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RideFast Magazine April 2020 issue

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My name is Samantha. aka

My name is Samantha. aka Sam. (Never Sammy). I’m a woman who loves to ride bikes. Those who know female riders know my type. No, I do not drape myself over my bike while wearing a leather bikini. (Well, not unless I’m giving hubby a show). Off the bike I love dressing up, wearing pretty shoes. On the bike I accept that my helmet will style my hair in a way I did not imagine when I woke up that morning. That if I do try put mascara on, that it will most likely just run and mess on my face, so why bother. I know more swear words than the average sailor and I’m not afraid to trot them out if the moment dictates. And I love the look I get when I climb off my bike, take off my helmet and people realise I’m a woman. Sometimes I ride out with a group of equally passionate woman riders, known as The Litas, where we celebrate female riders and what we contribute. (And have a bucket load of fun with just us girls). Absolutely, I get an adrenaline rush going crazy speeds and doing other stupid stuff on my bike. But I also lack testosterone, which means more often than not I practice a certain amount of restraint on the roads. Then there is the fact that I work for a private EMS company. Now the last JUST A GIRL... There is an ever growing amount of ladies who are taking up motorcycling here in SA and we here at RideFast are fortunate enough to know quite a few of them. Most of them love reading RideFast every month - one in particular is Samantha Hall - a passionate “biker” who has done some writing for us in the past and recently sent us this article, which we just loved and had to print. thing I want is my colleagues having to scrape me off the tarmac. Or worse, them having to cut away my leathers and see me in my knickers! I commute to work and back; on those days safety is my priority. Safe filtering, high alert riding. It’s on the weekends, when the roads are clear, that I’ve been known to go nuts. I am a little spoilt in that I have two bikes. One is my 2004 Suzuki V-Strom that I commute on. Her name is Blu, but I call her The Wife. Safe, reliable, economical. Built for comfort, not speed. My other bike is my 2014 Triumph Daytona 675R. With Ohlin suspension, Braembo brakes and racing cams. Her name is Belle, but I call her The Mistress, for obvious reasons. She is my pride, my joy and I love her more than words can say. She’s the reason I’ve crossed the 200kph mark. And why that one time EMPD wanted to lock me up for speeding … Oops... I love commuting by bike. Living in the East but working in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg means traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. Those moments when I’m filtering through the mess and riding clear are priceless. A route that would take me over an hour in my car takes 25 minutes by bike. Precious time saved. If it wasn’t for taxi’s, busses, soccer moms in their Beemers & Mercs, men in their Ford Rangers… Uggh!! I promise I’m not anti-cager. A lot of drivers are considerate and give a gap when I’m filtering. But also, a lot change lanes without indicating or looking. A lot drive distracted while playing with their radios. A lot drive with their cellphones glued to their hands, playing with our lives while their car’s Bluetooth sits idle. It can be exhausting, thinking for all the commuters around me; trying to guess their next move. All the while looking out for potholes, rippled tar, oily patches and pedestrians. That being said, I would far rather be on high alert on my bike than sitting at a standstill in my car getting frustrated with the nonmovement. There is a level of joy in riding to work that I just don’t get in a car. There is one thing I cannot understand. And maybe the men can answer this for me…. When I’m on my V-Strom the male cagers treat me like any other commuter on a bike. But when I ride the Daytona in traffic, suddenly, in their minds, the R25 becomes the Redstar track… Really guys? I’m riding in rush hour traffic, with a satchel on my back… Just trying to get to work or back home… How I deal with this depends on my mood. Some days I just let them go… Give them the ego boost they so obviously need. Other days I give them an opportunity to examine my arse as I ride off into the distance. I have this passing fancy to get a personalized plate “A Girl” to put on the bike. Really rub salt into the wound. Now that would be cool. There is a certain skill that is required for a woman who wants to ride her bike to work, but still has client meetings etc. to attend. This is the ability to be geared up for the ride, and then switch to the heeled, made up woman that senior management expects her to be. It can get complicated, but I’ve whittled it into a fine art. This often requires a laptop satchel for the work stuff and a second bag in the top box with heels, make-up and smart blazer. I have been known to wear a dress with easy overs on top, biker jacket and riding boots. Get to work and off with the jacket, boots and easy overs, on with the heels, brush my hair out, apply makeup and voila!! New person… One colleague says she has to greet me twice every day. Once as Sam the Biker, then again as Samantha the Manager. With me riding every day to work, one might think I would get tired of being on the bike and would want to jump into my Mom-Mobile Merc when I get the chance. But, no… Every Saturday I ride to Parkrun on my bike, with running shoes in my bag. I yearn for Sunday breakfast runs where I can ride the open road and twist the throttle. When hubby and I go on our holidays to the Dinokeng bushveld we ride there… Our long holidays are designed around bikes; last year it was a trip around the perimeter of S.A. Next year we are off to Europe, having factored in a 10 day bike tour around Ireland. Rain & all… “I fell in love with bikes when I was 16 years old. And it’s a relationship that has stood the test of time – 30 years on and I’m still crazy in love with motorbikes.” In 2021 it’s the USA and Sturgis… I fell in love with bikes when I was 16 years old. And it’s a relationship that has stood the test of time – 30 years on and I’m still crazy in love with motorbikes. With the machines. With the scent of bike shops. With racetracks and the brave boys of MotoGP. With the bikers I meet at mass rides, day jols and rallies. I have both the Bikers Lives Matter & the Think Bike stickers on my car so bikers know I’ve got their back when I’m caging it. When I’m riding, if you have two wheels I will tilt my head at you. Be you a scooter rider, a delivery bike or super bike speedster. (Even if you ride a Harley!) My secret wish is that more and more woman would climb off the back seat and get machines of their own. To all the male riders out there who don’t think we are odd, or that we belong on the pillion seat and who treat us as just another rider, I give you a big High Five. So here I am… I’m just a girl. Standing in front of her bike(s). Asking to go riding…. 30 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE APRIL 2020 31