Arizona Motorcycle Attorney; It’s always so great to see new riders getting involved with motorcycles. Cate shares about her experience as a new rider and her advice for other women riders.
Name: Cate Zovod
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Occupation: Marketing executive for a software firm
Currently ride: Triumph Bonneville
When did you start riding and what got you involved in motorcycles?
I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider course in May of 2011.
My first day on the range at motorcycle school was a disaster. I had never driven a stick shift car and just didn’t “get it” about the clutch. I was in class with a group of college kids, all male, who seemed to have been born to ride. Fortunately, one of my instructors, Christine Bulger-Mills, kept the faith when I lost it, and said she’d work with me one-on-one in the evening, no charge. I met her that night in the parking lot and spent about 45 minutes just riding figure 8s in first gear. Something clicked and I was ready to roll.
How has riding motorcycles impacted your life?
It’s given me a new topic of conversation with my husband. After 16 years together new topics are always welcome. The year I started riding, I went to India, and I hiked rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon. Some dam inside me broke open and I realized I had to start living. My parents are kind of traditionalists and I thought they would have a heart attack when I told them I got my license, but my Mom just said, “I always wanted to do that.”
What has been your biggest challenge with riding motorcycles?
See above, I am a Grade A klutz! My biggest challenge though is finding the time to ride and hone my skills. I work full time and travel a lot for work. My son is only six years old, so when we have to go somewhere, it’s in the car sadly. Other challenges: Cleaning and lubing the chain is a pain and I’m envious of folks with belts. I still haven’t mastered starting on hills, foot brake, hand brake, throttle, there’s a lot going on there.
What do you like most about your model motorcycle?
It’s a Harley world out here, and I think my bike stands out from the crowd a little. I also really enjoy the British mod era and café racer style, and feel like the Bonneville is iconic of that movement (and they haven’t changed the look since!)
What modifications have you made to your motorcycle?
The cool thing about my bike is it was manufactured the last year when there was no stylistic difference between the plain Bonneville and the snazzier T100. So it has cool T100 features like pea shooter pipes and spoke wheels. I have added knee grips to the tanks. I am going to stiffen the front springs and add fork gaiters, and I want to add a tach kit. Someday I might replace the pea shooters with kinkless, straight tailpipes which were on the original café racers but they are hard to find.
When you’re not riding motorcycles what are you other interest?
I have a thoroughbred and like to trail ride and jump. The common theme is I like to stay in motion!
What advice do you have for other women riders?
- Don’t let anyone tell say you can’t do this or it isn’t feminine. Illegitimi non carborundum (don’t let the bastards get you down).
- If you are like me and ahem less than totally coordinated, don’t start on your boyfriend or husband’s big-ass bike. I started on my husband’s Sporty and that didn’t go so well. Then I picked up Dribble (Honda Rebel 250) – and within days I was put-putting all over town and having the time of my life. Though the Bonnie is my true calling, I am so grateful to Dribble I am finding it hard to part with him.
- Take a class! Even if you already ride. It even improved my car driving. Personally, I enjoyed having a woman instructor, less intimidating when it comes to things like cars, bikes and the typically male realm of all things mechanical.
- Don’t be intimidated to learn a little bit about the mechanics of your bike and how it’s all put together. I’m not suggesting we all become ‘wrenches’ but it helps when you are talking to your mechanic, and they are easier to understand than cars. You can see a lot of the parts so it’s actually kind of fun. And as mentioned, it gives you something to talk to your spouse about.
- Don’t wait; ride now, because none of us know how long we have to fulfill our dreams.
How tall are you? 5’7
What is your weather like year round?
We have four distinct seasons up here in Prescott. The winters are cold and can be snowy, Spring is windy, Summer is hot and Fall is perfect.
How is riding therapy for you?
Now that airplanes have email service, astride my bike is really and truly the only place and time where I am completely uninterrupted, alone, and free with no one making demands of me. It is 100% truly my escape. Women have so many pressures; so much is expected of us by the people in our lives. Sometimes you just need to get away and breathe. That’s what a road trip, 5 minutes or 5 hours, does for me. It’s my time, my space.
I sure can relate to how a road trip can clear your mind and give you a refreshed perspective on life.
Again I say… we are the luckiest women on the planet to experience the joy and the freedom of riding!
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® have been fighting in the courtroom for injured motorcyclists in Arizona for over thirty years. If injured in a motorcycle / car accident in Arizona call us today 1-800-4-BIKERS.