They say there is no age to learn something new and upskill yourself. There is no age to find your passion. There is no age to develop an interest in something new. Well, it is indeed true. This is the story of a female rider from Dubai, UAE who is an adventure motorcyclist, bought her first bike at the age of 34, and wants to travel the world on it.
Meet Nora Al Jassasi
She enjoys traveling and discovering the wilderness of all terrains. She also likes to go for camping and has a keen interest in photography and videography. She likes to share her experiences with the world via social media.
Newly Found Love – Motorcycles
Nora hasn’t been a rider since her childhood. In fact, she developed an interest in motorcycles two years ago. She got introduced to a bunch of people through an old childhood friend during the Covid-Quarrantine period and they turned out to be motorcyclists. They asked Nora when she will start riding and the rest is history. Nora never thought that she will be moving around on a motorcycle and going home with it as a woman!
Buying your first motorcycle is indeed very special. Nora’s first set of wheels was a 2022 Honda Africa Twin 1100, the manual transmission variant. She bought it at the age of 34. Although it is an intimidating motorcycle for a beginner, Nora’s idea was to adapt to it from the beginning and not to gradually step up. Adapting took desire, faith, strength, training and a lot of perseverance. She is a proud owner of the Africa Twin and considers it one of her lifetime achievements.
Challenges Faced as a Female Rider
In the beginning, it was hard for her parents to accept it as it felt too dangerous and they thought she might get hurt. Then her neighbors got surprised, yet not in a bad way other than it being new and different.
Nora says that most men support her as a female rider, the less few can be less supportive by underestimating her abilities to perform or manage. When they display any misogynistic behavior that talks louder about themselves than anyone else. She learnt to ignore them and stick with her support group.
Nora believes that your self-confidence is your greatest asset.
Why Adventure Motorcycling
After seeing her friends camping on their adventure bikes with their camp chairs, tents and clothes and whatnot offroad and on-road cross-country plans and action, Nora was sold!
Most Memorable Experience While Riding
Going to Dakar 2023 on her bike! It was her first long trip and her dream to see the Dakar Rally. She was fortunate to be able to do it.
It was quite intense, full of action and extreme riding conditions including rain, mud, wind, potholes, night riding and detours. Spectators thought that they were Dakar riders and kept cheering them on the streets as they rode to the bivouac. Within eight days, they rode all the way up Saudi Eastern Provinces to the Kuwait border, Bahrain and back home.
Motorcycling and its Impact on Life
An extremely positive one! She got to connect with the local and wider reach of the international riding communities that are like-minded, social, chill and outdoorsy! Definitely motorcycling increased her self-confidence, a total sense of self-empowerment into being whoever you set yourself to be, completely unstoppable!
Role Model in Motorcycling Community
Nora says that her role model is more of a mentor and a friend to her and a part of their local riding group. He is an old school passionate experienced rider from back in the day till today, a super bike fanatic. He has increased her confidence and riding skills by taking her out more off-road in the beginning until she became much better. She always reaches out to him on important matters and whatnot.
She is a part of many riding groups in the UAE, between offroaders, MX riders, tour bikers and ladies adventure groups. She thinks they are great bonding-glue platforms for the community into initiating rides, sharing experiences and showing support to each other.
Advice to Female Riders
Go for it! Motorcycling is so much fun and can positively change your life for the better. Go within your comfort zone until you feel better about stepping up or just enjoying a chill ride. Remember you are not alone!
Future Plans and Goals
She wishes to tour the world on a motorcycle. She has already done the GCC and Turkey so far. She is always looking forward to the next adventure and many more to come that can stretch that far and wide!