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 Karolina "Lola" from the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia. Lola is enjoying her adventures, riding around in the Mediterranean Sun. "For me, it is a way to tune into the woman I want to be: wild, untamed, authentic, intense, united with this moment".
We hope you enjoy her story!
Once upon a time, in a far, cold, eastern European country there was a girl who used to gaze above neighboring unsightly, gray, post-soviet block of flats in search of the patches of the blue sky and dream about what she would do when she grew up. The best part is that even she, imaginative as she was, couldn’t come up with what was awaiting her in the upcoming years...
Hi, my name is Karolina, friends call me Lola, and I’m the grown-up version of this introspective, green eye girl who recently began the 30th ride around the Sun. A couple of years ago my husband and I closed our company in Poland, sold (almost) everything, and moved to the restored XIXth century, traditional, stone dalmatian house nested above the marina with a breathtaking view of the Adriatic Sea and the islands.
We quickly realized that the local’s main choice for transportation was not a coincidence: scooters and bikes are the best way to get around along the narrow, twisty, steep roads, which for the vast majority of the year are basked in the Mediterranean sun. I had barely wrapped my mind around materializing one of my ultimate dreams (which was living by the seaside) and here aroused another opportunity: to ride on a scooter, maybe even on a motorcycle!
Today, trying to recall the whole process seems impossible as all of it blurred under the excitement and just living in the moment, but we got the brand new scooter Honda PCX125 in the early spring of 2021. I can’t express the feeling of pure ecstasy feeling the wind in my face, opening the throttle, and being immersed in the beauty of the whole world and surroundings. Soon enough, my then fiancé decided to enrol in a motorcycle riding course. I looked at him with a mixture of envy and frustration, but at that moment I lacked the self-confidence to give it a go myself.
A few months passed and we got our first motorcycle which was Suzuki Inazuma 250, funnily enough, registered in my name (trying to make it more real and within the reach). During the following summer I couldn’t resist and started riding on the Suzuki, initially within the vicinity of our home, then a little further on the less commuted roads. Now I knew, that I had to enrol in the riding course myself and get a license. The whole process would be a story of its own, but let me spill the beans: still battling with generalized anxiety I managed to get my license on the first attempt. The only thing that kept me persevering was the pure joy and sense of immense freedom I derived from the riding.
Fast forward, we have in the garage a modern retro Interceptor 650 (my baby :D), Kawasaki Ninja 400 and we are waiting for the restock on Honda CBR650R to get our hands on them as soon as possible. Probably one day my Interceptor shall be transformed into a scrambler, but what I’ve recently discovered is the fact that I just simply love riding and I will attempt to ride each kind of motorcycle, without labeling (and limiting) myself to be a certain kind of a biker. Sometimes I want to cruise around on my Interceptor, look at the people, feed my soul with the beauty of dalmatian nature, and wear the retro-looking clothes, but sometimes I feel like hopping on the Ninja and losing myself in the focus of riding them twisties as technically as I can. The next big goal for the upcoming months is to go for some track days to develop skills and understanding of the bikes further.
If you have the itch to start riding: go for it! Like with anything else in life you feel this indescribable magnetic pull, but resist because of all the mental blockages. Start with the smaller bikes and gradually work on building your skills, confidence, and experience. Doing the low-speed maneuvers on bikes is not only delightful but also teaches you a ton and I can’t recommend it strongly enough to absolutely everyone. I cherish learning so I have been educating myself (meaning: devouring anything that I get my hands on) on the topic, starting with the classics such as the series of books “A twist of the wrist” I and II, “Total Control”, MotoJitsu drills on the parking lot, analyses on the YouTube channel by the DanDantheFireman and others.
Beginning to ride a motorcycle sealed a certain chapter in my life and a lot of healing and internal work I did in the last decade of my life. For me, it is a metaphor, an archetype, a way to tune into the woman I want to be: wild, untamed, authentic, intense, united with this moment, aware and present. I’ve never before felt such an intense experience of the world around me, I’m beaming with joy every minute of the ride, feel so deeply alive, peaceful, and grounded. When you sit down on your mechanical horse, the world appears so enticing and begging to be explored that everything seems possible and achievable.
By starting to ride, I showed myself – experientially - that I am “enough” to be reaching for my dreams and creating the life that I crave. And so are you, so good luck babe, and see you out there!
To hopefully inspire others and share experiences and the beauty of the world I created a space for all the wondering wanderers on Youtube. I would be honoured if you decide to join the tribe!