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 interviewed Tamara, 34, from Naarm (Melbourne), Australia.
Tamara has spent the last 4 years building her Kawasaki chopper and is also the founder of a Facebook group that has become a large, inclusive community for womxn riders.
We hope you enjoy her story!
Please introduce yourself
When did you start riding and what/who got you into it?
What was your first motorbike, how was your experience in learning to ride?
I had been to see a few other bikes before her, and was sure that I wanted a cruiser style but really at that time still knew very little about bikes. I was purely going off looks and how it felt to sit on.
What is your current ride?
I still have Sylvia, she is my trusty ride or die that I can rely on, but I have also spent the past 4 years re-building a 1981 Kawasaki KZ440 that wasn't running when I got it, and the plan was to start a chopper project with it. Well, as these things tend to go, she's still not quite finished! (insert hysterical laugh and eye twitch here
Earlier this year at Sheilas Shakedown you won 'best bike' award, can you give our readers a little insight on how you got there?
Haha! This story is a rather long winded, heart breaking tale of patience, persistence, tragedy and hope. To cut it reaaaaal short, the KZ now formally known as Ozma has seen many iterations over the last 4 years, she has been in the hands of many different helpers and has consistently dealt out wonderfully annoying, mind snapping problems and issues along the way.
Ozma has gone through an almost complete rebuild since the day I got her. From completely stripping down the bike to the frame and repainting, some brief modifications to the frame and then replacement of basically everything but the engine. Lot's of random little mods and purpose built fabricated parts along the way.
Anyway, in the 6 month lead up to Sheilas, I was pretty psyched to have her ready to ride to the event and enter the comp (at this stage I had only just heard the bike turn over and run for the very first time since buying it), so I really wanted to push for the home stretch. As usual, there was an endless amount of hurdles and riddles and flat out fuckery right up until about 3am the night before Sheilas.
Actually, the drama continued the morning of the ride with my gear shift lever falling clean off the bike! Bless his heart, Jimmy from Kustom Kommune really busted his ass to get her across the finish line, and Ozma behaved just enough to make it ALMOST all the way there, until she broke down on the freeway right at the off ramp to Sheilas!
The night before, Jimmy, Nina and I had practically performed an exorcism on her in an attempt to evict the many illusive demons she appeared to be riddled with. If I had to attempt to write a list and name all the things that went wrong I surely couldn't capture it all. Build a bike they said....
For those who haven't heard of Sheilas, how would you describe it in 10 words or less?
Absolute pure heaven, freedom, acceptance, community and fucking powerful women.
You started the Facebook group 'All Womxn Moto Riders Melbourne' which has become a huge community platform for local riders, can you please tell us about this group?
The page was really formed off a whim when Ruth and I started riding and were like, ummmm okay where are all the other boss bitches riding bikes?! I created the page with the hopes to find a community of women to ride with that was inclusive and safe, it started off small and very quickly took on its own force.
With well over 1000 members across Victoria in the group now, the pages is still used as a safe space to communicate, learn, educate, share and support one another. As the administrator there have been some interesting developments over the years, any time I have tried to ensure more inclusivity and be intentional about how the platform is being used, it has led to some members leaving or kicking a stink. I'm fine with that!
International Female Ride Day 2018
How has riding impacted your life?Honestly, the impacts have been greater than I can really sum up with language. When I am physically riding my bike, I feel so blissful and free. It has become a form of therapy for me certainly.
What do you do with life when you're not on your motorcycle?
What advice do you have for new riders?
Riding with dykes on bikes for pride March. Photo by Coal Photography
We would love to share your story!
No matter where you're from, what you ride, how old or experienced you are, we all share the same love of motorcycles!