by Maria Mor
She gets on her motorcycle and realizes that the whole world is open to her. It is simply she, her motorcycle, and the surroundings. She feels a moment of pure control while her senses are on a constant overload. Riding is life or death; there are no maybes, only extreme focus and complete domination. As 23-year-old Kristen Lassen describes riding her Solo Iron 883 Harley-Davidson as a type meditation on the road, she expresses that with such freedom comes a reoccurring alertness to defend herself from any danger that might come along.
Riding was not just a simple hobby for Kristen, it was a tradition passed down from prior generations. It all started from her great-grandfather in the 1920s, to her grandfather in Hawaii, and finally her dad who not only has worked on motorcycles for a long time, but is a Harley-Davidson’s mechanic. After getting her motorcycle license at the age of 17 and being the only teenager in her high school to be riding, Kristen embarked on her first summer trip from Florida to South Dakota. A 5,000 mile journey of tackling mental and physical fears, some pretty questionable terrains, and varying environmental conditions, but with her father at her side, she accomplished all obstacles.
“Being on a motorcycle is not at all about being a badass,” Kristen explained but being physically and mentally prepared for anything that comes her way. When it comes down to it, there isn’t a hard piece of metal around her at impact to divert the incoming force. In all reality, it’s all bare skin and bones underneath thicker clothes. She was in North Carolina en route for the Tail of The Dragon when she passed out, went straight on a sharp curve, and an oncoming motorcycle t-boned her. She could only recall her memory of waking up on the concrete floor. Summer 2013 took a drastic turn from riding to being static. Her entire right side was fully cast and yet she managed to stay strong throughout the healing process.
“Her entire right side was fully casted and yet she managed to stay strong throughout the healing process.”
During her moments of stillness within her bed, she taught herself chemistry to prepare for school, HTML coding, and refreshed her Spanish. In those two months, the relationship with her father solidified and she took the time to better herself for the endeavors to come. Doctors were thrilled when hearing that she was not riding, nonetheless; It was clear to Kristen that her accident was not her bike’s fault, but entirely her own. She was dehydrated, unhealthy, and mentally unprepared for such a long and tedious adventure.
Being a strong believer that everything in life happens for a reason, Kristen took her accident as insight into possibly creating a support group where she can transform her lessons into teachings for young and beginning riders to spread safety and awareness among the motorcycle community. Currently, she attends the Harley-Davidson Mechanic School in Central Florida with graduation due in October of 2016. It is evident that her passion for motorcycles and the road did not dissipate after her accident since she recently got back from what she called the “Road Warrior Chronicles”: A trip from Florida to California, all the way up to Missouri and back. Her father surprised her with an Evo (best type of engine in 1999) Ultra Classic Harley that he built on his own.
Riding a motorcycle has always symbolized the growing relationship with her father, but now being a member of the Harley-Davidson’s “Live your Legend Campaign,” she hopes to inspire people to live beyond their set limits and boundaries. As an initiative, she has created a website called “Daughters of The Road” that focuses mainly on young women struggling with their insecurities in a man’s activity or a what society deems as a male job.
“Being a mechanic and riding a motorcycle is something everyone can do” she divulged with the purpose of highlighting a movement forward from the societal boundaries of what a woman should and shouldn’t do. A true inspiration, Kristen hopes to awaken younger girls to feel comfortable in searching for more in life and to never fear to ask for help in order to move beyond those personal barriers into something bigger and greater: Your true essence.
It is without a doubt that Kristen is the epitome of dedication, perseverance, and good change!