The Motorcycle Diaries: Chapter One “The First Ride”

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The  Motorcycle Diaries

-A Series Of Personal Stories-

In case you are new here, I'm Ryan.  
A fashion addict with a deep love for motorcycles, race cars, and adrenaline.
The motorcycle diaries is a collection of short stories from some of the adventures in my life, From crashes, to races each ones a bit of a wild ride.
So grab your coffee, sit down, and stay a while.
I'm gonna tell you a little story about a girl and her motorcycle.
girl on a motorcycle

Chapter one: 

an unimaginable first ride 

It started way back on the American Idol tour bus. They had asked us Top 10 to go city to city, singing for fans at sold-out arenas across the nation.
I remember sitting on my bunk bed looking out the tour bus window. Just off the freeway, I could see a massive Harley Davidson dealership.
I thought Harley Davidson motorcycles were the most incredible thing on the planet back then. I remember saying, "someday I'm gonna work with Harley Davidson; I just know it."
girl with helmet at motorcycle
Fast forward to a few years later....

I was dating a guy who had a Harley Davidson, and I would ride on the back. We would take Sunday rides thru the Hollywood hills using Mulholland canyon, then drive up the coast to the beach to watch the sunset.
To this day, those are some of my favorite California motorcycle memories.
I remember always telling him that I wanted to learn to ride so badly and that I wanted to have my own bike someday.But every time I brought it up, he would push me away from the idea. He would say It wasn't wise for me to ride and that it was best I just ride with him on the back.

Let's just say I outgrew his limiting opinions fast, and i dumped him.
girl in scarf on black motorcycle
ryan starr with motorcycle and helmet
girl with scarf

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The same week we broke up; fate stepped in, and my agent called about an audition for a Harley Davidson commercial!
I told her I didn't know how to ride a motorcycle, but she insisted I go anyways. 
So, I showed up, and the director took one look at me in my black leather pants, knee-high boots, and crop top vintage shirt and booked me right on the spot.
She then asked to see me ride a little outside, to which I replied, "I don't know how to ride."

She told me, "If you can learn how to ride and get your motorcycle license before the shoot starts next week, you've got the gig."
ryan starr on bike

I didn't know what to do, but I remembered that day on the tour bus saying, "I will work for Harley Davidson someday." I knew right then this was the universe working its magic."

So I rushed home, found an online course, and signed up for that weekend. The course was on Saturday and Sunday, and the shoot started on Tuesday.

It started at 8 am and took place in a massive parking lot. We never went above 15 mph and stayed in the parking lot the entire time.

Cones were laid out, and the bikes we rode were tiny with no real power.

They were just to serve the purpose of safely showing you how to ride and change gears.

Needless to say, I passed the riding part, then aced the written test, and I had my license to ride a motorcycle in under a week.

helmet and girl on motorcycle

Shockingly, it never occurred to me that the first time I would actually ride a proper motorcycle would be on the set of a Harley Davidson commercial shoot. 

Also, in front of an entire film crew and on camera!

Looking back, I still can't believe I showed up to set that day.

That experience might have been scarier than performing live in front of 36 million viewers on America idol; hmm, it's a toss-up.

the motorcycle diaries: chapter 1
But I arrived and met the other actors I would be riding with. All of whom had previous riding experience, which terrified me even more.
Here I was, the leader of this commercial, riding the main bike they were advertising in this shot. 
But I didn't even know where the start button was on a Harley. I had never driven a Harley.
What had I gotten myself into?
Overwhelmed with anxiety about how to start my bike, I finally caved down and told the guy who was meant to ride behind me that it was my first real ride, ever.
the motorcycle diaries: chapter 1
He was very kind, explained the bike a little, and told me it would be ok because we weren't going above thirty miles per hour.
I asked why we would be going so slow, and he pointed to this giant camera meant to ride alongside me and film me very close up as I rode.
So not only was this my first ride, but I would have a massive camera a few feet from my face while going thirty miles per hour on a busy canyon road. Talk about pressure.
the motorcycle diaries: chapter 1
Well, we set off for the first shot with me leading the pack down a twisty canyon road, camera in my face and wind in my hair.
It all happened so fast, and let's just say I didn't die, and the director got the shot.

We filmed from dawn till dusk for three days straight, and by the end of the shoot, I had ridden about ten different Harleys and felt like a seasoned rider.
To top it off, I made some cool new biker friends on the shoot, and I loved the director.
She was a fellow female rider and so fun to work with.
ryan starr on harley davidson motorcycle

shop my helmet

After that shoot, I was head over heels for motorcycle riding. I ended up going on to work with Harley Davidson on several campaigns.
All the while, I was saving up every dollar I made working with Harley and used that money to buy my first Harley Davidson. A 1200cc Nightster brand new and Paid in full with cash.

Isn't life funny how it comes full circle sometimes? And to think, had I listened to my ex-boyfriend all those years ago, I would have missed out on a lifelong love of riding, amazing friendships, and adventures.
beautiful women on motorcycle
Hope this inspires you to follow the road you want, not the road someone else thinks you should. 
We only get one wild ride here on earth, so choose for yourself what you're gonna do with it while you have it.
Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed this and if you have ever had a wild ride, I'd love to hear it. 

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to sign up for the newsletter so you don't miss the next chapter of "The motorcycle diaries."

the motorcycle diaries - chapter 1
By Ryan Starr