Maya Cohen & her motorcycle

I started riding later in life; it was a “midlife” thing—not so much a crisis, but it was something on my list of things I wanted to try.

About 14 years ago, a friend encouraged me to write a list of things that I wanted to do. I did not have to love that thing, but I should be curious and challenge myself. So I made a list and the last item on the list was “ride a scooter.”

Maya Cohen with her BMW bike riding around her Cape Elizabeth neighborhood. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

That scooter turned into a motorcycle, and with the same curiosity of the original list, I decided to try adventure riding.

Adventure riding is taking your big motorcycle onto the road less traveled, where you challenge your body, mind and senses. The air smells different when you ride off-road. You feel the dirt, rocks and gravel swishing beneath you. You have to be relaxed and be in control.

My husband and I traveled to California to learn and train to ride off-road with adventure bikes at RawHyde BMW off-road training school. We learned to fall, to hill climb, to ride through sand. We learned how to pick up those big bikes and we learned that if we fall, we get back up.

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Our two days of training was put to work with two days of riding in the Mojave desert. The air smelled different and the views were breathtaking. Recently, we rode through Vermont on some of the state’s dirt roads—farm lands, horses, forest…life at a slower pace.

I ride because I love embracing life and being curious about the world I live in. And I love seeing life through a different lens.

Maya Cohen lives in Cape Elizabeth and loves motorcycle riding, boating and travel.

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