We live to ride
Sonja 'The Schnitzel' Duncan
I started riding a motorbike ‘accidentally’ in April 2015.
Having lived in New South Wales, Australia most of my life it was perfect timing. I always wanted to ride so for my 50th Birthday in March 2015 I bought a (red of course) Vespa and started my Motorcycle Learner course soon afterwards.
I’ve started this blog to inspire other women (young and not so young) to either begin riding or keep riding no matter what age or ability; to share my adventures and the tips and tricks I pick up on the way.
I did the course on a little Honda CB 125 and so my love of motorcycling began. As I rode around the test circuit – clunking between 1st and 2nd gear only – I began to imagine exploring Australia – or even the world on two wheels – why not dream big?
A visit to my local motorbike shop a month later ended up with me test riding a new Yamaha MT 07. Despite my terror of riding a “real bike” on “real roads” I completely fell in love with it. So I bought it. That day.
And I haven’t looked back.
However, the learning curve has been steep to say the least. Being a 5’3″ petite woman certainly has its challenges when getting into bikes. Decisions about the best bike to fit my size, which accessories to buy and what clothes I need which fitted my style. Plus where and when to ride occupied my mind for the first couple of months.
Lucky for me my partner Richard – an avid rider since the ’70s – was there, encouraging and guiding me every step of the way (and blocking cars that got too close!).
When I started riding a friend said to me “four wheels moves your body but two wheels moves your soul“. I totally get that now.
I hope you enjoy my journey.
Richard ' the Schanuzer' Birdsey
I rode my first motorbike when I was 10. It was my dad's red Vespa but it was a 1968 Super Sportique called ‘Monty’ around the back streets of Auckland, New Zealand. I can still remember crunching gears, no mirrors and the stink of blue two stroke smoke billowing out the back (no pesky vehicle emission regulations in the 70's).
I was totally hooked and from there bought my first real bike, a 1976 Honda CB400 Four café racer which was way too small but I loved it – rattling asbestos-lined cam chain and all.
Over the years I’ve had a procession of bikes, some good or not so good but always on two wheels in some shape or form. Often I'd hire bikes overseas and watch the country pass by on some adventure or misadventure (like the time I accidentally rode into Burma and ended up in an opium poppy plantation much to the horror of the rental company – bugger).
One of my favourites was a black CB900 Bol’Dor I toured over Queensland and the East coast of Australia which introduced me to joy, trials and painful sunburn of long distance touring.
Though in Australia ALL touring is long distance because of the size of the place (think continental US sized)!
I've traveled through many countries on bikes - 26 at last count and if people ask 'Where was the best place you've ridden?' I'd have to say: 'Everywhere'.
There are endless roads to ride and people to meet. Heaven.
We hope you enjoy our website. Drop us a line anytime.
See on the road I hope.