Franziska Jenetzky Shal Wilson
SA Where do you currently live? Why do you live there?
FJ On the road, travelling through Central and South America
SA What or who inspired you to ride a motorcycle?
FJ I used to fall asleep on the backseat of my ex boyfriends motorcycle, so it was time to ride my own. Did the license 10 years ago and never looked back. Was one of the best decisions I ever made.
SA What bike(s) do you own?
FJ Suzuki DR650 SE
SA Are you part of a women’s riding group? If so, which one(s)?
FJ No. But I would look for one, if I was living somewhere stationary.
SA Where is your favorite ride and why?
FJ My favourite ride is in Bolivia, from Samaipata to the Salar de Uyuni. You start in the rolling hills around the picturesque village, follow the Ruta del Che. named after Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevarra (motorcycle diaries), through remote back-country to Sucre. This is challenging dirt road riding, before you hit the tarmac again and roll into the wonderful colonial city Sucre, that with it’s white washed Old Town is truly remarkable and not without reason part of the UNESCO world heritage.
The route continues on a brand new winding asphalt road to Potosi, one of the highest cities in the world, towering at over 4000m. From here you stay on the Altiplano, the high plateau, and ride past quaint villages and local life to Uyuni.
Where you are greeted by the famous and uniquely stunning Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. Contrasted by the sharp white of the salt and the wide and endless blue of the sky. You can spend a day riding into the Salar. A feeling you will never forget, little screams of pure joy in your helmet aren’t unheard of. 😉
So it is no wonder that this part of Bolivia has hosted parts of the legendary Dakar Rally for some years. I hope you can see why this is one of my all-time favourite rides. It is divers, challenging and simply breathtaking.
SA Why do you ride or want to ride on 2-wheels?
FJ It is freedom, joy and simply the best way to travel. Riding connects, teaches you new skills and put your soul at peace. I love it!
SA Have you always been drive to explore adventurous activities?
FJ Depends what is called an adventurous activity. But I am an early millenial, I grew up before the whole digital revolution. So as a girl I roomed the fields and forests of my childhood with my friends. I did sports, skied and from a young age loved travelling. Which I finally did extensively in my mid twenties with my backpack. So now doing te same in my late thirties on a motorcycle seems a natural extension of the described. I guess I could say, yes.
SA What would you like to see more of when it comes to the women’s riding world?
FJ Independence. Better gear choices. More female riders.
SA What gets you out of bed in the morning?
FJ Breakfast 😉
SA If you could ride anywhere next year, where would it be and why?
FJ Love to explore the Stans and Iran… the Stans seem to be an amazing playground for motorcyclists and Iran is an ancient country with a rich history just around the corner from them.
SA Do you personally operate or work at a women owned/operated moto related website, blog or business that you would like to tell folks about?
FJ I will run an all female motorcycle tour through the breathtaking south of Bolivia this October, which I do in cooperation with Bolivian Motorcycle Adventures, a local operator. More info can be found here: http://www.boliviamotorcycleadventures.com/project/wild-west-ladies-tour/
It’s gonna be a blast, 19 days on and off road, together with a small group of like-minded women. A truly unforgettable experience for very little money. Feel free to check it out or get in touch with me directly. Contact details under the link.
SA What was your worse day on a motorcycle?
FJ There is no such thing as a bad day on a motorcycle!
SA What is your favorite food?
FJ Rouladen with red cabbage and dumpling (German), also like Italian and Thai cuisine a lot. Don’t mind great sushi or a hearty Indian dish.
SA What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
SA Funniest thing that ever happened to you while on a ride?
FJ Backed out of a motorcycle shop entrance, which unfortunately was on a steep slop and I on a tall F650GS Dakar. At the bottom over the curb I got stuck and thanks to the gully I couldn’t reach the ground. So I fell over in slow motion in front of all the people there. That was quiet funny in hindsight.
SA Favorite post ride beverage?
SA Name 3 immediate things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
FJ Like to guide my own motorcycle tour
Learn how to do a wheelie
Be able to drift around dirt corners
SA Name 3 long term things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
FJ Ride up to a very high age
Do a motorcycle rebuilt
Always better my riding skills