Children: Two daughters, 24 and eight
In Dubai for: 12½ years
When I was 17, I had a group of friends who were into riding bikes, so I tried it and loved it. I’ve now been biking for almost 30 years and I’m the only one out of the group who still does it; I even took part in the Isle of Man TT race in the UK. I just love the me-time, being able to think and just be by myself. I’m not a huge fan of driving cars, I just do it to get from place to place, but being on my bike means I can relax and go anywhere I fancy.
When I’m not biking, I’m a mum and I have a maths degree, which I did in Dubai; I love to learn. I’m also really into skiing, as well as other sports. I do Insanity – a high-intensity exercise class – regularly, it makes me feel like I’ve really achieved something.
When people find out about me being into motorbikes, they definitely think it is very odd, they don’t quite understand it here. They all think I’m crazy as the roads can be dangerous, but it’s not so bad. My husband isn’t into biking so we get some funny looks when we leave places and walk to the motorbike – they are expecting him to get on the front and drive, but look confused when I do instead!
I currently ride a Honda CBR600, which is a replica of my inspiration Valentino Rossi’s bike – it even has his signature. I have two dream bikes, one more realistic than the other; the first is the Suzuki Hayabusa 1200CC, which would be amazing to have, the other is too heavy for me to ride but it’s still a great bike, the Suzuki GSX-R750.
I see a few women driving Harley-Davidsons but it’s very rare to see another woman driving a sports bike. To be honest, I’m more of a solitary biker, but I know there is a small female biking community in Dubai. When I was younger there was more of a reaction from the male bikers, which was usually along the lines of “Aw, look at that little girl on her bike”, but these days they don’t seem phased. I actually learnt to strip an engine and put it back together to show men that I may be a woman, but I know just as much as them.
With regards to my kids getting into biking, my eldest daughter had a moped back in the UK, which was a start, and as much as I would worry about them (as any mother would) I wouldn’t stop them. For anyone looking to get into biking, I’d say just have courage, it can be scary on the roads but you can drive around the Dubai Autodrome if that would help you to enjoy it more. Be safe and just do it.