Edith's story starts with taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) class. This class would ultimately be the cornerstone of experiencing some of the greatest adventures of her life. Edith shares her story from first ride which led to finding her dreambike (a beautiful Triumph Bonneville), experiencing Babes Ride Out in Joshua Tree, making a trip back to her home coast for Babes Ride Out East Coast, and taking adventurous trips down to Mexico all while making best friends in the process.
Name Edith (Edy) Levin @edithlevin
Location , San Diego, CA, formerly New York NY
How long have you been riding motorcycles?
My motorcycle journey started in the Fall of 2012 when my boyfriend and I took the MSF Basic Riders Course (psst - do it!) while we were still living in NYC. We bought a troubled Honda Rebel 250 and that stint lasted a few months for me before rapidly grounding to a halt. When you’re a beginner rider you quickly realize that the center of New York City is not where you want to make all of your rookie mistakes.
My journey picked back up after we moved to San Diego, and I’ve been riding out here for almost two years. One of the things that has gotten me back on the bike (besides the perfect weather) has been following the journeys of friends like @virninja & @starlasaz, and then meeting @cylinderella. It felt like if these ladies can do this - I can get myself back up, and face my fears.
Why do you ride motorcycles?
A myriad of reasons. At the top of that list would probably be nature. You hardly ever feel as exposed and connected to it as you do while speeding though the mountains, deserts, etc.
I love how no two rides are ever the same. There are so many factors that all come together every time you get on the bike, you really never know what to expect and I love that. Your frame of mind, your route, your company, your music, the road/weather conditions, your gear … it’s all just puzzle pieces to a choose-your-own adventure.
Some days you suddenly get the urge to go 30mph above speed limit around tight curves blasting doom metal… other times you feel like falling back in your group formation and just simply enjoy the view. Some days you aim to actively work on improving your technical skills, and some days you’re as close to being on autopilot as riding allows. I learn something new about myself every single time I’m out there.
Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past.
My list is quite simple - started on a 1986 Honda Rebel 250, and currently smitten with my 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100.
What first attracted you to Triumph?
Unlike many of the folks that surround me in the motorcycle community, I did not grow up with motorcycles. In NYC no one I knew rode and I was not exposed to them until probably 2011 when my boyfriend started taking an interest. From the very start, Triumphs caught my eye. Coming at it from a purely aesthetic angle (being a designer and all) I kept finding myself swooning over older, cafe racer style bikes. I never felt any gravitational pull towards Harleys, having grown up outside of the US, so when I began to consider buying my first real, big girl bike the new Triumph classics felt like a perfect match. I wanted a newer bike, that came with all the benefits that modern technology offers, but one that still had that old school look.
Nowadays any time I am out, there will always be an older gentleman that will come up to me and take a guess that my bike is from the 60s (faux carbs and all). They will all then inevitably launch into some story about ripping around on their own Bonnie when they were younger. I love these interactions. They make me feel like I’m part of something bigger, and a continuation to a larger story that is unfolding.
How did you know it was the bike for you?
I quickly narrowed down to the Bonneville based on aesthetics alone, but having never ridden one, it was sorta a toss up. When I finally saved up and started seriously looking for a newer model to purchase, one came up on Craigslist with only 600 miles on it, in a beautiful white & gold limited edition color. It was love at first sight. I was too scared to ride it home, and having only been on a 250cc bike prior, it was a lot to adapt to. I also quickly learned that it was a bit too tall for me. Thankfully we were able to to lower it just enough for me to feel fully stable, while also not bottoming it out.
Once it was customized a bit more to my liking it really proved to be the perfect bike for me. Having now ridden other styles of bikes I can say with assurance that I would choose no other. I prefer the stance and being a bit higher up, I feel like I have the most amount of control and maneuverability. Riding is not a passive activity for me and the Bonneville keeps me comfortable while also alert. And it looks damn fine too.
Tell us what it is like to ride?
It’s empowerment. It’s joy, fear, freedom, elation, anxiety. It’s, as they say… “all the feels”.
What has been your favorite adventure you have taken on your Triumph Bonneville?
My favorite adventure would probably have to be Biltwell's El Diablo Run last year. There were just so many different factors that came into play on that trip that ended up making it very memorable for me. Some challenging roads, riding in the largest group I’ve ever ridden in, strapping a ton of shit to my bike (sans sissy bar or saddle bags), hitting scariest winds I’ve ever felt on the way back… there was a lot there!
Aside from that, I have to say that I am incredibly fortunate to now be in Southern California where we can ride year round. I end up going on various trips quite often. We have our crew here and everyone is always up for a ride.
I love riding with my fiance (@acegoulet), it feels very intimate when it’s just the two of us.
I also love riding with my ladies (@cyliderella, @unicornfancy, @ickystacey, @quiteacoyote). They have taught me and challenged me so much. I attribute my rapid growth into being a good rider largely to their mentorship. Those girls go hard and make me push myself harder than I ever would. They also ride smart, which has taught me discipline on the road as well. Riding in a woman pack is the most empowering feeling you can imagine.
Do you have any fun road trips planned?
The next big one would have to be Babes Ride Out East Coast 3. Sadly my baby won’t be coming with me, but a good friend is letting me borrow his Sportster second year in a row, and I cannot wait to ride with all my favorite east coast babes!
Tell us about your experience at Babes Ride Out & Babes Ride Out East Coast:
It’s hard to put all the emotions that come to mind when I think about this community into cohesive words.
I’ve witnessed the movement emerge from the sidelines for the first few years, being on the East Coast and only beginning my moto journey… the first year I actually got to attend (BRO4) was so nerve-racking and intimidating. I knew only a handful of the ladies from other events. I decided to volunteer and ended up working the event and also slinging raffle tickets for Moto F.A.M. Through volunteering I was exposed to a lot more people that I would have otherwise had the ability to approach. That would be my piece of advice to any newcomers - volunteer!
The prospect of being surrounded by so many women felt kinda daunting, I have never had many female friends, and I was dreading any notion of competition. Only a few hours into the four day event it became evident that I had been grossly mistaken in my assumptions. BRO brings together women from ALL walks of life. It’s not just all models you see posing nude on their choppers (nothing wrong with that!)… it’s women of all ages, backgrounds, body types, riding styles. There are few chips on shoulders. It’s very much a supportive, loving community. You hear that, but it’s hard to really believe it until you’re actually there.
Flying back out east to attend Babes East Coast was very special to me, and felt like coming around full circle in my moto journey. I finally got to ride on my turf the way that I have always dreamt of, and experience all the beautiful sights that I’ve always only heard of from folks attending events like Gypsy Run, Strange Days, etc. I also finally got to meet in person and ride with a bunch of ladies that I’ve only known about by proxy for many years. It felt like a real milestone and accomplishment to be there. I borrowed a bike and rode up solo, it was quite powerful and emotional.
Both events are all about actually riding too, which I love. They provide maps & activity suggestions, and folks split off on their own adventure for the day. In the evening everyone comes back together, shares stories and gets loose. It’s a surreal feeling to be surrounded exclusively by women for all four days. You forget until you come out of it and encounter the first man and question the necessity of his existence =)
What does Triumph’s motto “For the Ride” mean to you?
The emphasis of that slogan to me is on “The Ride”. It’s the vision of that perfect ride on that perfect day, when it’s just warm enough, low winds, long open windy roads, endless skies. Triumph is the perfect match to that vision. Their bikes are versatile, comfortable, beautiful and created for that “Ride”.