5 Secrets Most People Don’t Know About Me

by Liz Jansen

Even though most of you know me as an author and seasoned rider, it’s time for me to share secrets you might not have known. These things will not appear in my author bio.

As I dig deeper into my past to understand the culture I was born into, I’ll find other fun facts I’ll share from time to time.  You’ll catch the theme here very quickly but I thought I’d get the most embarrassing moments out of the way.

  1. At 17, I dropped a motorcycle with my 5-year old sister Mary Barry on it. She was one of my first passengers and you can imagine that we had great fun flying around the family farm on my brothers’ Honda Cub. She received an exhaust burn when we fell over coming up the treed ravine at the back of the farm. The little angel wore knee socks and never said a word. Undeterred, once her boys were born she went on to get her own bike. Mom and dad would never have known had she not told inadvertently them about the story as she related it at a Dale Carnegie course thirty years later.

    secrets about me
    The same ravine; different times.
  2. At 24, I dropped my friend Debra Holmes off the back of my 650 Yamaha. She remembers it better than I but apparently we pulled into the parking lot at a local convenience store and I lost my balance, couldn’t hold us up and we toppled to the ground. She’s still not over it and hasn’t been a passenger since. We are still best friends however.
  3. Newly separated and eager to demonstrate my independence, I pulled into a gas station to fuel up my then-new FZ1 before meeting friends for a ride. For some reason, I decided that was also a good time to check the oil level. Never having done it before, I heaved the bike up on the center stand. The oil was fine, but I couldn’t get it off the stand. Finally, I stood beside it, and intending to pull it towards me, put the side stand down. I gave it a mighty heave, unfortunately pushing too hard away from me, onto its side. Two burly guys stood staring but not for long. I composed myself and took charge, commanding them, “Don’t just stand there. Come over here and pick it up!” And that’s exactly what happened.
  4. Sometime around age 50, I took my niece Andrea Jansen for a ride on the back of the FZ1. The curb cut coming at the end of their driveway is very high so I was cautious—too cautious—and used the front brake as I was leaving the driveway and turning. The bike hit the pavement as we jumped clear. Her story is she flew 10′ and nailed the landing. Her dad, my brother, watched the whole thing and helped me pick it up. Unfazed, she got back on and away we went, after she put her gloves back on.A&E
  5. This one’s actually appeared in previous posts but it bears repeating here. Finishing up a day of photo shoots, I decided to stop at the Morningstar Mill at Decew Falls in St. Catharines. My Super Ténéré was still new and unblemished. Riding in the loose gravel banked driveway I suspected I might have trouble getting it out. I’d parked on a grade with the front wheel lower than the rear. I’d have to pull it back up against gravity, on gravel. I managed to move it about a foot and then decided to find help. Thinking I had the sidestand down, I began walking away and you can see the outcome. There was no one around to help and I couldn’t pull off an uphill lift. So I went out the road and hailed down these two guys and watched the taller one pick it up as if it was a toy.



Now, tell me a fun fact (or two) that I didn’t know about you. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter where I help you see that by mastering motorcycling, you can master anything.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love reading more from me and other women riders in Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment. Available as print or ebook through Amazon or any retailer.

Related Post: 10 Things to do with a Dropped Motorcycle


Author, writer, and student Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

4 Comments on “5 Secrets Most People Don’t Know About Me

  1. My love of being on a bike started when I was 12, when my cousin took me out on my first ride. At 15 my boyfriend rode a 650 BSA and we spent the entire summer and fall on the bike at every opportunity. First time my Mom “met” the bike she said “you’re not going out on THAT!’ My response was “I already have…several times.” When my Dad (bless him in his afterlife) saw the bike, he too said the same thing as my Mom, who then replied “She’s already been out on it.” And off I went, out for the afternoon! Many years later, no longer listening to others fears and disapprovals, I bought my own first bike at the age of 58 and then took my MSF course, believing it was finally my time for me and what I knew I loved. I failed the course test the first time and went right back 2 weeks later and passed. Next spring, with 4.5 years of practical experience I will do the M2 exit course and ride the final test. I love my bike, the way riding makes me feel and how it challenges me. Like others, my biggest challenge is finding the sweet spot for throttle and clutch friction for slow speed movements. This I will master, possibly with the help of a coach I have connected with.
    Liz, love your blog, your candidness and your giving spirit as you share yourself, your knowledge and your passion with all of us.

    • Thank you for YOUR candid sharing Barbara. And what wonderful courage you demonstrate. So glad you persisted – there’s nothing quite like it is there? You’ll find that sweet spot – just keep using it! Even experienced riders stall sometimes. 🙂

    • Never occurred to me Mary! 🙂 But I’ve taken my last passenger. I never took riders on my Super Tenere and I’m not taking them on my Tiger!