• Pink

Kerri Ankenman

I have 5 kids under the age of 9 and ride motorcycles for fun. Those two facts seem to be the most shocking things about me based on the reactions I inevitably get from people when they find out. Especially if they find out both at the same time.

“How do you have time for motorcycles with 5 kids?”

I make time for motorcycles because it makes me a better mom, a better wife, a better friend.

I first got my motorcycle license when my oldest was a little over one. I thought it would be something fun my husband, Eric, and I could do together. We took the motorcycle safety course, were given an old Honda Nighthawk 750, and worked to get it fixed up. The problem was, I didn’t have the confidence yet for that bike, dropped it on the corner of our street and felt like I was done with motorcycles.

And, I was until about 2 months before our 5th child was born in 2017. Suddenly, I felt like God was telling me He made me for adventure, and I wasn’t living it. So, about a week after my 5th was born, I got back on a motorcycle. This time I started with a small (250cc) street bike much better suited for my confidence level. But I very quickly outgrew that bike…in about three weeks.

Over the course of the last two years, I’ve moved from street riding into dual sport and adventure riding. What started as a “fleet” of one Yamaha V-Star 250 is now his and hers BMW GS’s (Eric has an 1100 and I have a 650), a Honda CRF 230L (looking to add a dual sport for Eric as I’ve now introduced him to my love of off-road riding), and a Honda 50 that our kids ride (let’s be honest, we adults love to tool around on the 50 as well). My March-October is booked with multiple weekend riding trips (or at least day trips) each month, and I’m constantly looking for more excuses to get out and ride. Wayne National Forest, Red River Gorge, Tellico Plains, and the Hatfield McCoy Trail system are constantly calling my name to get out there and keep getting better at dual sport riding.

Whether it’s riding at 80 down the highway or buzzing through the trails on my 230, I love everything about motorcycles. There’s so much freedom to be found. My husband tells me he’s never seen me so alive and full of joy as he has while we’re out riding together. Friends I have had for years say they love seeing my wild and adventurous side come back out after being put on the shelf for 8 years while I had little kids. We’re already teaching our kids the love of this sport and look forward to the countless family adventures we’ll have in the future (going to need a lot more bikes though!).

While I’m thankful for the adventure of the riding, I’ve also built so many new friendships with folks all across the country as I sit around campfires at rallies. Some of the friendships I treasure the most I found because we share a love for motorcycles. I’m thankful for all the help and training I’ve been given by more experienced riders, male and female, and for the camaraderie I’ve found. The folks I’ve gotten to know are genuine and have some incredible stories to tell. We take care of each other.

There’s freedom, adventure, and friendships to be found in the motorcycle community, whether that’s on the street or in the dirt. I hope to meet you in September!