Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Interview WIth A MotoWoman - Sabrina Talon By Jessika Veilleux

Pic © Sabrina Talon
In this interview we are going to talk about some reasons why Sabrina has chosen Harley Davidson and the different aspects of riding in her opinion. I chose my step mother as it was relevant for me and it was much easier to discuss with someone I know. We both feel that this is relevant because it reflects on her opinion and interests in the biking community. It gives us one person’s view out of many other ones and it might also enhance someone else’s knowledge or inspire others as well! Doing this project with her inspired me! So I asked my biker what made my her choose a 2015 Harley Davidson Forty-Eight sportster?

Pic © Sabrina Talon
“I chose the Harley Davidson Forty-Eight model because I don’t like the big, heavy bikes with big tanks and bags all around it, this model was made slimmer and it’s a lightweight bike, perfect for me! I also liked the style of this bike in particular”. My father also has a Harley Davidson which was also an influence on her when buying her bike, he was an inspiration to my biker, which pushed her into buying her own and trying it out herself. Where does my biker feel represented on the hierarchy as a Harley biker? “I don’t feel like I am any higher on the hierarchy than anyone else with any other type of bike, I don’t believe in that, it’s just a brand name. I am not better than anyone else because I ride a Harley Davidson”. The aim of this discussion was to really understand her opinion on Harley Davidsons and what has changed in her life because of it.

The Harley Davidson community follows a type of ritual which consists of riding as a group on a certain day of the week; they are called the Hogs. My biker is not part of that group, yet there is another small ritual that Harley Davidson bikers follow, which is a gifted bell from a Harley biker. “I am not interested in being part of the Hogs group, I like to ride in peace and stop when I want to and leave when I feel like it, because as a group you must follow each other and stay together”. This means that when one has to stop for gas or for a quick stop to the bathroom, everyone must stop and wait. 

"Although I do follow the gifted bell ritual, which consists of every new Harley Davidson owner receiving a bell as a gift from another Harley biker to put on their bike, and we must put it on our bikes no matter what, it is a sign of safety”. She got hers from my father who owned a Harley before her and he got his from one of his friends. 

As a woman biker, sometimes they may feel judged, or under graded by others just because they are females. I asked my biker if she felt judged in any way, shape or form by other male bikers or if maybe she felt like she was a sort of inspiration to others as well? Her answer was “No, I don’t feel judged at all, there is no judgement whatsoever, whether you’re a man or a woman, but make sure you can handle your bike and control it on the road or else you will be judged(laughing). Some women have told me that they think it is super cool but they would never do it, they are too scared to”. She decided to become a biker because …“I’ve always had an interest in motorized machines ever since I was a little girl! It makes me feel good to ride!” 

I always wondered what riding a bike meant for bikers or how it made them feel? So I asked my biker what makes her decide to just leave the house and go for a ride? “Sometimes it’s just to decompress a little bit, it makes me feel free-minded, like there’s nothing else to think about. When I’m having a bad day or I’m upset I clench that handle and I accelerate as fast as I can, it makes me feel good!” she says giggling. “I also go just to be alone, to have peace and quiet”.

I also asked her what her family thought of her after she bought a bike? She explained to me that her mother did not quite accept the fact that she was going to ride as it can be dangerous and she was worried for her daughter’s safety. However, her mother still supported her as well as for her father and other family members. Although, they all told her to be careful and be safe whenever she went for a bike ride. 

Pic © Sabrina Talon
So, in my mind before this interview Harley Davidson was a bike like any other but now that I’ve spoken with a Harley biker, I feel like this bike is the best matching bike for a woman and it’s amazingly awesome! I also thought that women would feel under graded by men because men have been riding quite a while longer than women have, but I guess that is not the case coming from my female participant as she did not feel judged at all by any other bikers, instead she felt like an inspiration to others. I also heard once before that usually people who ride Harleys feel like they are better than others, not that I ever believed it but I wanted to know if that was true coming from a Harley biker and it is not. Lastly, I learned about rituals that Harley Davidson bikers follow as a group which is quite interesting and pretty cool! Who wouldn’t want to receive a cute little bell with a Harley Davidson sign on it to put on their bikes and feel like you’re part of the team now!? I would be so proud! In this interview I would have liked to get deeper and more thorough responses, which I will definitely work on next time; I will try to engage deeper into the questions and conversation. This interview has influenced my perception on the biking community and maybe some day I will be part of it! Harley’s are awesome! Bikes in general are awesome!!

Acknowledgements


First of all I would like to thank Sabrina Talon for her time and for her opinion and help! It was a great pleasure to know more about the Harley biking community.

About Jessika Veilleux


Jessika Veilleux studied at Champlain College Lennoxville located in Quebec, Canada. Interview With A Biker - Sabrina Talon was written as part of a class project for a course titled Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Studies in the Department of Humanities.

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