A Story From Our RideNow Customer

June 24th, 2020 by Christelle Van Der Meulen

In my wildest dreams, I would never have thought that scrubbing muddy motorcycle clothes and gear would become part of my washday routine!

 

My job was being a stay-at-home mom. I am blessed with four sweet daughters.

 

At mid-life, my husband started seeking his own adventure. He started riding off-road motorcycle and every Saturday morning he would go out with his pals to have some fun on the hills nearby. Seeing the smile on his face and listening to all the exciting stories of his outrides, I asked to join him.

 

I started off on a little Honda CRF230 closer to the end of 2017. The term technical off-road riding applies to this deep end that I was thrown into! My husband played a huge role in kindly coaching me through many daunting obstacles. Fear and courage also played huge roles!

 

While still finding my motorcycle legs and conquering the little Honda, a more serious adventure biker lady friend, canvasing lady riders, asked if I would not be interested in partaking in the BMW GS Trophy try outs. At first, I thought this to be a crazy idea as I could not see myself riding an oversized GS1200 in comparison to my own stature. I am 5’4” and of medium build. But after some coaxing, I braved the mighty GS and in March 2018 I was the proud owner of a BMW GS1200.

 

The BMW GS Trophy is an international event that occur every two years. Amateur adventure riders get the opportunity to represent their country at this event. The first three top men riders of each participating country get the opportunity to represent their country at this event.

For the ladies, the top two of each country would go through to an international event where 6 top ladies advance to the final GS Trophy event being held in a selected country.

 

With absolutely no formal training, I partook in the try outs and ended amongst the nine ladies that would go through to the finals in South Africa. If anyone could see what we had to endure, they would probably think we were the bravest, perhaps craziest lady riders out there.

 

My husband, also a trophy participant and I trained hard and started with an exercise program just to get our fitness levels up.

But that Trophy year was not my Trophy year…

 

See, training for the Trophy takes time and I was not close to making a full lock circle on an uneven surface or ride through cones in thick sand or walk a GS1200 with one hand or climb a very technical hill or bundu-bash through a tricky forest section.

 

I had to keep on training and wait another two years for the next events’ try outs. Again, I ended amongst the top 8 ladies and finally made it through as the second lady to represent South Africa in Spain where the 2020 GS Trophy international female event took place.

I ended ninth and did not go through to the final event in New-Zealand.

 

But for me, it was a life changing opportunity, it meant I was pushing my suburban boundaries way out and I realized that I could do much more than I ever knew. I am happier, have a large group of supportive friends, am healthier and my marriage life has been transformed.

As for the future, I would love to take the support I have had and try to pay it forward whenever I can. Perhaps travel the world and do some goodwill along the way.

Posted in Adventure