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Like most women my age I didn’t get into motorcycling until later in life. Not that I wasn’t interested. In fact, as a kid I used wooden clothes pins to clip baseball cards to the spokes of my bicycle and as I rode the rhythmic clickety-clack that transformed my bicycle into a motorcycle. At least in my mind it did. I would then race through my neighborhood with no particular place to go. I loved the free feeling and the rush as I leaned into a curve.

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making the dream of riding come true in 40s sportster 883
It took Sandy several decades to realize her dream of riding a motorcycle. Here she is on her second motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883.

That feeling of the rush I had as a kid on my bicycle never left me. The years slipped by while life’s circumstances seemed to keep my dream of riding a motorcycle at bay, placed on the back burner to simmer. Middle age was creeping up on me way too fast and that pot of dreams was starting to boil over. On my 44th birthday I had a “now or never” moment and decided that I was going to finally “just do it” the following spring.

In April 2009 I bought a motorcycle handbook and a week later took the written test. With my learner’s permit in hand and a silly grin on my face I hopped into my car and it occurred to me I was missing one very important thing—a motorcycle! But then a wave of terror swept over me. I had no clue how to ride one!

Determined not to let fear prevent me from finally achieving my dream, I decided that taking a motorcycle course would be in my best interest. After signing up for a course, I was on such a natural high that I wasted no time shopping for my first motorcycle. The moment I stepped through the doors of the Yamaha dealer a small slender beauty caught my eye. As soon as I sat on the little Yamaha V Star 250 it was love. Call it destiny, excitement, impulse … I knew she was the one.

making the dream of riding a reality in 40s v star
Dark red with a hint of sparkle, the Yamaha V Star 250 captured that perfect mix of dainty and dangerous for Sandy.

A few weeks later the weekend of the course finally arrived with the weather pouring rain. But that didn’t dampen my spirit to ride. Dripping wet, glasses fogged, and hair plastered to my head, I wore a smile from ear to ear the day I passed.

Over the next year as I practiced and gained more confidence I already had my mind made up that I would take the second motorcycle course to earn my full M class [required in Canada – Editor]. However, I was scared to death knowing that I would have to ride on the highway for 45 minutes in commuter traffic to get to the motorcycle course. I came up with a mantra that I would say over and over in my mind, “You can do this.” Those four little words somehow gave me the courage to get myself to and from the course that weekend. On the final day my cheeks hurt from the permanent smile on my face when I earned my full license.

making the dream of riding a reality in 40s v star 250
Sandy rode her first motorcycle, her beloved V Star 250, for four years before trading it in for a Harley-Davidson Sportster. Her 883 Sportster is set up with saddlebags and a windshield, offering her a more comfortable ride for longer destinations.
making the dream of riding a reality in 40s woman
Seven years after fulfilling her life dream of learning to ride a motorcycle, Sandy still rides with an ear-to-ear smile.

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8 thoughts on Making the Dream of Riding Come True in Your 40s

  1. Congratulations Sandy! I know that smile.I started on my own cycle when I was 42 thanks to a very supportive spouse and two kids who thought their mom was “so cool.” Now, 23 years later, three grandkids who tracked our travels on maps during our three cross country trips and a Europe riding vacation, I’m still smiling! (It helps with the wrinkles.)Safe travels!

  2. I just passed my MSF course last weekend. It was my second attempt, but I’m so glad I did. My first time I was overwhelmed by my fears of the motorcycle, but I knew I wasn’t ready to stop trying. So my husband found me a motorcycle, a Kawasaki Vulcan 500, and we started training in the local school parking lot. I still have a lot of practice before I start racking up miles, but on my first ride as a licensed driver we did about 70 miles of back roads and it was so exciting! I actually did a happy dance at one of our stops! I’m 46, I have 2 kids and 4 grandchildren, and I’ve wanted to learn to ride for a really long time, so glad I finally did it! It’s never too late to go for our dreams!

  3. I rode my little V Star 250 for 10,043 miles in just over three years, before finally gaining enough confidence to get a bigger bike. I researched “next” bikes for six months, then surprisingly, turned to used when one became available not too far away (60 miles).It’s been seven months of mostly commuting, but I am very happy with my 2004 Yamaha V Star 1100. Recently I took a trip to Colorado and rented an Indian Scout and visited a Harley-Davidson dealership and sat on a Dyna Low Rider and Street 750. Test rides next!Until four years ago at age 52, I never thought I’d get near a motorcycle. Now I’m plotting vacations around riding! Even my workdays are better when I can ride to the office.

  4. My story is a little different. My husband passed away when I was 44. We had been married 26 years. With two grown children I decided I wanted to ride a motorcycle. Like you I took the test, bought a 650, had it brought to my house, memorized the owners manual and practiced in my driveway for a week. After that I went a little further every day. That was 13 years ago. I am now on my fourth bike, a 2017 Street Glide Special, and have ridden more than 65,000 miles. I hope to ride 35,000 more on this one. I met my current husband and many good friends while riding. Riding got me through some times and is my stress reliever. If you have the desire, do it. Life is short.

  5. I didn’t begin my adventure until I was 60 but I have never looked back since. I rode a Honda Rebel 250 for three months and then bought my Harley SuperLow. Fourteen thousand miles afterwards (now 62), I’m still loving it and riding every chance I get!

  6. My story is like yours, too. For more than 20 years, I dreamed and talked about getting a motorcycle “someday.” At the beginning of this year, “someday” became “right now!” kind of out of the blue! I bought my bike (Yamaha V Star 650) before I could ride, but took the MSF Basic RiderCourse a couple of weeks later. I’m loving every minute on my bike!

  7. I can identify with your story in so many ways. Started my riding at age 40 years. Everyone says it’s a midlife crisis and will cone to an end and I say it’s my life. I have lost weight, am more happy. I love the me with a motorbike.

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