MICHELLE GARDNER

United Kingdom – Lincolnshire

So Tell Me A Bit About Michelle?

When I was 16 I had a dream to own a motorbike. Due to health issues and the usual family stuff, this dream didn’t happen. Fast forward to January 2018 at the grand age of 44, when I took my CBT and to say my life changed is an understatement. Suffering from anxiety and depression, biking has been the best therapy for me and has helped me to make oh so many new friends and meet a couple of celebrities on the way. I can talk about bikes for hours and my photo albums are full of my journeys! 

What Are Your Hobbies?

I live only 5 miles from the famous Cadwell Park and am often there taking photos – photography is another hobby of mine. I have two gorgeous dogs, love travelling, blogging, politics, gardening, fixing things, computers and food. In Lincolnshire we are blessed with many great roads to explore by bike.

Tell Me About Your Biking And Any Achievements?

My first two wheeled adventure was on a 125cc scooter, but soon realised the real fun was on a “proper” bike, so I purchased a Suzuki EN 125, affectionately named Suzi. Between March 2018 and January 2019 I travelled over 15000 miles around the UK, including riding, camping, rallies and raising money for several local charities on rideouts. I even won a prize for turning up to a rally loaded up with my camping gear on my little Suzi, surrounded by Harleys and other cruisers.

My biggest achievement was riding 4 hours in probably the worst weekend of last summer of torrential rain and wind, laden with my camping gear to the border of Wales and then doing the same the following day riding back home. Unfortunately my engine seized on the way home. I not only love riding, but also enjoy fixing bikes, so replacing the engine in the Suzuki was a challenge I loved – dead Thursday afternoon and by Friday lunch, she was back on the road again with a completely refurbished engine.

My eventual aim was to get a big bike and pass my test, so I purchased Zara, a 20 year old Kawasaki ZZR600 and after several attempts due to nerves, I passed my MOD1, then at the beginning of January – just over a year after starting this adventure called motorbiking, I passed my MOD2. Despite it being winter, in the past month, I’ve already clocked up 1500 miles – the last day out around the Yorkshire Dales – a 330 mile trip with a friend in “interesting” weather. Ice on the inside of your visor and unable to see where you are going due to rain and fog is “fun”.

I blog and post on social media with the hashtags #coffeeandcake and #loadsamiles as I believe on every ride, I should eat and drink as well as travel as many miles as I can. Where I can I record my rides on both a Relive app and video via a GoPro.

What Do You Do For A Living?

Workwise, I am the owner of a local IT business, Lincolnshire IT Limited providing web design and computer support. Indeed we are proud to be hosting both the WRWR and pistongirls.com websites. Yes, I’m a techie geek lol.

What Does WRWR Mean To You?

When I first found out about WRWR, my first thought was “Where Do I Sign Up?”, then when Hayley (who has become a friend) appealed for donations, I offered to host the websites and provide tech. support free of charge. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the WRWR and you’ll see me on days 9 and 10 in the UK – more if I can get the time off work. Female riders travelling the world raising the awareness of womens’ motorbiking is just awesome. Indeed it is even more special as the ride is passing my doorstep via my local biker hangout, Willingham Woods, as well as Cadwell, I am really excited and proud to be travelling in such an amazing group of women who will inspire future female riders.

DAY 1 - 2TH FEBRUARY 2019

JOHN O'GROATS - INVERNESS

Meeting location: John O'groats Sign Post

Meet time: 8:00am

Leaving time: 9:00am

Route:  Riding the twists and turns of the Scottish hills through the A99 and A9. Picture perfect views guaranteed along the road!

Challenges: Weather conditions will be cold, potential snow, ice, rain (we are in the UK), be prepared with appropriate bike maintenance prior to the day, clothing and gear! There's a warm brew waiting for us in Inverness ladies!

Ending location: Inverness

Ending time: 17:00pm

RIDE THIS ROUTE