In our third segment of the series Women and Motorcycles we feature Anna Katrin. It was amazing that we did Anna’s story just as she was about to leave Kenya for good. However, what’s more fascinating is the fact that her riding story began here in Kenya. Let’s get to know more of Anna’s experience beneath the helmet:
When did you start riding and what motivated you to take up riding ?
I started riding about one-and-a-half years ago. Riding had always been at the back of my mind since I got my driver’s license at the age of 18. However, getting a riding license was a costly affair in Germany at the time and I therefore decided to be content with driving a car. Things looked up when I moved to Nairobi. I became good friends with a Kenyan lady biker and that is when my inspiration to ride was set ablaze again. It was finally time to do it and I am glad I went for it.
Did you have to go through formal training? How was the training experience ?
I enrolled for training at the InkedBiker Rider Training. I got hooked to the fun of riding a bike from the very moment I sat on the bike. My excitement made me want to hit the road on my second day of learning how to ride. The instructors were simply amazing and encouraged one to enjoy biking while at the same time placing great emphasis on rider safety.
Is riding part of your daily commute or more of a recreational activity?
I ride on a daily basis. It is my preferred mode of transport when going to work and getting around the city. I also ride during weekends for recreational purposes.
How has it been for you as a female rider?
There are definitely a couple of challenges I have had to face as a female rider. One of the biggest challenges is the assumption that you are a male rider. This plays out on the road when car or matatu drivers tend to want to race you on the road only for them to get embarrassed after realizing you are a woman when you lift your visor.
Security checks also become a menace when they begin to frisk you inappropriately thinking that you are a guy. I have had to overcome this by literally yelling beneath my helmet, “I’M A LADY!” 😉
Another challenge is the notion road users have- that bikers and bodabodas have no place on the roads. It is annoying that they are always pushing us off the road. I however take it easy and give way to harassing drivers.
Most of the time female riders are regarded as loud, outgoing, and wild. However I’m rather quiet and chilled out as a person (grins).
I am forever grateful to the biker community I got to interact with here. They have been one of my greatest support systems.
What’s your first/current and dream Bike and what did/do you love most about those bikes
My dream bike is the KTM Duke 690. I am still working towards getting one. I perceive the KTM as an excellent quality bike and I love the design!
Share a notable/ memorable experience you’ve had or undertaken with your bike or generally as a female rider
One moment stands out for me: Every time I’m in a public place and I remove my helmet and shake my head to let my hair down and people just stare at me. As a white female rider in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, people sometimes stare at you as if you are extraterrestrial!
How has biking impacted your lifestyle / life
Biking has made my life a lot easier in terms of commuting around Nairobi. It has added a great deal of fun, adventure and adrenaline to my life. With biking, I have had to step out of my comfort zone. It was definitely worth it deciding to take up riding. Biking has equally contributed to my own independence.
Word of advice to aspiring female riders as well as your general biking mantra
To any woman out there thinking of getting a bike and start riding, just overcome that inner demon called fear and do it! It is one of the most freeing activities that will also add joy into your life big time!
We wish Anna many more biking adventures beyond the 254 🙂