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 by Cissy Chen of Melbourne, Australia. Cissy hasn't been riding too long and it wasn't easy for her to get her licence but she has found her groove and now nothing can stop her riding!
We hope you enjoy her story!
My name is Cissy from Melbourne. I love animals, and although I’m not that good at swimming, I love the sea. I also love eating and dancing and everything retro too. I’m a straight up crazy little Aquarius.
First of all, I would like to thank Moto Femmes for allowing me to feature in their blog. I am a total newbie to this community and feel grateful for the opportunity to share my story alongside other fantastic female riders.
When Covid hit, although there were many negative impacts, one positive note was that it made me realise that I had not lived for myself. I had lived for other people’s expectations and had sought validation from others for too long. I decided that life was way too short and precious, to live for others and that I needed to be accountable for my happiness. I have always liked the look of motorbikes since I was small. I’m fascinated by how they are built and how versatile they can be. Without a second thought, I booked my learners lesson.
I didn’t pass my Learners test the first time, and it was pouring rain that day. I had never ridden a motorbike before or a car with manual transmission. Everything was so overwhelming and challenging, and I fell twice during the class. My instructor stopped me after the second fall and I still have the scar on my knee as a souvenir. I was upset but rebooked my test straight away and also four additional private classes. Finally, I passed!
My first bike was a Honda Rebel CMX500. I liked the retro look of it and it just felt right. I called around and luckily someone had just cancelled their order, so I did not hesitate to say yes. I modified the seat from black to brown as I always liked the S edition but couldn’t bear to wait any longer. The exhaust was updated to have a beautiful sound to help everyone see me coming. Hunting for different parts and little gadgets and equipment is such a fun thing to do. Funnily enough, in 2014 I was horse riding near Queensland and the horse’s name was Rebel, too! Life gives you hints everywhere.
My second bike is the Yamaha YZF-R3 Grandprix 60th edition. When Yamaha released the R Series Grandprix 60th anniversary, I thought it was the most classic colour combination ever. It looks so much like their 1978 version and it didn’t take me long to call up the shop to book one. It was so popular but I was lucky enough to get hold of the last R3 GP edition in Australia. It is such a beginner friendly bike that’s so easy to ride.
I made many new precious friends through motorbiking who were patient enough to help me back then. When I started on the roads, I was very nervous and spent a lot of time practicing in the carpark and watching YouTube videos. With a good group of friends to ride together who were also learners, it gave me the confidence to ride further. We rode to the beach, Mornington Pier, Williamstown, Marysville, Healesville, Warburton, Sorrento and even surprised one of them by turning up at their university graduation ceremony on our bikes. We also passed our P test together. Now we are as close as a family. It feels good when you know you have someone to ask for help anytime you need. These friends are the best thing that motorbikes has given me.
I never thought I could ride a motorbike like my Rebel 500 on the road. Riding has given me the confidence to know that I can achieve anything as long as I put my mind to it. Believe it or not, riding is like a meditation to me. Whenever I have a bad day, it makes me feel better again.
For those that are looking to start riding, my advice based on my own experience is to not be afraid to fail or to fall, it is a lesson to help you improve. Go with the right people who would look after you, be patient and give you the right energy. Enjoy freedom and fun whilst being responsible. With anything in life, don’t wait around, just show up and give it a try. You get to know yourself better through different experiences in life. Working at your own pace, if you are little bit better than yesterday, it is enough. If not, have a rest and try again tomorrow.
I had a cancer scare a few years ago, and at the age of 36, I realised that life was too short to not have fun. I would like to use one of my favourite quotes from Kong Fu Panda by Master Oogway to end my story here. "Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present."
Enjoy and have fun! See you on the road.