Jane Michael Ekanem
What is your best motorcycling achievement? Sneaking my bike out to ride alone for the first time. I couldn’t wait for my instructor because I was to excited and eager. I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story… I dropped my bike on the street when I heard the sound of a horn.
What is the last great ride you did that made you happy? The last great ride I did was riding on 3rd Mainland Bridge, a popular bridge in Lagos, Nigeria. Someone realized I was a lady and looked excited. I gave them a thumbs up with both my hands as I was riding.
What’s next on your bucket list when it comes to riding? When it comes to riding, I’m all about the swag. I ride for fun and leisure but I enjoy the ride more when I feel my kit is well paired. So on my bucket list when it comes to riding is to get a Roof helmet.
Tell us a good story from your riding years. Besides being a rider, I am also a celebrity fashion stylist. We usually have our peak and off-peak periods in the entertainment industry. During my peak period, I try to stay away from riding as much as I can because I am usually not physically and mentally fit due to work related stress.
This one fateful day, a couple of riders buzzed me to go on a ride with them. I knew I shouldn’t go not only because I didn’t feel fit but because they were people I had never ridden with. I knew that when you ride with people you’ve never ridden with, your riding style changes. Either you are too careful or you ride beyond your limit because you have to keep up. At the time, I only had little over a year of riding experience.
When I was asked to go join them on their ride, I thought to myself – “If I say I’m not fit, I may be perceived as being antisocial”. So I kitted up and rode my Kawasaki Ninja 650 to meet them at Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos.
When I got there, I met a few waiting riders. In about an hour, we were ready to hit the road. I was the only woman in the group.
When we were ready to start, I had to ask, “Please who is the road captain and what is the formation?” They just laughed and said “No road captain, no formation.” I had learned in my riding school that when riding with a group of people, there should be a formation to help avoid accidents and a road captain to be in charge of the entire group. This already didn’t look good but I didn’t want to back out.
We hit the road and in a few seconds I forgot the rule of “ride your ride”. I rode and struggled to catch up with these men who rode bigger and faster bikes, and probably had more riding experience than I did. Before I knew what was happening, I was behind everyone and at the fourth roundabout of Lekki, I collided with a car.
I was thrown off the bike and somersaulted. I obviously couldn’t continue the ride because my knee was badly hurt and my bike was damaged. The guy who hit me got out of his car, insulted me, got back in and drove off, even though I was lying on the ground helpless. A good samaritan who saw me came to help me and kept on asking me – “I saw you with a group of people. Where are they? What’s their phone number?” He was surprised by my “I don’t know.” response. He collected my phone and called some of my biker friends. He also took me to the hospital and waited until my friends showed up.
The people I was riding with realized I wasn’t with them after they had gotten to their destination! Epic! Isn’t it?
I learned that day to always ride with people I knew who had similar riding styles. I also learned to always ride my own ride.