Becoming Part of the Biker Family
In Donna Powell’s series on becoming a biker, her very personal journey has gone from riding on her own to overcoming her shyness and finding bikers to ride with. Now she takes the next step to putting biking at the centre of her social life.
Previously: Finding Bikers To Ride With
Now I had found the confidence to get out and meet other bikers, everything else just fell into place.
I was managing a pub in Cornwall when Jan, the admin from my Two Wheels And That (TWAT) riding club, got in contact and we started to organise a meet and greet for the group.
It was a good turn out, and I got chatting with a few people from the online group. The forum was a place we could all get together and help each other out with advice and any other issues, so it was good to put names to faces. It felt like being part of a family and was great to be involved with such a friendly community of like-minded individuals. On the night I even got given my own mug which was pretty fitting.
I soon realised the more I got chatting with people online and meeting them in person that the biking community was just a vast network of friends all with a profound respect for riding. That’s not to say you don’t get a few who have varied opinions and who act like idiots, but that’s bound to happen in any large group. Having the common interest of motorbikes makes this a very tight-knit community.
Although the T.W.A.T. community opened up doors to meet others and find friends it was The Litas, Plymouth branch, where I really came into my own. Being a female rider it was a lot easier to get into biking with an all-female group – I just clicked with the girls, and they have all since become good friends.
There are increasingly a number of all women biker groups out there which is a fantastic boost to female riding and a good start if you are a woman just getting into biking. It can be a bit daunting as a woman going into a predominately male pastime, so it’s wonderful to ride with other women who share your experience.
You are obviously more exposed as a motorcycle rider, and I suppose this is what makes the biking community more a family than just random people sharing a hobby. Having that respect for others who also do something they love is what brings us all together. You find this especially on group rides, if one person falls behind we tend to wait for that person to catch up; always looking out for the person behind you.
That’s what I love about being part of this family, looking out for each other. It was only recently that I had an issue with the bike and, with one phone call, within 10 minutes a friend came out and helped me.
Becoming part of the bike community after years of solo biking gave me a huge confidence boost, and I found I now really enjoyed riding my bike more.
As well as regular group rides from the various online bike forums, I started to go out on longer rides by myself. I would plan my routes through Google, pack my motorbike essentials and just ride. I loved the freedom of going off wherever I wanted. Being in Cornwall, the routes are just stunning.
This is exactly how I envisaged my motorcycling days, and the reason for setting up my Motorcycle Travels Facebook page, to share these wonderful experiences and routes with others.
I also have a huge passion for photography, and this was a platform for me to share my pictures in the most beautiful places around the county.
But it’s not just about sharing my experiences with others; it’s also being with others I can share my experiences with. I think this is what makes riders feel like we are all part of one big family. After all, why else do we all nod at each other?
Next: Donna sums up just how far she’s come since her first ride.
You can also follow @LonelyTWAT on her personal blog: https://motorcycletravels.site/
Get yourself sorted:
What to find bikers to ride with? You can find riding groups online quite quickly by searching for terms based on ‘motorcycle riders’ and ‘motorcycle clubs’ in your town on Facebook, Instagram and search engines. Most local clubs have at least a Facebook page. And it’s very definitely OK to belong to more than one group – we’re not talking Outlaws and Hells Angels here…
A good source for ride outs is MeetUp.com, where the more organised groups post details of their ride outs. The search result will focus on those nearest you.