Reader Story: “I Wish Id Done It Years Ago!”

Making the choice to ride

By Liz Owen, Dunedin, New Zealand

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Reader Story Wish Id Done It Years Ago harley-davidson Fat Boy Lo
A smiling Liz takes a break on her tour of California.

Ten years ago I was left some money by my grandmother. I knew exactly how I was going to spend it—on a motorcycle license and a motorcycle. It sounds wrong, but the fact that my plan would have made my grandmother furious just added to the rebellious fun I was about to experience!

My love of motorcycles had started long before, probably as far back as the 70s, when I’d ride my tricycle around the neighborhood pretending I was Erik Estrada from “CHiPs.” However, my first real experience with motorcycles was in my teens, on the back of a friend’s boyfriend’s Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.Going 140 mph down a busy motorway should have put me off, but it gave me a taste for more (but not necessarily at that speed).

Following my gift from Gran, it didn’t take me long to persuade my husband to join me on the motorcycle training course. Thankfully, we both passed the same day, despite me dropping the BMW F 650 CS ten minutes before the test!

I started off with a Harley-Davidson Sportster; then went on to ride a Triumph Bonneville, a Suzuki V-Strom and a Harley-Davidson Nightster. I recently bought myself a gorgeous black Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lo, something that would have impressed my 17-year-old self. The first time I rode the Fat Boy, it literally made me laugh out loud with joy! I love seeing people’s expressions when I tell them I ride a bike with a 1700cc engine. Going from a smaller sized bike to the Fat Boy was a bit worrisome for me, but my worries were unfounded as it is easy to ride and as comfortable as a Lay-Z-Boy. I wish I’d done it years ago.

Reader Story Wish Id Done It Years Ago harley-davidson sportster rider
Liz experiencing the open road on her Harley-Davidson Sportster.

Friends and family ask if I worry about falling off, and I tell them it’s not in my plan. I haven’t always been a confident rider, but you have to believe in yourself and not let the bad riding days cloud your vision of yourself as a rider. You also have to practice, a lot. The rewards are definitely worth it.

My husband and I have now enjoyed a decade of fantastic riding, making wonderful friends along the way. Seeing the world on two wheels is always an adventure. We’ve toured the UK, France, California and New Zealand. We are planning to ride across Australia and possibly the Himalayas at some point.

The best thing about motorcycle riding is that the adventure starts as soon as you leave the house. I ride because it’s empowering, invigorating and its a great place to reflect, but most of all because it’s a whole heap of fun. I’m looking forward to accumulating a large number of fantastic memories that keep me smiling in my old age. Not from riding on the back of a motorcycle, but from doing it myself!

reader story I wish Id done it year ago harley-davidson fatboy lo woman rider
This is the life! Relaxation never felt so good for Liz.

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7 thoughts on Reader Story: “I Wish Id Done It Years Ago!”

  1. I totally agree with you. I started out on a V Star 650 and struggled with that bike. Then sat on a Fat Boy and it was like coming home. Purchased that bike and the joy of riding is tenfold. The bike is like you sit back in your domain and just drive.

  2. All of the above. Wished I have learned to ride my own earlier, even now with almost 18 years, 10 bikes and nearly 60,000 miles in my own solo saddle. It still is intoxicating – whether a ride around the county or across the country. There’s nothing like it, and for women, it’s total freedom. I bet “Gran’s” really proud of you!

  3. I had never ridden on the back of a motorcycle in my life. At the age of 48, I decided I wanted to ride. That was five years ago, and I’m still riding. I always tell women, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and wish I had started sooner.”

  4. …but most of all because it’s a whole heap of fun.Me too!

  5. I ride because it’s empowering, invigorating and it’s a great place to reflect, but most of all because it’s a whole heap of fun.FUN, couldn’t agree with you more Liz, and you get to ride in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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