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 Joana, 32, from the Midlands, UK. She started riding at the age of 16 and was instantly drawn to customising it, now she is an Automotive Engineer and writer for a prestige auto platform, The Intercooler.
We hope you enjoy her story!
My name is Joana, I’m 32 and I am an Automotive Engineer working and living in the Midlands, UK.
I started riding when I was 16, back in Portugal where I was born. I think my parents were fed up of having to drive me everywhere and they pushed me to get my licence. As an introverted shy kid, I remember my first bike lesson and feeling very vulnerable and out of place.
Although, it soon all clicked into place: I fell in love with my first bike, a metallic orange Honda CBR125R. I loved the feeling of being one with the machine, my body glued to the tank trying to extract all of the meagre 13hp from its small engine.
I quickly started customising it to my taste - some of it to cover some of the scuffs and battle scars gained during our many adventures. I was particularly proud of my obnoxiously loud Arrow exhaust that would spit long blue flames whenever I came off the throttle.
Since then I have owned a few bikes with some gaps in between. Bikes have been my on and off therapy over the years and I can actually trace back most of my purchases to key turning points in my life. For instance, I bought myself a KTM Duke 390 when I decided to go and get a 2nd Master’s degree and needed something to commute quickly between school and work; on the other side, my Triumph Street Triple was my rebound after I broke up a long-term relationship and found myself trying to figure out life on my own again.
Currently, I’m bikeless but looking - maybe there is something big about to happen in my life soon that I’m yet to find out. In the past few years I have been lucky to get involved with some writing gigs and have had the chance to get seat time on different types and styles of bikes. This has really opened up my eyes to a whole new world out there, but I think I have my heart set on something modern but retro looking next.
My advice for anyone thinking about getting their licence is to go and do it. Bikes have really pushed me out of my comfort zone at times, but I learned a lot about my own boundaries and that I have nothing to prove to anyone at the end of the day. Your bike journey is yours alone, you set your own terms, you choose what bike is right for you and when you pick your pace and what you’re comfortable with.
Despite having ridden bikes since I was 16, I still find that my journey has its ups and downs. Sometimes I fall in and out of love with it. This is ok. The riding community is extremely supportive and all the friends you meet along the way will still be there cheering at you from the sidelines on or off the bike. And for that I’ll always be thankful.