Building a New Life with Motorcycling as a Keystone

For Emily Zebel, a mother of a 9-year-old girl and newly divorced after a 10-year marriage, signing up to learn how to ride a motorcycle was the first actionable, immediate thing she could think of to do. So she signed up for the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy new rider course, which uses the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic RiderCourse curriculum.

Emily recounted her story in an essay posted on Women Riders Now, a web-magazine and online resource for motorcycling news and reviews from a female perspective.

“It had been a curiosity of mine for years, tucked away per my partner’s safety concerns. But now, in the sharpness of winter, I giggle inside my helmet as I trace the lines around the range in each exercise on my Harley-Davidson training bike,” Emily wrote. “I realize I’m not just learning something new now. I have initiated the process of redefining myself and exploring a new identity.”

And after earning her license, she has continued to ride, logging thousands of miles.

“I have been slowly and steadily building a new life for myself, with the motorcycle as an existential, essential keystone to this life,” she continued. “I’ve stood under the awnings of gas stations, waiting out downpours, chewing on chocolate bars and stale coffee, feeling like a queen. And I’ve ridden through grief, through the darkest nights of the soul, untangling the crippling heartache of a loved one’s suicide.”

If you meet Emily, just don’t ask her why she rides motorcycles. The reason? Read her full essay in Women Riders Now to find out