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 Annette "Netty" Eldridge from Melbourne, Australia. Netty moved to the city to follow her dreams as a professional cellist but it wasn't until she had a ride on the back of a bike, she truely remembered how much motorcycles meant to her.
We hope you enjoy her story!
Hey I’m Netty, I’m from Melbourne, Australia and grew up in the rural town of Nathalia, where motorcycling all began for me.
Growing up, my dad owned a motorcycle dealership. This meant that as soon as I was big enough, he gave me a pee wee 80 to ride around on out the back of the house block and in the bush. I would also enjoy taking my younger sister around.
My love of music and career goals of being a professional cellist eventually put a halt to my motorcycle riding. I followed the dream - moved to Melbourne and studied classical cello at the Melbourne Conservatorium. As time passed, I felt the niggling feeling of getting back on the bike again; but since my father had a serious motorcycle accident and trying to look after my music career, I pushed the thought aside. It wasn’t until four years ago the bug finally got me when I saw the Melbourne Cafe Racers out on a group ride and I met my fiancé Jason Lau. Two days later I jumped on the back of his bike for a ride. It wasn’t before long I was eager to ditch just being a pillion and finally get my license.
Technically my first bike was the Yamaha PeeWee 80. Even though I had outgrown it, I was devastated when Dad sold it one day. My first bike I purchased myself is my Suzuki Tu250x. I absolutely love this bike. With a few modifications she looks like a great vintage motorcycle and rides extremely well, especially for a more petite rider like myself.
My very first adjustment was the Motosai quilted bench seat. Seats are very important to the look of a bike for me and the sleek look of a flat bench seat instantly cleaned up the look. For a similar reason I changed to bar end mirrors.
To give the bike greater performance on the freeway I changed to a smaller rear sprocket. Like many stock pipes, the Tu originally sounded like a sewing machine. As standard pipes wouldn’t fit I had adjustments made to the exhaust and a reverse cone muffler fitted. The bike now has a much deeper tone which I like to think of as a growl.
Lately I have had the privilege to be riding the new Royal Enfield Meteor 350. I have been thoroughly enjoying riding a cruiser style bike for something different. I am quite impressed by the look and the feel of this bike.
Having a motorcycle in my life has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Riding has given me the confidence to give many things a go, opened up lots of opportunities, riding adventures and a world of meeting so many beautiful riders. It’s wonderful to meet many women riders and I ride with a group called ‘The Leatherettes’.
Going on holidays has also involved motorcycles. One of the best rides I’ve done is around Tasmania with the stunning scenery and twisty roads for miles. Jason and I have been planning to make a trip to America and ride through Joshua Tree National Park up to the Moab Desert one day.
I realised I wanted to look back on my life and have had different adventures and spontaneous experiences. This is what motivated me to start the instagram account “adventuresofnetty”. I decided I didn’t just want to be a classical cellist; I wanted to carve my own path. I discovered I enjoyed breaking boundaries and moulds of what that should look like; that people don’t expect me to be a classical cellist who rides motorcycles. When I’m not riding around, I am writing my own tracks of cello and electronic music (@annetteeldridgemusic).
If you’re thinking about getting on a bike - I say do it - it changes your life for the better. You never know what other things become possible.
If you're new to riding, I found it really helpful to ride with more experienced riders as they have great tips they can offer; you can follow them when you ride and watch what lines to take. Meanwhile they also encourage you to go out riding regularly! Like everything it takes time to get comfortable and gain experience, but never fear of reaching out to the friendly motorcycle community and get out there and ride.
Be sure to check out moto journeys here > @adventuresofnetty
and her amazing music here > @annetteeldridgemusic