Caroline Wangari Muthoni, one of the female bikers emerging in Kenyan is the proud owner of three motorbikes. She spoke to the People Daily about her love for bikes and why she talks to her trio.
Why do you prefer bikes to cars?
I love bikes because they give me a reason to fight another day. They are quite therapeutic for me.
I have driven cars, but I don’t get from them the same zeal I get when riding a bike.
How did you become a bike aficionado?
Growing up, I never thought I would ever ride a motorcycle. But somewhere along the way, I learnt to love them.
I bought a mountain bike with my first savings and later on bought my first motorcycle, which was a Honda XL200. The rest, as they say, is history.
Biking is largely a male-dominated hobby. How do you find it?
Well, the truth is that trying to fit into a male-dominated environment is not easy. But, it never bothered me.
I took it up as a challenge. Later on, a few male bikers saw the potential in me and welcomed me into their fold.
They were riding superbikes as I was riding a 10ft cruiser, which is somehow slower.
I learnt to never rush anything and I can say for a fact that all knowledge I have acquired, whether taught to me with hate or love, has made me who I am today.
Besides, a lot of people have embraced me as a woman. I have also learnt that everything is possible when you have the will to pursue it relentlessly.
Tell us how you got the trio?
I bought them. Not all at once, of course, but I have had to sacrifice a lot to have them.
I saved up for a while to get them. I still think that maybe I should get another bike.
What do the bikes do for you?
They are good for a lot of things, other than riding and for day-to-day transport.
One might think that these are just machines, but for me, my bikes are part of my family.
I love bonding with them and like to talk to them. We have entire conversations on how I ride, how I speed, how I lean and how I break.
We communicate. For me, it’s pure love and therapy.
What makes your attachment to the bikes grow stronger?
First, I have helped stranded people along the way with these bikes. Secondly, I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they stare at my bikes and see a woman behind the helmet.
Lastly, it is my way of motivating upcoming bikers. I am currently mentoring my seven-year-old brother, who is actually a passionate biker.
His dream is to bring various medals home in future in the motorsports category.
Your most remarkable moment while riding?
The most stunning moment for me was when I was on a road trip from Isiolo to Marsabit.
I got to fulfill my dream of hitting 300km/h in 23 seconds. I felt safe and incredibly great on the lone roads up north.
What are some of your worst experiences?
Seeing my bike up in flames after a hit and run was definitely my worst. Discovering faults on my bike while riding along the highway and having punctures in off-road and isolated areas is not so great either.
Tell us about repairs and maintenance
When it comes to repairing, servicing and cleaning, I do it myself. If my bikes need any spare parts, I look for them myself.
I will even buy them online just to see my bikes up and running again.
What are the challenges of owning three expensive bikes?
Getting spare parts is hard, especially since some parts are not locally available.
Again, the three bikes are of different makes, hence one can’t ride them in the same way.
If I am doing short rides, I use the Honda 929RR. When I am having back pains, I use the cruiser for short rides. But again, I employ caution because of the difference in engine capacity.
I have also grown attached to my ZX14R, which has made me kinda distant with the other two.