Category Archives: Moto Mamas Blog

Riding with your child

I promote enjoying your favorite horse-powered toy together with your child of any age. I did and I still do.

When my son Lukas was too young to ride by himself, he rode in-front or behind me on my snowmobile, motorcycle or ATV. I think that gave him a much better understanding of what it takes to ride safely and how to approach various obstacles.

Today, at age 12, Lukas is an awesome little rider with great throttle control and the ability to plan ahead no matter what vehicle he’s on.

My number 1 goal when riding with my son is and has always been his safety. 

Lukas is getting suited up for riding at age 3.
Lukas is getting suited up for riding at age 3.

Rule one: Padding, padding and more padding. A child that doesn’t get hurt when falling over will learn to enjoy his ride quicker. Lukas was wearing full motocross gear (head to toes) when we taught him how to ride a bicycle for the first time… Maybe it was overkill, but it didn’t bother him (or me) when he fell so he got up and tried again. And got really good at it. Same with the motocross bike that he got on his third birthday…

Rule two: Understand that you have a precious life in your hands so ride defensive and don’t push your limits. Understand that things can go wrong, so make sure they don’t go really wrong. Check the weather, bring snacks, food and water, carry a SPOT GPS transmitter, tell other riders to give you extra room. Be a Mama-bear. And never ride alone (without other adults).

Make sure you don’t do this with a child in-front of you. I didn’t have Lukas with me when this happened.
Make sure you don’t do this with a child in-front of you. I didn’t have Lukas with me when this happened.

And, my last rule: Remember you have a child when you’re out having fun without him or her! You need to come back home in one piece to be there for them!

How it all started

When I was 25 years old, I decided I finally was mature enough to ride a motorcycle and stay alive.

I signed up for riding lessons. My instructor was this crazy Danish guy — Birger — the most passionate motorcyclist I’d ever met. His mission was to transfer his passion to each of his students. And I think he did pretty well as we all spent every spare moment cruising the beautiful Swedish country-side, eager to take every opportunity to learn all aspects of riding.

One day Birger took us student drivers to a motor stadion. It had a 2.5-mile long asphalt track with sweeping turns and long straight-aways. The purpose was to get us comfortable on our bikes without the distraction of traffic. Here, we could go at our own speed and practice shifting and braking without risk getting hit or be in anyone’s way.


After a couple of hours of doing laps around the track, I wastotally hooked.

Screw street-riding, I wanted to race!


My road-racing “career”

After getting my motorcycle license, I immediately got a road-racing license and started racing that very same summer. In Sweden, you only ride motorcycles in the summer as it rains or snows too much during the fall, winter and spring — it actually rains too much during the summer too, but at least it isn’t crazy cold…

I think the stuff we learned in order to qualify for our racing licenses was skills that have stayed with me and kept me safe ever since. Everyone who learns to ride a motorcycle should have a mandatory track-day and learn to handle their motorcycle under various conditions and speeds without risking (anyone else’s) life and limb. The freeway is not the place to realize you don’t know what to do!

I loved being the minority!
I loved being the minority!

When I started racing in 1987, there were about 300 men and 5 women racers. That year was the first year there were enough ladies to start our own “Ladies’ Cup.” But the Ladies’ Cup was quickly renamed the “half-time show” by the media because we were all so damned polite to each other, drove carefully and pretty slow — no fun to watch OR race. Since we all felt that it got pretty embarrassing we instead decided we better just figured out how to beat the men at their own game. We wanted some action, and the men provided the action for sure.

Me and my Yahama RD 350
Me and my Yahama RD 350

I rode a bullet-proof bone stock 1980 Yamaha RD 350. I had purchased it from another racer who was ready for bigger and better things. The bike had already been raced (and sufficiently crashed) for six seasons when I bought it. I figured it would know its way around the tracks…

Glam-shot of me of my chief mechanic, Christer
Glam-shot of me of my chief mechanic, Christer

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “I’d rather crash than have a girl beat me!” Hearing that made me want to win even more, but on the other hand… I knew I was racing against stupid young testosterone that didn’t care if he took me out in the process of getting ahead of me — a 30-year old lady (he he). Dangerous. So I just had to be faster and smarter instead!

As a racer, I did pretty good! A couple of years after starting my racing “career” I was the fastest rookie of the year in the 400 cc class (2-stroke). Mainly racing men now since the other ladies were dropping out like flies. By the time 1990 came around, I was the only female racer left, racing about 30-40 guys in 125 cc stock, 400 cc stock as well as the new stock class I helped start, Suzuki RGV 250 Cup.

One lucky girl — I got sponsored

While my racing career was “hot,” I was lucky enough to attract some great sponsors. Nobody really cared about my racing results — which kind of upset me as I was pretty good! — they wanted to piggy-back on the exposure I got because the media loved the fact I was a female in a male dominated sport. The term “On Equal Terms at 150 mph” was frequently used in advertising featuring me and my bike.

Q8 Sponsor advertisement.
Q8 Sponsor advertisement.

For five years, I was sponsored by Q8 (Kuwait Petroleum) which back then was one of the four major petroleum companies in Scandinavia. I had free gas for all my vehicles including my car year round for years! That was a huge deal in a place like Sweden where the gas runs about $18/gallon.

Then Toyota of Sweden wanted a piece of the action as well and set me up with a customized Toyota Previa van. All lettered up and set up so I could transport my racing bikes inside it. Pretty sweet, if I may say so. And good on gas.

I still have the Kamasa tool sets that I was sponsored with. My man has an issue with keeping them in their respective boxes in the garage, but last time I checked, most bits and sockets were still there. I can’t believe I managed to bring all that stuff with me when I left Sweden! I’m still bummed I couldn’t bring my compressor though (would have been a 110/220 volt issue).

“Sweden’s Fastest female (on two wheels)”

I’m on the bike with #1. Getting ready to attack…
I’m on the bike with #1. Getting ready to attack…

As the only female in a very male-dominated sport, the media loved me. The fact that I beat most of the guys made it that much more interesting I guess.

In 1990-93 I was in the media what felt like all the time. I was dubbed “Sweden’s Fastest Female (on Two Wheels)” and everyone wanted a piece of me — I was on talk-shows, news-shows, did interviews with radio and all major newspapers (which means about 2 radio channels and 3 papers in Sweden), as well as a couple specialty magazines and other publications. My USP (unique selling point) was apparently that I was blonde (Swedish, duh!), wore dresses and had long red nails.

I was invited to co-host a show called “The Guys in the Garage” — which was a great group of some famous bikers, motor-profiles, a comedian and a well-known mechanic and myself discussing motorcycles and riders. (I was looking at a video from that taping the other day — holy crap, my hair was huge!!!)

In 1994, EuroSport hired me to do live commenting for the Road Racing World Championship Moto GP. I soon learned that “Live” didn’t mean that we got to go to the GP races we were covering. Instead, it meant getting up at 2 am and trudge through sleet and rain to a tiny little studio in downtown Stockholm. There, we had to sit for 3-4 hours straight staring at two TV screens showing the race from some exotic country far, far away.


Besides the fact that it wasn’t as glamorous as I expected, I really sucked at being a commentator. I didn’t know much about the racers, the bikes or the locations and felt pretty silly for even being there. I had no idea why they wanted me for the job, but I started to realize that being a girl only gets you so far, being good at something takes dedication no matter who you are… So I quit that real fast. But not fast enough to not get some ridicule from my fellow racers. Oh well, I survived that too.