SA Where do you currently live? Why do you live there?
SB Brighton, England, UK. Brighton is a vibrant place to live, it has a great cultural mix and there’s always something going on! It’s a coastal tourist spot, just an hours drive from London, but, it’s also sandwiched on a narrow strip of land between the Sussex Downs and the sea. So, you can ride some nice sweeping, coast routes, or, potter around in twists and turns of the Downs, with its quaint, little, historical, villages and ‘chocolate box’ thatched cottages. Also, Brighton has one of the highest levels of sunshine in the UK…just great, for biking!
SA What or who inspired you to ride a motorcycle?
SB As a child, my brother and I learnt to ride on an old classic BSA Bantam. Once I got a taste for the wind in my hair there was no stopping me. I got a moped soon as I was able to ride legally on the road. Then I read Jupiters travels, (Ted Simons book) and there was no looking back. In fact, with a group of young friends, I rode that poor little moped, all the way to Holland and back, at 16 years of age! I’ve always been a keen traveller, so, motorcycle adventuring is just a combination of two passions.
SA What bike(s) do you own?
SB Now I own a Triumph Tiger 800 and a Kawasaki KLX 250
SA Are you part of a women’s riding group? If so, which one(s)?
SB I’m part of WIMA (Women’s International Motorcycling Association) the Great Britain division – I’m a keen and very active member of the WIMA East and West Sussex area.
SA Where is your favorite ride and why?
SB I love riding just about anywhere there are some interesting mountain, or, coastal routes. Himalaya’s, Alti Plano, Mae Hong Son loop, New Zealand, have ridden and enjoyed quite a lot. Having just returned from Catalonia ( Spain), that’s still high on my list, but, for sunny, all year round, riding, I can’t think of any better place to ride than Gran Canaria! More twisties than you can shake a stick at, more coastal roads than ever (it’s an island!) and a rapidly changing landscape, rugged mountains, volcanos, orange groves, river beds, sea side bays, and a year round semi tropical, sunny, climate…it’s got the lot! (oh, I’m probably not supposed to tell you all this, it’s supposed to be a fiercely kept bikers secret!)
SA Why do you ride or want to ride on 2-wheels?
SB I love the freedom, of the open road, or easy trails, the comraderie, I love being on the move, I love exploring other countries, or places, inaccessible by public transport. I love being a member of WIMA and meeting up with women riders from all over the world.
SA Have you always been drive to explore adventurous activities?
SB Yes, always keen to explore other places and meet people from other cultures and backgrounds. I’ve travelled all over the world and I love it when people show me their own ‘special places’ …not always those mentioned in the guide books!
SA What would you like to see more of when it comes to the women’s riding world?
SB More opportunities for women riders to meet up and learn from each other in ways that are affordable and accessible! More hooking up with each other on the Internet and more hosting each other, exchange visits etc. More fun, more chatter, more riding, and more sharing of good coffee and cakes!
SA What gets you out of bed in the morning?
SB At the weekends and holidays, any opportunity to get out on my bike. (Mon – Fri ..work!)
SA If you could ride anywhere next year, where would it be and why?
SB Vietnam, just because it looks so interesting and different and I haven’t been there yet! That would be a fly and hire adventure. Also, Ireland…the twiddly bits round the south coast, though I might combine this with a Horizons Unlimited meeting in Enniskillen. I’d take my little KLX on the ferry.
SA What was your worse day on a motorcycle?
SB Getting rear ended and my almost new Triumph Tiger written off. Worst bit was, I had my friends 14 year old daughter as a pillion. Luckily, we both walked away without serious injury and my friend is still a friend (and one of the best!). Then began months of horrible battling with a scummy insurance company which was a protracted pain and probably worse than the accident itself!
SA What is your favorite food?
SB Cake, cake and cake!
SA What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
SB Around 11 or 12 years old.
SA Funniest thing that ever happened to you while on a ride?
SB Skidding on someone’s packed lunch as it fell from the back of his bicycle, while I was following on my moped whilst going very slowly on a roundabout. It must have been the cheap and nasty processed cheese, pap white bread and cheap margarine in his sandwich that made my front tyre slip!
SA Favorite post ride beverage?
SB Good quality coffee, every time!
SA Name 3 immediate things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
SB No immediate things to accomplish, just keep on riding and keep enjoying!
SA Name 3 long term things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
SB Just to be able to keep on riding, after retirement, when I will have all the time in the world, to explore places I wanna visit, without always being in a frantic rush, due to limited annual leave! Slow travel, in other words!