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 Mary Pang from Connecticut, USA.
After only one year of owning a bike and learning how to ride, she has ridden almost 5000 kms and has discovered a new perspective on life.
We hope you enjoy her story.
A Lifelong Rider Who’s Only Just Begun
What Started Out As a Goal Grew Into a Passion.
I’m Mary Pang, 26 years old, from Connecticut, USA, and the first time I rode a bike on my own, was when I took my motorcycle class at 23 years old. The second time I rode a bike was when I bought my 2019 Honda Rebel 300 almost two years later.
My goal to learn how to ride, was born on the back of a motorcycle, riding with a friend in upstate New York.
We talked about how awesome it would be to do a long-distance road trip to Glacier National Park, in Montana, USA. I was all for the idea, but I decided that if I was gonna do a trip like that, it wasn’t going to be as a passenger.
Before this, I’d always been fascinated by motorcycles, and would never pass down the chance to hop on the back of one when asked, but never seriously entertained the thought of having my own bike or learning to ride alone. Creating that goal made it a tangible possibility.
Acting on my goal didn’t happen overnight. In fact, I talked about it for two years before I even booked a riding class, and it took me almost two more years before I bought my Rebel.
But now, one New England road trip in and almost 3000miles later, I don’t think I’ll ever stop riding.
Riding is in the Blood.
If you’ve never ridden before, but have always wanted to try, you just have to go for it. That curiosity is an instinct, and it’s coming from somewhere.
I’m convinced that riding is in the blood, whether you grew up around motorcycles or not. I was born to ride, it just took me a while to realize it.
I didn’t grow up around bikes and none of my family rides, but that’s what I love about the moto community: it’s made up of people from all walks of life, each with unique personal stories and reasons for riding.
The only thing we’ve got in common is a deep love for the exhilarating feeling of complete inhibition which riding personifies--with an innate drive to live life fully, push past personal and societal boundaries, and make continual progress on all fronts.
We call it being “Gritty-minded.”
Lessons Learned On the Road Run Past the Pavement.
What I’ve learned on my bike translates to every other area of my life.
I’ve learned that positive self-talk is imperative for progress, that I don’t need to measure my results based on other people’s expectations, and that it’s okay to be nervous as long as I don’t let it hold me back.
My bike has taught me that the things I’m afraid of are never worse than what I imagine in my head – why worry about the 3000th mile when I can only focus on the couple hundred feet of road in front of me?
If I Can Do It, Anyone Can.
Off my motorcycle, I wear heels to work, and people describe me as “petite and dainty,” which gives me no end of grief, but it’s a special kind of satisfaction when someone learns I have a bike and then says, “I would have never taken you for a rider.”
If you’re starting from the beginning like I did, be prepared for a steep learning curve… but also know that you can absolutely do it.
There’s nothing you can’t learn if you’re willing to put yourself out there, and the feeling of gaining confidence as you push past your fears and gain experience is intoxicating.
If you’re not sure how to get started, the best first step is to book a riding safety class. It’s the best way to learn and make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment, it’ll hold you accountable, and it’s a much more cost-effective way to test your curiosity than dropping a couple thousand on a bike.
And don’t worry, if you spend the first eight hours struggling to get the hang of the clutch and throttle, just know that I was there, too. BUT! I showed up the next day despite my own, and other people’s doubts, and by the end of day two, I was riding extra laps around the parking lot because I couldn’t get enough.
I have yet to go on my Glacier National Park trip (and my friend has the patience of a saint!), but it feels good knowing I’m well on my way. I’m excited for that trip, but I’m also enjoying the process of simply making progress towards my ever-growing list of moto goals.
For a life-long rider who’s only just begun, I’ve got all the time in the world.
• • •
Thank you to Mary for sharing her story.
Would you like to share your story?
Find out how here.