Stylish, Feminine and
Feminine and Charismatic Woman"
a passion FOR RIDDING MOTORCYCLES...
Khoury was kind enough to sit down with BatoAutoMoto for an
interview. She currently is the host of "Speed", a show on
MTV Lebanon, which she currently spends most of her time
working on. Jinan is famous for being a stylish, feminine,
and charismatic woman who happens to have a passion for
riding motorcycles. This was enough to make us want to learn
Before we talk about girls on bikes, letís hear about
your motorcycle, and why you chose it?
the Kawasaki Ninja 250 R 2008 model , and the reason I chose
it- well itís because I'm a tiny person, and itís the
smallest bike I could find, itís one of the few ones that I
can sit on and be able to reach the ground. I'm into sport
bikes, and I would never ride on a different kind even if I
were given one for free.
become interested in riding motorcycles in the first
just say, that when other girls had little pink bicycles
with baskets on them, I was riding a motorcycleóa Honda QR50
motocross. I started very young. It was my older brotherís
bike and when he outgrew it, I started riding it.
it began when you were about eight, and continued till now?
I rode it
until I outgrew it myself. When I was a teenager I was more
into learning how to drive cars. Then at 17, I rode a Suzuki
GSXR 1100 for a few weeks; and it was a dream come true! I
had to wear high heels to reach the ground.
bike-less after that right up until about a year ago when I
got my Kawasaki, and now we're inseparable.
you know any other women who ride, and do you think it is
rare for women to ride motorbikes in Lebanon?
met six women who ride, and I know there are more - around
10 to 20 maybe. There are women who are interested in
riding, but don't take the initiative to learn. More women
are interested in riding as passengers, so in Lebanon, yes
it is not common to be a woman biker.
do other bikers generally react when they see you on the
definitely shocked, and say anything from "you're kidding
me" "youíre joking, right" ďWOWĒ, to "yeah whatever". One
biker, however, was so intimidated that he didn't even show
a reaction at all, although I could see the shock all over
his face. Almost all the bikers are utterly impressed, some
shower me with questions of how, when, and where, others ask
me to join them in their rides.
non-bikers' reactions on the roads
from all ages, men, women, and children, both males and
females, are surprised. They look out of their car windows;
some keep staring until they lose sight of me. Some are too
surprised to react, others try to communicate with me with a
Ďthumbs upí or a ďyou go girlĒ and some even tell me ďMay
the Virgin Mary bless youĒ. Youíd be surprised how many of
these people are women.
you feel like you are going against gender stereotypes in
any way by being a female biker?
Yes it is
very rare for women, especially in Lebanon, where sometimes
even men avoid telling their parents that they own a
motorcycle. Women here do not ride motorcycles, and there is
a tendency to stereotype those who do ride motorbikes as
tomboys, but look at me, I'm wearing a dress and have
make-up, there is nothing about me that is tom-boyish! The
women bikers that I know are very feminine and some of us
are even mothers.
do you think that eventually the numbers of w omen on the
road will increase?
Definitely. A lot of women are not aware that there are
other female bikers out there, so once we promote this, if
we form a group with the current female riders, definitely
it will increase.
What is your favorite thing about biking?
is my favorite question. The thrill, the passion, the rush;
riding gives you a sensation that nothing and no one else
can provide. It relaxes you, gives you a release- and I ride
in all moods, it helps to sooth you at all times. There are
times when your body needs a ride; every muscle and
every part of your body craves that release. Once you start,
if you are a true biker, you cannot live without a bike.
What is your least favorite thing (road conditions,
traffic,...) and how do you deal with it?
traffic, I get around with it, you know, I try not to ride
during rush hour. As for the road conditions, where do I
begin. Horrible. Outrageous road conditions. You have no
idea what itís like when you're riding really fast, and then
you get a hole in the middle of the road out of nowhere, and
there's a car on your left and a car on your right, and you
have no option but to go through the hole. You cannot ride
in Lebanon without being 100% concentrated on the road.
drivers tend to have more problems with people on the road.
I think with female bikers cars tend to give more way more
often when they realize itís a woman in the bike. In any
case, when riding in Lebanon, you have to be careful of the
road conditions, and the other drivers; itís double. Cars
really disrespect bikers on the road all the time.
deal with these situations? Honestly, I pray. I pray that I
will arrive home safe. Sometimes things happen, like two
cars will be racing and we are twenty bikes on the highway,
and they start racing between us. That's when I start
praying. "Oh god please just let them go." At that point
thatís all you can do.
like to take advantage of this interview to make a point
Lebanon, there are negative ideas about bikers because of
some of the bikers you see on the road who do silly and
dangerous acrobatics: these are definitely not the real
bikers. Real bikers are educated people. I myself have an
MBA! I know doctors, engineers, architects, pharmacists, all
sorts of highly educated bikers with good family
backgrounds. When we are out on the roads, we have codes. We
stay to one side... there is a discipline to the way we
ride. The bikes we own are very expensive, and some have
more than one. To be able to own these luxurious bikes, you
definitely have to be of a certain socioeconomic class to
afford these 20-60,000$ bikes. Most of the bikers in my
group are above 40. They are mature and experienced bikers
who ride almost every Sunday (most with their wives behind
them) to enjoy the scenery and to unwind from the stress
during the week, and ultimately for the fun of it.
Would you describe it as almost being a culture?
It is an
attitude. It is lifestyle. It is who you are, not what you
do. Once you are a biker, you are always a biker. This
explains why people ride up to sixty years old. There is so
much passion in riding that it becomes you and you become
it. This is what I wanted to add.
Now back to how you share this passion for motorbiking with
friends or family members.
father, who started it all, taught my brother when he was
six. When my brother outgrew his motocross I rode it. I
don't remember my brother ever not owning a motorcycle. We
sometimes go on family rides; my mom and my dad drive behind
my brother and I and we ride in front and go on long trips
together. Itís so much fun, itís a family passion that we
friends, I have met quite a few biker friends with whom I
ride almost every Sunday except in winter.
you ever take people for rides?
donít, both for safety reasons and for handling reasons.
What is your favorite driving route?
I love to
go to the Shouf and to Jezzine for so many reasons. The
scenery, the trees, the waterfalls, the serenity, the
combination of all types of roads from highway to narrow
straights and hard curves, also it is sentimental for me
because itís where I took my first group ride.
Are you part of any motorcycle clubs?
I am, I'm part of the Free Riders.
What does that entail?
Riders allow all kinds of bikes, but participants are
admitted quite selectively.
What are some of your other passions or hobbies?
reading. If Iím not riding, or working, I'm reading.
What is one of your favorites?
favorite books are Sophie's World, The Prophet, Who Moved my
Cheese, and a few chapters of The Secret. I'm interested in
everything from Psychology, History, to Philosophy, and
General Knowledge. I'm constantly reading, all sorts of