Our Women and Motorcycles photo series this week features Rahab. She has an adventurous spirit and loves anything that will take her outdoors, breathing the fresh air. She believes that there is so much to see and do in this world, one lifetime is not enough. An avid runner, she also plans to climb Mt Everest in the near future. She would go running in Antarctica and at the Everest Base camp. Her riding story is one to inspire you:
When did you start riding and what motivated you to take up riding ?
My bike arrived in the country in March 2016 and I slowly started riding then. My main motivation was to beat traffic. Back then it used to take me about an hour or more to get to the office and I was tired of it. I wanted to wake up, go for my morning run and still make it to work on time. And guess what? A bike was the perfect solution. The idea of taking long, out-of-town rides was also very appealing. I am a sucker for the outdoors and a bike would have me experience more of this.
Did you have to go through formal training? How was the training experience ?
I started by enrolling in one of the driving schools and took the practical classes. I however did not learn much though; they just teach the basics, enough for you to pass the Government riding exam and that’s it. I later had to supplement that training with another course at the 2×2 Motorcycle training school. That’s where I got the skills to ride alone on these busy roads. I have also had an additional training session with Malibu from InkedBikers. I believe that with motorcycling there is always something to improve on when it comes to your riding skills.
Is riding part of your daily commute or more of a recreational activity?
At the moment I am riding for recreation not as much for daily commute. I prefer to be out there on open roads as opposed to dealing with traffic in the city. I am however aware of the fact that city riding goes a long way in improving my riding skills and this is something I am working on.
How has it been for you as a female rider?
I wouldn’t point out any major challenges I have faced as a female rider. But of course there is a little bit of cat-calling by some drivers and others trying to push you off the road.
That being said though, I refuse to be pushed or bullied off the roads. I have every right to be on that road as any other motorist. A motorcycle is like any other motor vehicle (only that it has two wheels) and roads were made for all kinds of motor vehicles – from a motorcycle to a mini cooper to a top of the range Mercedes Benz GL class.
I have drawn a great deal of support from several friends who are bikers. Being a member of several biking groups has also helped me a lot. They (the groups) include: Inked Sisterhood EA, Waiyaki Way Nyumba Kumi and Team CBR 250.
What’s your first/current and dream Bike and what did/do you love most about those bikes
My first and current bike is a Honda CBR 300R. The bike is easy to handle and brings with it a smooth ride. I love its look too- it’s red and looks very sleek. My dream bike is an adventure bike.
Share a notable/ memorable experience you’ve had or undertaken with your bike or generally as a female rider
My most memorable riding experience was to Mai Mahiu in 2016. I was still a newbie with the bike and we were riding to a TGRV event. We used the Kamadura -Mai Mahiu-Narok road (the steep one which trucks use). That was an exhilarating experience. Riding past the menacing trucks especially on the way back was so scary and so exciting too. Overtaking the trucks and other vehicles made me feel like such a bad a*$. The fact that this was my first out of town ride had me walking on the moon.
How has biking impacted your lifestyle / life
To be honest, biking is not one of those things I saw myself doing. I wasn’t one of those who grow up obsessing over bikes. They were cool though and I particularly loved watching the MotoGP races. I was however pretty scared when taking the riding classes and could not fathom that one day I would have the courage to ride by myself. Looking back and now being able to do that boosts my confidence and reminds me that there is nothing that is impossible if we set out minds to it. We don’t do things because we are not afraid. We do it despite the fear.
Word of advice to aspiring female riders as well as your general biking mantra
Once you become fearless, life become limitless. To any lady aspiring to be a biker out there but you have all these negative voices of fear from within and from without, remember that fear is only an illusion, you can do anything you set your mind to.