Women and Motorcycles: Kim Harrington Speaks

Women Riders Speak is an interview series about women and motorcycles. Through their stories, they illustrate the transformative role motorcycling has played in their life.

In this interview, Kim Harrington of Toronto, Ontario, reflects on her experience as a rider.

What prompted you to get into motorcycling?  

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the strong desire to ride. I am a single parent and that role been my primary focus for most of my life. It was only later in life I was able to take time for myself to nurture life long passions. Riding was one of them.

I didn’t get the opportunity to pursue this sport until my 40’s.  I’ve been riding a few years now.

What was your biggest challenge when you were learning to ride?

Getting into riding on my own initially seemed overwhelming. The Humber rider course taught me the fundamentals, but I found myself questioning my abilities and my choice of bike {Kawasaki Vulcan 500}.  Initially, my riding experience, although exhilarating, was slightly anxiety provoking. I was on a bike I wasn’t overly comfortable with and wasn’t sure if it was the bike or my ability.  I believe it was a bit of both and I changed from the cruiser, to a sport bike, {Buell Blast}.  I found myself hitting the road more frequently with a new sense of confidence and enjoyment. With the experience I’ve gained thus far, I’m ready to move to a third bike to suit my growing desire to travel.

Where have you traveled on your motorcycle?

So far, I’m a day-tripper exploring the country roads North West of Toronto.  I’m planning on riding across Canada in 2012.

What impresses you most about another woman rider?

Their inner strength, confidence and skill.

What is your greatest joy from riding?

Embracing the profound feelings I experience from the second I sit on it.   There is nothing I can liken to the thrill of traveling down an open road on my bike. The independence, strength, peace, and control.  I try to live my life in the moment. On my bike, this is an absolute. I’m very mindful of the ride and am fully aware of my surroundings; the smells, the temperature changes and the grounded feeling I have with the bike.  Thoughts of past and future don’t exist. Only the present, only the ride. It is a very satisfying and peaceful state of being and it lasts long after the bike is parked.

How do you look back on yourself as a beginner rider now?

Looking back, I doubted my ability. Over time, I’ve taken myself out on the roads and increased my ride time to a point where I can now confidently spend the whole day on the bike. Even at the beginning, I felt great excitement and pride in myself for getting into the sport. I still feel that way.

 

 

 

 

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