Name: Liz Steblay
Age: Holding at 38
Home: San Francisco, California
Occupation: Founder & CEO, ProKo Consulting
My earliest motorcycle memory is as a 6-year-old girl, riding around the block with my dad on his Husqvarna. I’d sit between him and the tank, wearing his helmet that made me look more like a miniature astronaut than a motorcyclist.
Flash forward a few decades. Recently divorced from a risk-averse husband, I dated a guy with a V-Star 1100. I hadn’t been on a bike in decades, but I was immediately hooked. When I stopped dating him, I signed up for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course. A week later I had my motorcycle license.
If I had any common sense I would have bought a small, used Honda as my first bike, but instead I let two Ducati-owning friends talk me into a shiny new Multistrada 620. “It’s the only bike you’ll ever need,” one of them said. And of course he was right. The only problem was that I was a novice rider. The second day I had the bike I dropped it when I stalled the engine leaving a stop. The bike was already tilted to turn, and even though I put my foot down there was no way I could hold up 420 pounds. We both went down as if in slow-mo. There was hardly any damage to the bike, but I had broken a couple of ribs!
Another six weeks passed before I could ride again as I waited for my ribs to heal. For at least two years after that I was overly cautious, riding more like a grandmother than a “Ducatista.” Living in San Francisco, I had to mentally plan my routes to avoid any seriously big hills, and for years I was afraid to split the lanes on an off-ramp.
My bike and I have been together nearly seven years now, and she’s a joy to ride, whether it’s down Highway 1 with views of the Pacific, or for a road trip on the twisty roads of the Sierra foothills. Unfortunately, my dad passed away 15 years ago, but I’m sure he’d be smiling if he could see his little girl now.