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 Sandrine Silva of Feijó, Portugal. She was inspired to ride after seeing a group of bikers one day. She got the confidence to ride and has made some great friends along the way.
We hope you enjoy her story!
My name is Sandrine Silva, better known and called Ny, I'm 37 years old, I was born in Paris (France), I was raised in the north of Portugal Lindoso (Gerês), I currently live in Feijó (South Bank) and I have two children.
My story about motorcycles started seven years ago, when I had never ridden a motorcycle and never dreamed of riding one. I was coming out of a very complicated eight year relationship, and that's when everything changed. On one of my friends' outings I ended up at a fair in Porto Salvo (Oeiras) lots of music, grills and suddenly a biker group appears, men and women riding motorcycles and that's when it clicked, I like that... then I went to meet them to understand the motard concept and what you had to do to enter, they invited me to go to the motorcycle club headquarters the next day and I went.
It was something super different from my day to day life, I saw that I wanted to belong to that motorcycle club, but there was a small big problem, I didn't know how to ride a motorcycle and I didn't even have a motorcycle. So I went to buy a Benelli 125, a short bike, as I didn't know how to ride, the probability of me falling was reduced, and that would be a good bike for me to learn.
I didn't have my licence yet but I practiced on closed roads without cars, training and doing figure eights but not going on the road with cars yet, I was so afraid, so much that I felt my heart beating so hard, my foot wouldn't stop shaking like in a Hollywood movie. There was a day that I took a risk, but it was from home to the motorcycle club (5 km) no more than that and I rode that for one year.
Then I started dating a guy who has a motorcycle and as time went by, he made a point of us riding all the time so I could lose my fears, and I did! He encouraged me to get my license and in two months I got it, sold my Benelli & bought a Dragstar 650 and made my first trip to Faro.
Then I joined The Litas Margem Sul, a community just for women who ride motorcycles, who became my sisters, my family.
After so many rides and trips, after three years of riding with the Dragstar, I decided to buy another bike, my Guzzi v7 stone, I wanted a bike that could bend more, and also ride more than drag. Dragstar was a good bike, which taught me a lot, made me many adventures, gained a lot of practice and lost my fears. I can't imagine living without a motorcycle.
With Guzzi I immediately went to the N2, Gerês, Algarve, Costa Vicentina, Picos de Europa, I loved the Peaks. I went with a group that didn't know anyone, backpacking and let's go on the adventure, it was spectacular, the place, the group, beautiful beautiful places, that I can't express how beautiful it is, the narrow roads to go top top, it's a trip that I want to take again. My soul feels at peace, a fantastic freedom, I did 2600km and I didn't even feel tired, or feel like giving up, or leaving, nothing. For me the adventure continued, but the euros didn't stretch!!! I really advise you to do this adventure of the peaks of Europe.
I also belong with my friend Tânia Rato to Petrolettes Lisboa, in which we are the organizers of this community just for women who ride motorcycles. We organize Lisbon's RÄLLLY which is an annual global motorcycle ride where all women ride simultaneously on the same weekend.
We also do several walks and gatherings during the year to be together. We help each other, we are 41 women with different personalities, but all with our hearts in the right place, we are a family, I love my Petrolettes.
I learned a lot from them, I heard brutal life stories, they are all beautiful and great warriors. And with the Petrolettes I made very good friends, which led to three more friends, Susana Monteiro, Fátima and Tânia & a brand of women's clothing we created the WILD HEART SISTERS MOTORCYCLE CLUBE. Only women's clothing, we're still at the beginning but it's been very good, it's going well.
My next trip would like to go to Italy and my biggest dream one day is to go around the world on a motorcycle with a backpack on my back.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @nysilva_8