Maren Walker, 18 years old
I've now been riding for ten years, as I first started out when I was eight. My dad usually rode on the street, but he bought both him and I dirtbikes so we could start riding together.
Starting out so early, I could safely say that's its become a lifelong passion and hobby. It's been so influential in the way I lead my life today, as it's something I can always fall into when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Both dirt and street riding never fail to put a smile on my face or calm my thoughts. It makes me focus on the moment, such as navigating difficult terrain ahead or watching out for traffic on the street. The feeling I get while on a bike is unmatched, and for that I am so thankful to have such a hobby.
I like a mixture, as there's a lot to be said for enjoying the peace and calm of a ride alone, but it's also equally nice to share the journey with others. For a longer duration of a trip, I believe it's really nice to have that group dynamic but within the city, I prefer to go solo and make up the ride as I go.
I currently have two bikes; one is a 2014 Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the other is a 2004 Suzuki DR200. I use the DR for trail riding and 'dirtbike' camping as I call it, where my dad and I go camping and bring along the bikes in the bed of the truck so we can explore the trails around the campsite. And with my Ninja, just this summer I put on about 5000km with a couple of road trips to the mountains. One trip was a four day camping trip that went through BC, up to Jasper and back down to Calgary. I was able to fit all my gear for camping in the saddlebags I had, and it was probably the best bike trip I've had yet. Encountered some of my first Twisties, and was able to tour some gorgeous places I've never been before. I additionally use my ninja to commute when I can, as it's a lot more fun than a car!
Another one of the bike trips I went on was to go to a family reunion down in southern BC. I went by myself on the highway, which was something new to me. The freedom was amazing, and it was so beautiful to ride through the mountains and just enjoy the scenery. I remember on the way back, it was about eight in the morning and I departed from Revelstoke. The air was so crisp, with little to no clouds in the sky and very little cars on the road. I've never felt more content in my life, as it was just this absolutely perfect moment. Any stresses I had simply melted away, and I rode straight through for 4 hours, not once feeling an ache from sitting. Not much happened on that ride, but it's this moment from my first solo highway trip that I'll remember forever.
Looking forward, I aim to travel more on the bike. I'm even considering travelling and renting a bike, touring the countryside on the back of a bike. I additionally hope to try and explore the U.S. with my Ninja, as there is some truly beautiful places there. I'm hoping to also try some track riding in the future, as I'm curious about it and feel it would be a blast. As for adventure riding, I'm hoping to try and get into dirtbikes camping, where I use an Enduro bike and go off the beaten path with my camping gear and explore away from the road.
My Instagram is @marenwalkerr