Almost 20 years ago, Laura started her adventures as a pillion. Fast forward eight years, and she has moved from pillion to pilot.
Laura grew up in Naples, South Italy. When she was 20, a dear friend introduced her to riding on the back of his BMWR1150. He taught her the importance of balance, looking through the curve, and dressing for the weather. With years under hear belt as a pillion, Laura has learned to make herself a mere presence on the pilots back while riding. She has always taken the role of pillion seriously, and while traveling, considered it her responsibility to monitor the condition of the driver, help load and unload the bike, and to help set up camp.
Even as a passionate pillion, Laura wondered what it was like to pilot a motorcycle. In 2010 something shifted. She took a motorcycle class, bought a bike and transitioned from pillion to pilot. She genuinely feels that her time as a pillion helped her learn valuable lessons about how appropriate gear and common road challenges. She also followed the same process as a pillion and as a pilot to safely learn her limits. She started with shorter trips, and they are getting longer and longer. She rode her bike right through the freezing winter in Northern Italy, stopping only on days of extreme snow.
She describes the new experience of piloting her own motorcycle “totalizing.” “It teaches you to deal with your fears, to leave problems at home, to focus on other driver’s behavior on the street, and to focus on the reactions of your body and your vehicle. There is only you and the roar of your engine; sometimes there is only the open road in front of you. It’s the greatest sense of freedom I have ever experienced.”
Laura’s fondest motorcycle moment: The first time someone waved to her when she was piloting her own bike. “This is one of my most beautiful memories of my road life.” Reflective, she shares stories from around the campfire of love and loss, and that brings her to her final message. Laura encourages everyone who has an interest in travel to do so! She encourages women to not worry about what age they start, to choose their bike, travel with partners or friends or on the back, just go see the world!
Did you enjoy this article? Read Sara’s Two Rules for Being a Great Pillion!