This is our third week of Women's History Month, if you missed it be sure to check out Women Who Ride: Week Three! Thanks for taking the time to read and we hope some of these bad-ass women have inspired you.
My name is Matte Cole, don’t really have a "nickname." I'm currently rippin' around on a rigid 1990 EVO. I also have a 06 Roadster because it's never a bad idea to have multiple bikes right?!
Growing up in a pretty "motor sports lovin'" kind of family it was kind of a given I would find my way to road bikes. Watching my dad ride & listening to him talk about bikes & the enjoyment it brought to him is what initially got me interested in riding.
I definitely didn’t intend to get as obsessed as I did, nor did I intent for it to be such a huge part of my lifestyle, but after my first time riding (as the driver), I was hooked.
The first time on a bike for me was truthfully Intimidating but I wanted to learn so bad. I just sort of turned off all my over analyzing/self doubting thoughts and went with it. I knew I could have easily gotten all in my head about it and talked myself out of it & why this is "too scary". I simply didn’t give myself the time to, I just hopped on & played around until I was fully comfortable. I believe if something is not challenging in any aspect then it probably is not going to offer any growth either which is not as enjoyable nor valuable to you. Just because something is hard or scary doesn’t mean you won't like it, push through then decide after you're out of the fear based decision making. After becoming completely comfy with riding it kind of just became more & more important and valuable to me, I felt like it was a type of meditation for me, having to be so conscious with this machine, with the road, with others around you it felt like I was on this different frequency I hadn't experience before.
I would ride for hours pretty much everyday. My first bike I put 18k miles the first year I rode, even through Utah winters. If it wasn’t actually snowing I was trying to get a ride in. Fast forward 9 years later and I'm still just as fascinated by the machines as I was when I first started riding at 16 (just a little bit more of a baby when it comes to the cold), which is actually the main reasons I moved out to so cal. Few years back I rode out from Utah with one of my friends to go to a Born Free show it was so inspiring out here, I loved the moto seen of southern California & obviously the weather. I started riding my bike out to San Diego to hangout with my sister & just enjoy the weather, after riding back and forth a few times a months the ride was getting a little old but I knew I didn't want to fly out cause I needed a bike out here, I just decide to wing it and move out here and just see what would happen. So far so good - riding year round, what more could a gal ask for. The "biggest misconception" for me at least, is that women are not knowledgeable when it comes to motorcycles.
It is always interesting to me to see how others react when they hear I ride. I used to think it was due to my age since I started riding at such a young age and all. I have since realized it is actually because of my sex not my youth. There are a lot of nonsense people out there that are going to try and make you feel less important and less intelligent just because you are a gal that rides. But there are also others that cheer, support and treat you well and maybe even teach you a thing or two. I suggest you pay close attention and surround yourself with those people. At the end of the day you don't need to prove to anyone that you deserve to ride. You get to decide what your interests are and what you're passionate about.
My advice is to just stay true to yourself, don't allow others to title you or decide who you are and what you're good at.
Edith Levin Goulet
Do you have any nick-names?
What kind of bike do you have?
A mostly stock 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100 in limited edition white & gold… slightly lowered and with a handful of minor upgrades.
What got you into motorcycles?
My husband mentioned that he wanted to learn how to ride when we first met, and when I went to buy him a gift certificate for the MSF course the female instructor working there convinced me that I should take the class with him. It was the furthest thing from my mind at the time, but I went for it, despite never even having touched a motorcycle, let alone having sat on one. I am really grateful to have gotten that nudge, and I don’t think I would have gone for it if it wasn’t a female instructor suggesting that I do so.
How long have you been riding?
I got my license in 2012, but admittedly it took me quite some time to get up and running. After we sold our beginner Rebel there was quite a gap before we moved from NYC to California and I got myself a new bike.
What are some of your favorite events to attend (if any)?
I love the El Diablo Run. It’s just such a surreal feeling riding across the desert landscapes of Mexico. It’s just the right amount of sketchy, and the event itself feels like a real vacation every time. I’ve also loved going back to the east coast the past two years for Babes Ride Out East Coast. I love all the BRO events, but that one in particular is really special to me.
What was your first time on a motorcycle like? You as the driver:
It was god damn terrifying. I had no exposure to motorcycles prior to learning how to ride, so I don’t hesitate to be radically honest about how much fear I had while learning, and for quite a long time after starting. It’s a dangerous activity and there’s so many things that can go wrong, it’s hard not to focus on that while you’re practicing and learning to be comfortable. Ultimately I found that there were enough moments of pure bliss to power me through those first uncomfortable months, and I believe myself to be a better rider because I approached it with such caution.
Something interesting about yourself:
I’m originally from Moscow, Russia. I’ve lived in NYC from the time I was 12yo up until 5 years ago, when my husband and I moved to sunny San Diego. We both work from home, which makes for an interesting dynamic and is filled with unique challenges.
Who is your favorite woman in history?:
Up until rather recently I haven’t strongly felt my gender. That is to say, I wasn’t acutely aware that I was a woman following in the footsteps of the women that fought so hard for me to have the opportunities that I have today. It was part ignorance and part lack of exposure. Today, I admire many women, but not necessarily historical figures. There’s currently a handful of female political figures that I admire greatly.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when it comes to women and the motorcycle "scene" ?:
That they use motorcycles as a prop. I think this comes from a long history of women being used as marketing objects to sell things like cars. There’s an assumption that women don’t know anything about the mechanics of their bike, and that they seldom actually put down miles. These things are decidedly untrue. The majority of the women riders I know ride often and work on their bikes, and they’re not in it for the Instagram pictures.
If you could give one piece of advice to a girl who is afraid of the "stigma", what would it be?:
Be true to who you are on the bike. Honour your boundaries and take things at your own pace. You’re in it for yourself and no one else, tap into what you enjoy about riding and purge the rest. Any shit that you might get all comes from pure insecurity, largely on the part of the men in the community. Let them sort that out for themselves and focus on the supportive people in your life. And seek out other women riders! There’s nothing more empowering than riding with a girl gang.