Please introduce yourself. Shekelia Bussey, I am an MSF nationally certified motorcycle instructor and my goal is to own my own training facility.
Describe your path to how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.
I learned to ride in 2007. My then-boyfriend HAD a motorcycle with really loud pipes and I thought that sound was badass. I wanted to be a part of the badassery. His initial thoughts were I should be a backpack and ride 2 up with him. I’m too much of a control freak for that. He finally gave in to my constant nagging for my own motorcycle and bought me a 2001 ZX7.
Once I got the bike, I assumed since he’d been riding well over 30 years he’d teach me. WRONG! He signed me up for the Basic Rider Course. I reluctantly went and was horrible. I thought I could drive a stick shift so well but couldn’t operate the gears on a motorcycle with the same precision. Somehow, I passed the class!
On my very 1st day on the street I over throttled and by inches missed running into a car and the median at an intersection. Yet, I wasn’t deterred. I stayed with it and kept going. It took me 3 years before I was confident enough to get on the freeway. I never went more than 30 or 40 miles from home. I also waited on him or others to ride and that within itself is a tragedy. I went from the Kawasaki Ninja ZX7 to a Honda CBR 600 and that bike is when I fell in love with riding. I rode the 600 across the entire east coast from 2014-2015 and it’s how I became a Mileage Bully. I currently ride a Hayabusa.
What has been your best experience while riding?
One of my best experiences was the last cross country tour I did in May 2020. I experienced state to state handoffs from the motorcycle community. As I entered new states, riders met me and rode hundreds of miles with me through their state. The show of love and respect will forever be in my spirit.
And the worst? Or not so good?
The worst experience is coming down a mountain at 3 pm in South Dakota near Mt. Rushmore in 2019 in heavy rain and fog. My face shield fogged up and I couldn’t see and there was nowhere to pull over to regain my composure. I remember tasting the saltiness of my tears mixed in with the rain and praying my signal still worked in case I ran off the side of the mountain somewhere I’d be found. Needless to say, I did make it down the mountain in one piece. My nerves shot to pieces but it was an experience of resilience and sheer determination to make it.
Can you relate a good story from your motorcycling experiences?
My experience traveling across the country opened my eyes and the eyes of people following my journey that the media portrays a racist society. Yet this isn’t the pulse of America. I was greeted and welcomed by people from all walks of life. All ethnicities in every state I arrived. They didn’t care that I was black, there wasn’t a single hard look or conversation that didn’t end with good wishes. If you want to know how America is. You have to experience it for yourself.
If you could change anything about the world of motorcycling today, what would it be?
I’d like to see more women controlling their own throttles.
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into motorcycling?
Yes, earn your respect on the slab. Always ride your own ride and remember riding isn’t a competition.
If you could go on a ride with any of your motorcycling heroes – living or dead – who would they be?
If you could teleport to any other place and time in history and ride your bike, where and when would that be?
Woodstock 1969 where people were just free to be.
What’s your dream bike? If you could design your dream motorcycle, what would it look, sound and feel like?
I’m riding my dream bike – The Suzuki Hayabusa.
What is your favorite Sunday ride to do when you’re back home?
I love riding to the Shenandoah Valley in Northern VA. The skyline is beautiful and the atmosphere is magical riding through the mountains.
What was the last great book you read?
Just Help Me Get Through The Month by Dr. Machell Dailey.
Any good music you have discovered of late?
PJ Morton – This guy’s music is incredible.
The last great meal/food/cuisine you had?
Homemade Lasagna made by yours truly.
Wrapping up:What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
The most important thing I want people to remember about me is I ride my motorcycle on my terms. I want women to understand we can do great things solo and everything you need is already inside of you to accomplish anything you set your mind to. I want people to know I dream in COLOR.
Any thoughts about Black Girls Ride Magazine?
I think BGR is setting the stage for women across the country to be empowered to #RiiiideyoShiiiiiit.