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 Ana Valdez from Texas, USA.
Ana gained her licence less than two years ago & in that time has owned four bikes, traveled thousands of miles & custom built a BMW R100RT with her hubby.
We hope you enjoy her story.
My name is Ana Valdez, I’m 34 years old and live in New Braunfels, TX.
My Dad says he put me on his motorcycle when I was only two years old. While I rode a bunch of times on the back of my Dad’s bike, it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I decided to get my motorcycle license.
I’ll start this off with a funny story…
When I met my now husband two years ago, I told him that I already knew how to ride motorcycles. He invited me over to his house and said we would be riding to the Giddy Up Chopper Fest together. I didn’t know it at the time, but he would be lending me his Honda Trail 70 to take on my own.
Thankfully, riding a motorcycle has always come pretty easy to me. I made it to the location, only stalling it a few times. Equally as impressed as I was terrified, I couldn’t believe I rode a bike all by myself! I ended up confessing a few days later that I had no idea how to ride a motorcycle. He ended up asking me to marry him a year and a half later, so I like to think he was equally as terrified but mostly as impressed as I was.
That little trail 70 catapulted me into a complete motorcycle obsession. I rode that mini bike around for about six months before I got my motorcycle license. My husband, who was still my boyfriend at the time, bought me my first bike. A sassy, 1971 CB350. I remember the first time I rode it 100 miles. It was one of the best days I have had on a motorcycle because it made me realize where a machine like this could take me. I had outgrown it within two months of buying it so it was time for something new.
My second bike is still one I kick myself in the butt for selling; a beautiful and pretty much original 1983 BMW R65. A friend of ours let me borrow it for a Hill Country motorcycle ride we had put on, and I never gave it back, buying it from him a couple of months later. That bike started my airhead obsession. If you have never been on one before, I highly recommend it. It’s the best of the best when it comes to vintage motorcycles, in my opinion. Now, the reason I sold it is because the travel bug had hit me hard, and I didn’t think I could go long distances on the R65. I started looking around for a newer bike that could take me all the way to Mexico.
My third bike, and one of the ones I still own today, is a 2014 Honda CB500X. At this point I had never been on a bike newer than 1983, and let me tell you…wow! That bike was a game changer for me, but I’m not going to pretend that I loved it right away because I was still getting over selling the BMW. I bought the bike two weeks before we took our trip to Mexico. I rode it from Texas to Monterrey, Mexico - traveling through tiny Mexican towns, a huge city and the mountains.
I have put more miles on that bike than any other bike I have owned and being able to travel on a motorcycle is one of the many reasons I love this life so much. I’ve only been riding a short year and a half, but I have thousands of miles under me and experiences that will stay with me forever.
Seven months after buying the Honda CB500X I realized my life was missing something…an old BMW! I haven’t mentioned this yet, but my husband builds motorcycles. I knew whatever I bought, we would be working on it together. We found a 1995 BMW R100RT that an old man owned. He had ridden it all over the US already, so I knew it was the perfect bike for me. We tore the whole thing apart and completely changed the look of it in four months. We recently got married, so our next adventure will be taking our old BMW’s to Santa Fe and camping our way through Colorado.
Outside of riding motorcycles, I like to spend my time with my animals and around the garden. We have two dogs and two pet pigs that fill our home with endless laughter! Our life is pretty unbelievable already and riding has only added to it. I’ve been bitten by the motorcycle bug bad, so I don’t see myself ever stopping.
The motorcycle community is the coolest. It doesn’t discriminate with a wide spectrum of gender and race so getting together at an event is always the best of times. I work for a local mortgage lender as a business development rep, and I think it took some time for them to accept the fact that I would be rolling up on a motorcycle to see my clients. After seeing what kind of response I was getting, my boss quickly realized how much my clients were intrigued by it, loved me for it and wanted to do business with us because of it.
I’m 34, but I look really young for my age, so I think people are taken aback by it at first. I don’t fit the mold of someone who rides a motorcycle, but that’s what’s so intriguing I believe.
If I had any advice for women who want to start riding, it’s "don’t wait"! I wish I had started riding much earlier than I did. I lost my Dad six years ago, and he loved motorcycles more than anything. I always think about how much he would have loved seeing me ride my own bike. There has been a void in my life since losing my Dad that has been filled by riding. Everything aside, motorcycles have connected me to my father again, thinking of him every time I cruise through the Hill Country.
My life has completely changed for the best, and I know there is so much more to come.
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