Find me on Earth: Victoria, British Columbia
Find me Online: Scootermayhem.blogspot.com, @Moto_Diva on Twitter and Instagram, @Motochat and #motochat also on Twitter, and on Farkle Garage, a motorcycle show broadcast on Shaw cable TV and available on the Farkle Garage channel on YouTube, and at farklegarage.tv. Finally see Dar's Life on two wheels interview
Interview Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Interview Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Life on two wheels: When did you start riding, how old were you?
Dar: I was a late bloomer. I started riding my own motorbikes when I was 46 years old. Before that I rode on the back of my husband’s motorcycle from the time I was 18. Eventually, after 28 years, I got tired of staring at the back of his helmet and finallly decided to get a motor scooter. Eight months of daily scooter commuting later, I decided I really needed a motorcycle.
Life on two wheels: How many motorbikes have you owned?
Dar: I’ve owned four bikes since 2011. I went from a 49cc Yamaha Vino, to a 1980’s Honda CM450, to a 1985 Honda VT500, and then on to my 2012 Honda NC700SA.
Life on two wheels: What is your current bike, and is the current bike your favorite?
Dar: My current bike is the 2012 Honda NC700SA. It’s a sport touring bike. It’s definitely my favorite. So much so that I call her The Duchess.
Life on two wheels: Talk to me about the most challenging riding skill you learned.
Dar: I’m now a highly qualified motorcycle instructor. Completing the training and certification process to become an instructor was definitely the most challening thing I have ever done. None of it was easy, but by far the toughest things to master were the slow speed skills. When I teach I have to demonstrate the slow speed manoeuvres very crisply to the students; it really has to be cleanly done. The hardest skill for a beginner is the dreaded U-turn. It’s now a piece of cake for me, to the point where I’m now a slow-speed manoeuvre nerd. I really love the intense Zen of riding cone patterns.
Life on two wheels: Are you a moto-commuter, a tourer, or a fair weather rider?
Dar: I generally do my best to be a year-round rider, but it depends greatly on how cooperative Mother Nature is during the winter months. I can usually be found riding my bike from about April onwards.
Life on two wheels: Are you a solitary rider? How about riding in a group?
Dar: I am a bit of both. I really enjoy solo rides. When I first started out on my scooter I logged over 8,000 kilometers in a span of 8 months and most of it was done solo. I also enjoy riding with my husband and my friends, but I prefer small groups. I am not crazy about ginormous group rides because there’s just too much chaos in those rides for me. I started a women’s riding group called The Moto Mamas and we get together fairly regularly during the riding season.
Life on two wheels: I dare you to share an awkward or embarassing riding moment.
Dar: Oh God!! The most embarassing moment was when my bike decided to take a nap at a gas station. Not only were there plenty of cars to witness the mishap, but it happened right in front of my husband. Though I have to say in my defense, that it happened quite a while ago. I hate bike narcolepsy!
Life on two wheels: What is the best place your bike has taken you?
Dar: That’s easy. It was to the town of Tofino on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. To get there I rode through Pacific Rim National Park. It was a solo ride and I have to say it was simply amazing. Another ride that was nearly as enjoyable was the ride through Strathcona Park into Gold River, also on Vancouver Island.
Life on two wheels: Tell me why you ride.
Dar: Hmmm… at first it was definitely a commuter thing on the scooter, so the motivation was pretty utilitarian. After getting my motorcycle license my approach to riding changed completely. The bigger more capable bikes increased the scope of my travels; I was no longer restricted to city riding; I could finally break free and see the world.
I have to say that riding is truly a joy. It has taken me to beautiful places. I love feeling part of the environment and the feeling of being engaged in it. There is no comparison to traveling by car. I also find that on a nice long ride, there is a little solitude and time that is strictly my own, even when I’m riding in the company of another rider. It gives me a place to think. I find peace in the saddle. It’s my Zen.
Riding has also led me to meet some wonderful people, and it has opened up some very special opportunities. Not the least of which is my gig as a co-host and co-producer of Farkle Garage, which you can find on YouTube.
Life on two wheels: If I could grant you one riding wish, what would it be?
Dar: That one’s easy too. Riding in Italy under the Tuscan sun. (Ed.: there’s definitely hope! That particular wish was granted not that long after another rider completed a Life on two wheels Rider Profile.)