Queen Bees, Chapter Six: Learning to Get Up After the Fall

I have a very unique perspective of what it means to “fall” as a motorcyclist.  I went through a literal beating and had to make the choice to get up and keep fighting… for my life. The damage to my body was equal to the emotional and mental suffering, and the battle to heal both inside and out was a long and hard one. Not everyone will have an experience like that (I sure as hell hope not) but that doesn’t mean you haven’t had your own mountain to climb. Every one of you is a survivor of your own life.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the news that the world had lost an amazing talent and spirit. Marco Simoncelli, MotoGP 250cc World Champion in 2008, was killed in a horrific crash during a race in Malaysia.  As I watched the race, which had been recorded on the DVR from the night before, my heart was pounding from the knowledge of what was to come. When the crash happened, I felt helpless and distraught. I wanted to jump through my TV and help him, hug his father, comfort his fellow racers… anything.  There was nothing I could do, nothing anyone could do.  I cried like a baby for someone I had never met but felt such a connection with. We shared a love for two-wheeled worship and nothing could take that away.

I realize now that shared passion is what drives all of us riders to treat each other like family rather than strangers. We might not like the same style of bike or have the same cruising speed of choice.  We might not wear the same amount of gear or ride with the same kinds of people.  I might never stop in at your favorite watering hole, and you might think my strict riding rituals are ridiculous. Regardless of all of these factors, we will still hold each other up when spirits are down, and we will still have each others backs when the stakes are high. Because we all love and fight for the same wind, the same road, the same sun, the same throttle twist and the same freedom.

Every time we ride, we risk our lives…  that’s a fact we have all “accepted” as riders.  Of course we do not think it will ever happen to us until it does.  In this case, it happened to someone that the world loved as the world watched. The most important thing I take away from this is that, as riders, we all took a hit yesterday, but together we will get back up. We will forge ahead and continue on, just as Marco had done after every other crash he had ever been involved in. He was a warrior and he fought for what he loved.  In that sense, he will live on inside all of us as the warrior within as we fight for what we love.” – Brittany Morrow

Last week, we talked about your inner strength and how motorcycling can help to unlock your full potential. This week, we want to know how you used that strength to conquer your biggest challenge. Whether your struggle is motorcycle related or not, as a rider, you have the ability to rise up, move on and even prosper.  We look forward to reading your stories of victory in the face of adversity, and how being a motorcyclist helped you overcome whatever it was that knocked you down.

The rows of bikers had tripled at the bottom of the hill since I first arrived, so I decided to head down Oldsmobile and take some pictures of the gorgeous chrome machines people brought out and then head back to camp. Little did I know that a negligent mechanic job was about to put me in the worst pain I’d ever endured. As soon as I made the turn to cruise down the first row of people, a shrilling burning sensation came out of nowhere and engulfed my right foot. I instinctively killed my engine and yanked off my shoe and sock, completely unaware of what had happened. A man ran over and poured his beer on my foot, but the alcohol only worsened my pain. “Your radiator hose popped off,” he said. “All that fluid just went in your shoe…” – Brittny Cleveland

To share your story, send your submission to QueenBeesBook@gmail.com.

Here is a reminder of all the chapters featured in Queen Bees: Women Riders Who Rule the Street, Track and Dirt:

1. Method to the Madness – Why I Ride.
2. Seeking the Missing Piece – How I Discovered Riding.
3. Addiction in the Making – My First Ride.
4. Home is Where the Heart is – My Favorite Place to Ride.
5. More than Just a Bike – How Motorcycling Empowers Me.
6. Survivors, Soldiers, Warriors – Learning to Get Up After the Fall
7. Independent Women – What it Means to Rule
8. True Queen Bees – Women Motorcyclists Who Inspire


One thought on “Queen Bees, Chapter Six: Learning to Get Up After the Fall

  1. I, like you, was overwhelmingly effected by Marco’s death. It’s like the loss of a family member, and in an abstract sense, that is what Marco was. I felt physically sick and my body even began to ache as if I had crashed a motorcycle myself.

    The title “Getting up after the fall” struck a cord in me because that was precisely my thinking after witnessing the crash! I had to get up! It knocked me on my ass! It was devastating to watch such a promising young rider and overall great person, lose his life, but something inside just told me I HAD TO ride!

    Maybe it was a tribute to Marco or, maybe, it was all about me? I don’t know. And although It sounds stupid to the uninitiated, ride I did. I rode some mountain roads to places where I’d previously found peace and although it couldn’t do anything for Marco, it did me — a distant cousin in his motorcycle family.

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