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 Kimmy from Colorado, USA. Kimmy had a rough start on two wheels after crashing her first bike, however after jumping back on the saddle she quickly discovered how much it would change her life.
We hope you enjoy her story!
My name is Kimmy Seago, I’m 30 years old and I am based out of Colorado, USA. I am a motorcyclist, a mother, a corporate professional, and an outdoor enthusiast.
I’ll never forget my first ride on the back of a motorcycle. It was my 21st birthday and a college friend had just picked me up to take me to meet some friends. There was something about the wind, the hum of the bike’s engine, the sounds as we shifted through the gears, and the feeling of the cool rain hitting my skin that made me sign up for a motorcycle class later that month.
I started out on a Ninja 650, which I then later crashed and subsequently decided for a time to put down riding. It wasn’t until the following year when I moved to Northern Territory, AUS, that I picked up a learner bike and started riding again.
Over the years I’ve put on countless miles across 14 different states and mostly enjoy touring and challenge riding. I am now on my 9th year of riding and coincidentally am in the process of building out bike no. 9 (having rehomed bike no. 10 the beginning of this year).
My current workhorse is a Harley-Davidson Low Rider S. I’ve done most of the work to the bike myself. Before I switched gears and pursued an education in STEM, I was in an Automotive Service Technology program. So I got really comfortable with picking up tools and getting my hands dirty. It’s been extremely rewarding and satisfying to build out my bike to fit exactly how I like to ride. Apart from the bolt on parts and other fabricated cosmetic details, the bike was fitted with a reproduction FXRT fairing, has upgraded suspension, and has had some nice motor work done. It’s properly tuned and all I’ll add is that this bike is fast.
Though the Low Rider S is probably one of my favorites, the other top two that I’ve owned are a Yamaha FZ-07 and Triumph Bonneville. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for some next projects however and am debating an older Honda Gold Wing or an adventure bike. What can I say, I love all two wheels!
There are four other female motorcyclists in my family, so I guess it might run in our genes. When my daughter is a little older, you bet we’ll be building her the raddest little dirt bike!
When I try to explain what I love most about motorcycles, I have to first explain what it feels like for me to ride one. And if you haven’t ridden a motorcycle before, you might not yet know. But there is a rawness to traveling by motorbike that you don’t quite get traveling any other way. There are no walls or windows or roof above your head. You feel every bump, crack, and twist in the road. The perfect summer days with the cool wind, or the tougher stretches through heavy rain, hail and snow. You feel, smell, hear, and see all of it. I believe that the vulnerability you have when you ride a motorcycle really forces you to have an increased awareness of your surroundings, which completely changes how you see and experience things.
I could travel the same road ten different times by car, but it always feels like the first time by bike.
Though I’ve racked up quite a few miles now, they weren’t put on during my first few years of riding. I didn’t have many people to ride with locally that could help give me pointers or challenge me to become better early on. It took me up until my 4th year of riding (after returning stateside) to cross my first state border. Everyone learns at a different pace and has different comfort levels. I always tell new riders to not be discouraged if they aren’t ready to hit the freeway or the twisties right after they get their motorcycle license.
I have a girlfriend that has completed 55k miles within her first 3 years of riding and another who learned about the same time and is just now getting comfortable on mountain roads. Both are so incredibly amazing and some of the strongest and inspirational women I know.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have friends to ride with, make some! I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the road with so many wonderful people over the years and have learned so much from them. Some of my favorite rides have also been with my ride or die girlfriends. Honestly, girls have more fun! Whether it’s a local ride to get breakfast or a multi-state trip, it’s the memories and experiences shared that make it for me. And between us… I’ll still ride passenger when the boyfriend asks. It’s all the same wind.
Our next planned ride is going to be a challenge ride called “Heaven to Hell.” The ride starts at the highest point in the continental US then ends at the lowest point in Death Valley, California. It must be completed within 24 hours which gives it the challenge element. I’m hoping for some fair weather, but sometimes you can do all the planning in the world and things can change and surprise you.
A few weeks after I picked up my Low Rider S, I tried to complete 1,500mi (2,500km) solo within 36 hours. It rained quite heavily the first 8 hours then was 20-34mph winds the rest of the way. I ended up only making it 1,478mi by the 36 hour mark. My bike was completely stock at the time and I definitely felt it!
I know the topic of protective gear can be a touchy subject for many as everyone has their own personal preferences. Admittingly, on local rides and shorter day trips, I often dress quite casually. That said, I usually wear all my gear on longer rides. I’ve hit the pavement a few times now and am fortunate to have walked away. Some of my friends have not and some of my bikes have not. Be aware of the risks and make the best decision for you. But let me tell you from experience, burns and road rash hurt. The scars I still carry are a constant reminder.
So to you, whether you’re a newer rider, seasoned veteran, or someone who just is considering and haven’t yet pulled the trigger- remember that it’s supposed to be fun! Trikes, scoots, mini-bikes, cruisers, sport, adventure, and other- we share the same roads and feel the same winds.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @kimmyseago
Photo Credit: @roadhoghoney