simply go to the GET IN TOUCH page of the website and fill in the form and we will gladly be in touch.