BY KRIS FANT
Women, Motorcycles, and the Road to Empowerment weaves together stories of women riders with author Liz Jansen’s own reflections and narrative.
The book begins with Liz Jansen, the author, introducing her story. She started writing this book after breaking her shoulder in an off road training. She described her injury as a gift and time to learn a life lesson, and my gratitude was immense that she shared this gift. Riding a dirt bike was the most visceral and challenging activity I’d attempted in my 36 years of life. One of my biggest worries as the only female rider in my group of friends was “what if women can’t ride well?” A quick internet search produced a book with the words women and motorcycles in the title, and I quickly devoured it.
Liz brings us into the lives of forty nine women of all ages and backgrounds, drawn together by one shared passion: Motorcycles. Every story, from Debbie the stunt rider to Roxanne who learned to ride at 60 showed me learning to ride was an achievable goal. There was Patty, learning to ride at 50, and being told by the instructor “to hang up her helmet.” And Roxie, whose mother was told when she was born that she would never walk, but learned to walk and ride. These women’s stories bonded me to motorcycles as a way to adventure, a way to connect, and a way to live.
This book is highly recommended for anyone who loves riding or the idea of riding. It’s an especially good book to revisit time and time again when you are trapped inside due to snow or laid up with an injury. It is a window into other people’s experiences of riding. I’ll leave you with a favorite quote: “The motorcycle can transport us to awareness. Riding is a sensual, visceral, nourishing experience for body, mind and soul. It engages all our senses — sight, sound, smell, taste, touch — and our sixth sense of understanding and insight.”
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