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It wasnt all that long ago that I would beg my mom to let me off her motorcycle a block before reaching my high school so as not to be spotted riding on the back. My how times have changed! Moms passion for riding was an inspiration for me, and while my days riding as a passenger are all but over, these days I get more seat time riding my own motorcycles.

Teri at age 11 wearing a motorcycle T-shirt. Could this have started it all?

When mom rode, it wasnt as common or socially acceptable for women to ride their own bikes. She even went on to take a small engine repair class and was featured in the local paper because she was the only female in the class.

Although it embarrassed me a little in my teen years, I secretly admired her for pursuing her passion. She looked great in her leather gear with her long brown hair gracefully blowing in the wind, and created quite a stir riding around the little Northern California town where we lived.

Teris mom, Cas, stands next to her Honda Shadow 1100 all decked out in her leather gear.

Twenty years later, I got the bug and it was mom in whom I confided. Sure, I mentioned the idea to a couple of friends, but they thought it was silly so I kept it to myself.

I decided to take a class, and originally planned on attending with another girl I knew, but when it came down to it she backed out. Nervous as heck, I signed up for the class three times before I finally went through with it. I highly recommend that riders take an MSF course rather than have a friend teach them to ride as there are so many different things to learn, and its much easier learning how to do something right the first time than it is to break bad habits.

Learning to ride was a total boost to my self-confidence and fed my independent side. Now, I enjoy talking about bikes and encouraging others who want to learn that they can do it too!

Living on opposite sides of the coast has proved challenging for my mom and I. We never got an occasion to ride our bikes together. But, last year while attending a rally in North Carolina, I got a chance to show mom the Ladies Edition Vulcan 900 Classic that bike builder Scott Britt loaned me. It hadnt occurred to me until then that it was the first time shed seen me behind the handlebars.

Teri takes a break during a ride in Maggie Valley, North Carolina on a Scott Britt “Ladies Edition” Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic.

Mom has since hung up her helmet and given her riding gear to me, but she just might be using it again when she comes to visit and rides on the back of my bike. “Like mother, like daughter.”

This article appeared in Issue 2 – 2009 of Accelerate magazine and is reprinted with permission. Click here to view the magazine in its entirety.To learn more about Britt Ladies Edition Kawasaki motorcycles, visit BrittMotorsports.com.

About the Author: Teri Conrad is Editor-in-Chief of Accelerate magazine, Kawasakis official enthusiast publication for Riders of Kawasaki (ROK). She is also a contributing editor for WomenRidersNow.com. Her work has appeared in Iron Horse, Ride Texas, Biker Ally, Friction Zone, Adventure Sports Outdoors, Portrait of Achievement, and Cycle Trader magazines. Teri grew up riding on the back of her moms motorcycle and has been riding her own bike since 2003. She enjoys riding both cruisers and sportbikes and has three bikes of her own.

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8 thoughts on Reader Story: Mom Is My Inspiration to Ride

  1. Great Mom-Daughter story. Although my mom never had much experience on a motorcycle, her lifestyle was an inspiration and your story reminded me to call her up and tell her so, right then! So often, as teenagers, our moms were “not cool.” It’s years later, that we realize how wrong we were. My mom, raising three kids on her own in the 1960s and 1970s, was ahead of her time, especially in her support of her daughters. We were witnesses of “anything is possible…miracles everyday…and you can do what you set out to do.” Thanks again for reminding me of the strength my mom gave me.

  2. I ride and have two daughters. I work real hard everyday to be a positive role model on and off the motorcycle. I don't hesitate to point out other women riders on the road. I am so glad my girls see it everyday and will grow up knowing they have their mother's blessing to ride (not that I won't worry; what Mom doesn't).

  3. I love this story! Before it got cold here in Minn., I regularly picked up my son from school my my motorcycle. At age 7, he really has no idea how “odd” it is, and that I'm likely the only Biker Mom at his entire school! I hope he (and eventually my daughter, who is 2) get inspiration from me – and realize that it's not just riding, but an expression of freedom!

    Tracey from LeaderMotorcycle.com.

  4. Good for you and what a beautiful bike!

  5. This is so funny. My story is the opposite. Like Daughter, Like Mother!

    After 33 years of me being a passenger, my 24-year-old daughter got her license. That kicked me into gear, and I thought, hey if she could do it, I could do it. I think I'm more addicted than her. So I guess I followed my daughter in her footsteps. At age 50, I also hid it from my mother, who used to ride with my dad years ago. Let's just say she was not my biggest fan when she found out.

  6. When I got back into riding street bikes I actually hid it from my mom for several years (I was 50 at the time) because I didn't want her to worry. She happened to see both our bikes when she came to visit though and figured it out. To my surprise she was delighted. She even asked me to ride it up and down the street so she could see me on it. She wants us to ride out to Denver and visit next summer so she can show me off to her women neighbors. So you just never know. I'm glad you have such a good relationship with your mom.
    Keep the rubber side down (that's a beautiful Vulcan!).

  7. Thumbs up to mothers and daughters. I got an itch at age 46 and got my license and my own bike. And close to 12 months later my 22-year-old daughter, Kat, took the class and bought her own bike. She couldn't let her Mom out-do her! My 10-year-old daughter, Sarah, doesn't mind at all riding on the back of my bike. She will be the next generation in a few years. She even wanted me to take her to school on the bike. Now the whole family rides. My husband and two sons too. The family that rides together STAYS together.

  8. Excellent article. “Like mother, like daughter,” pretty cool.

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