[Editors Note: At Women Riders Now, we highly recommend learning to ride the right way which is taking a motorcycle training class and being outfitted in proper gear. Unfortunately, this rider didnt know any different because of the lack of resources out there for women when she wanted to ride more than 10 years ago. The mission at Women Riders Now always has been to educate women on the right way to learn to ride. All someone needs to do is conduct a search on the Internet and our website will come up showing you how to do it.]

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I’m a rider. Most days I hop on the motorcycle with my helmet and gloves wearing a T-shirt and jeans and hit the road.I don’t care what the destination is, I crave the journey.The engine between my legs, the wind whistling past my face, the miles coming as quickly as they are going. It’s unbelievable how exhilarating and relaxing the experience is.

nothing stopped her from becoming a motorcycle rider
Fatima rides a 2009 Suzuki Gladius 650, a sporty standard V-twin motorcycle. The Gladius replaced Suzukis popular SV650 in 2009.

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My bike has been through the grinder.I bought it brand new and have dropped it several times, given numerous men, women, and children rides, and taught some new riders the basics on it. Whenever I make a stop on a ride either for gas or food there are usually two or three people who come over to inquire about the bike and the length of my riding experience.

nothing stopped her from becoming a motorcycle rider fatima gaskin
Fatima is accustomed to the side-eye she gets when stopping for gas or food and pulling off her helmet. She hears, “That’s a girl! What does she know about riding?”

What I love most about the motorcycle community is regardless of whether you are a woman or man, respect is given to anyone who is on the road riding.If a bike is on the side of the road and the rider is in trouble I have seen multiple riders pull over to assist in any way they can.Anytime I’m on a solo ride and I come up to a group of riders I am never turned away. If I can keep up I am welcome.It is a very positive atmosphere.

I started riding in 2005.I learned in the parking lot of a city park on a Suzuki GSX-R1000.I had on jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers.No helmet.No gloves.I fell so many times.At one point a police officer came up to me and said, “You’ll get it eventually,” and walked away.Right after that, I fell off the motorcycle going about 30 mph and got horrible road rash on my arm which I still have to this day.

nothing stopped her from becoming a motorcycle rider fatima gaskin sportbike
Fatima never gave up when learning to ride. She says, “I didn’t let falling scare me into never riding.” Photo by MazExotic.

Once I finally got the hang of it, I was ready for the open road.At the time I didnt have a permit or license to ride, but I was out there getting it! I didn’t see many female riders at that time.I remember getting ready to ride with some friends and wondering what I was supposed to wear.There weren’t any other lady riders to ask.The only women in my group rode on the back of their boyfriend’s bikes. In the end, I always opted for comfort over style.

Today I see women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and clubs out on the road on motorcycles. I am proud to be one of them out there enjoying the journey that only those with a motorcycle can understand.

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5 thoughts on Nothing Stopped Her From Becoming a Motorcycle Rider

  1. Love this I’m new to riding and have struggled but have decided to not stop. I was going to sell my bike but changed my mind. I will get this and will become a better biker even if I have to do it alone.

  2. I am a female rider with eight years experience. I strongly believe in female empowerment, which is why I am the organizer of a ladies riding group. However, I am appalled that you chose to publish this story. Responsible riders believe in All The Gear All The Time, and prize safety above all else! I would never champion wearing just a t-shirt and jeans on a bike, and I strongly encourage any person who approaches me wanting to ride to take a certified class. Currently I am in recovery from my second bike accident. This one would have been fatal had I not been wearing full gear. My helmet destroyed and although I suffer from a severe concussion, all my limbs are intact and undamaged, thanks to quality gear. Accidents can and do happen. In my group we take advanced riding classes together, learn basic bike maintenance and exchange safety tips.

  3. It brings pride to my heart knowing that there are women out there taking a chance in life to actually start living the dream. So much love, honor, and respect to you all.

  4. Great article. I was in a similar situation in Ireland. I own the same bike as Fatima. I wish the article stated how tall she is and if she is small how she copes with it. I struggle some days and haven’t ridden for quite a number of years. I had a child so time has been an issue.

  5. My first bike was a Honda Shadow 1100. It was my starter bike. I now have a Yahama Roadstar Silverado that I love. My husband and I ride our bikes on vacation. This year we rode to the Smoky Mountains. It had been raining and we pulled up to a gas station to fill up. As we were getting ready to pull out I put up my kickstand, at the last second I made an adjustment to my helmet and my motorcycle fell over. My left foot slipped right out from under me. People were looking and all I could do is pick up the bike, get my tail back on it and act like nothing happened.

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