For Kaydence Chin, motorbike riding is a natural choice. She has been an experienced motorcycle pillion since the age of five. Her grandfather, father, uncles and cousins are all riders. Enjoying a good ride is part of her family tradition.
Unfortunately, when her mother and fiancée heard about her interest in signing up for the riding course, they were very against it. But she secretly went ahead to enrol for the course. But it was quickly found out. Her fiancée relented and supported her decision. But it was different with her mother. It started endless quarrels. Apparently, her mother had suffered a bad fall from a motorbike and thus don’t want Kaydence to take the risk. Finally, seeing that she is not going to change her mind, her mother settled for the condition that she buys a brand new motorbike.
So she got a brand new Honda CBR150R about seven months ago. She quickly enjoyed her rides and formed an affection for her Honda. She uses it for all her commuting needs. Though she is currently a student, being a rider got her to work part time as a freelance dispatch. Within the first six months, she dropped her motorbike four times. “I am standing at 1.56 m, and the bike I chose was relatively tall. I had not yet grasped the right technique of handling a bike at that time. Well, I guess if you never fall, you never learn!” she says.
People are surprised to find out that she rides a motorbike due to her petite frame. They assume that she rides an automatic scooter. They frequently ask why she chooses to ride. She brushes off the questions with a, Why not?
Kaydence values the freedom she gets from riding. “I never got to travel much in the past, but now that I have a bike, I take short trips up the North-South Highway to different parts of Malaysia. Most of the time I don’t really have a specific destination in mind because I enjoy discovering new places while getting lost. One very memorable experience was riding up to Malacca at 3 am in near-total darkness. It was an impromptu decision.”
She has come across a lot of misconceptions about female riders that she wishes people would dispel. The list goes like this,
- Women do not have the technical skills to maintain and service their bikes.
- They are not good with directions.
- They make poor riders/ drivers.
- They cannot keep up with their male counterparts.
- They are slow.
- They do it for attention or fame.
- Women, being tiny, cannot handle the weight of their machines.
“Other than physique, I don’t think there are any other significant differences. What a man can do, a woman can do as well, if not better,” Kaydence insists.
She also believes that, be it man or woman, no one is exempt from practising safe riding habits. “I believe in always being properly geared. That includes approved crash helmet, riding jacket, riding gloves, jeans and boots. I pay constant attention to my surroundings and never demand my right of way or assume that other road users will give way to me. I never let my anger and ego get the better of me. I also service my bike regularly and try to learn more about my bike from others. I consider planning my route beforehand as part of my safety habit. Knowing how I get to my destination makes me a confident rider on the roads.”
Here’s what Kaydence says to other women who are still considering riding a motorcycle, “Do it for yourself, and not for others. If you love the bike life enough, no other factors, be it height or strength, should discourage you from living it.”
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