Catherine David

Catherine is a beautiful soul from Montreal, QC.   She owns a design and communications company that primarily caters to the health and social services sector.  She also co-founded Oneland with her best friend.  Oneland is an online magazine and community that also does occasional events.  Riding motorcycles has given Catherine a lot of self-confidence and the feeling that she can accomplish whatever she wants.  This passion has helped her push her limits and overcome her fears— and for that she’s very proud of herself.  It’s also had an impact on her professional life.  Catherine’s clients find her passion very intriguing.  It’s gotten to the point where their work schedules revolve around her rides.  She even inspired a client to get her licence!  It's also changed how she spends her personal time.  Today, she’s very involved in the moto community through Oneland and writes for the magazine Revolution.  Catherine is also starting a new project: a 10-episode series on women and motorcycles that will air on the Francophone channel Unis TV.  This inspiring woman has been riding for four years, and she isn’t about to hang up her helmet any time soon!   

**I would like to take this opportunity to thank Catherine for her hand in throwing Women of Moto a wicked party at MR250 Bar Saloon during the Montreal stopover!! **

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What inspired you to start riding?

From a young age, I knew deep down that one day I would ride a motorcycle. But it’s a dream I kind of forgot about until I met a guy who was really into motorcycles. On my first ride with him, we stopped at a first service station and I said, “If you like bikes this much, there’s zero chance I’m riding backseat the whole time. I’m going to ride my own bike.” 

Describe how you feel empowered when you ride?

It’s difficult to describe. It’s something you have to experience. It’s a strong feeling of this perfect symbiosis between the road, the elements and yourself. It’s very meditative. When I ride, I feel like I'm in the right place at the right time.

What kind of motorcycle do you ride and why?

I fell in love with the 2007 Harley-Davidson Nightster, which I bought before even getting my motorcycle licence. I love this Harley's size, weight and power. I’m also riding the same bike I had modified over the winter: it has a new engine, a new paint job and other aesthetic mods. What I like about Harleys is the roar of the engine. I find it very sensual.

What is your dream bike?

Hmm, good question. I rode a Dyna this summer, and I liked how comfortable it was. My next bike will probably be something similar. If I have the budget, I'd also go for a dual sport so I can do some off-roading.


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Were you intimidated by the male dominance in the riding community?

No, I think there’s room for everyone. Men in the moto community, at least the ones in Montreal, are very respectful. They’re very happy to see more and more women at events. I come from a family of 5 children and had two older brothers, so I’m comfortable in a guy-heavy atmosphere. Of course, as long as they’re respectful and know their boundaries.

Did you have female friends that rode who helped you get started?

Yes, my sister Marie-Hélène. She rides a Ducati Scrambler. I did my first long ride with her from Papineauville to La Malbaie. It was 1040 km there and back. That distance seemed impossible! But she was patient and went at my pace. That ride was key for me, as I built up a lot of confidence. That was how I started. Three days later, I passed my road test with flying colours!

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How do you feel you have broken stereotypes as a female rider?

I think that, for many people, women who ride project boldness, independence, strength and freedom. Unfortunately, these aren’t always the words we use to describe women.

How do you feel the image of female riders has changed over the past few years?

I think we used to just see women riding with their male partners. Today, women are riding by themselves and exploring more. There’s a whole new generation of women on the road. Younger women who are open to different motorcycle brands have been a breath of fresh air for the moto scene.

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Have you been to any women’s only moto meetups? Which ones? How was your experience?

In 2016, I went to The Backroad Ball (NB), Babes Ride Out East Coast (NY) and Babes Ride Out 4 (CA). This year, I went to the BRO East Coast 2 in June and I’ll be at The Dream Roll (WA) in August. I love these events because they’re unique opportunities to meet strong, vibrant and inspiring women. These events are never boring. You meet people while helping women take their rightful place in a world that has long been exclusively male.


Do you have any women in the moto industry that you are inspired by? Why?

Samantha Radics. I really admire what she and Viktor have done for the community with #TheMotoSocial. I love people who are open, who want to break out of small and exclusive cliques, and who want to make a passion for motorcycles accessible to everyone.

Have you experienced any competitiveness or negativity in the women’s moto community?

Like in many group dynamics, there's unfortunately some competition and negativity. In my case, with Oneland, Revolution magazine, and my upcoming TV series, I’m taking up a lot of space in the moto scene. That may be disruptive for some women, and even for some guys! But I’m okay with that; it’s just human nature. I’m involved because I love it and I enjoy doing it, and I want to stay in that mindset as much as possible. Overall, though, women are very friendly and very supportive. Some people always judge others for their appearance, their bikes, their age or where they hang out, but I tell myself that those people rarely go far in life.

Who is your favorite person(s) to ride with?

I have a few: Charles-Édouard when I want to feel confident, Dana when I want to bond, Roxanne when I feel easy going, Jules when I want to laugh, Alex for the sure bet, and Marie-Hélène when I want to go hard core. But what I love most is riding alone.  

Where do you see the women’s moto movement/culture in Canada heading over the next few years?

I think more and more women will be riding. Looking at current trends, I would dare say that a coast-to-coast Canadian movement is taking shape. I’d also like for us to stop looking to women in the United States, as though they’re the ones who made motorcycles cool. I want us to be proud to be Canadian and feel strong connections despite the distance and language barriers between the provinces. That’s what you’re doing with Women of Moto, and I think that this is very positive for the community.  

Why do you think women’s moto events/groups/projects are becoming so popular?

Because they're intriguing and because they provide a refreshing image of women. In the fairy tales I heard as a child, all the women were so sweet and docile. Could anything be more boring? Riding a motorcycle is a bit like reclaiming a new personality and identity. We like getting together to celebrate our refusal to conform.


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What is your favorite place to ride?

I like riding along the edge of a river or the ocean, like in the Gaspé or California. The smell of salt air, the sun glinting off the water, the horizon... I love it. I also have a favourite road in Mauricie called the “roller coaster.” It runs across La Tuque and has all these small valleys. It gives you the same feeling as being on a roller coaster, with lots of laughs and a lot of fun.

What is your dream moto trip?

My dream would be to go on a months-long trip across a few countries to tackle different road conditions and encounter another culture. I want a challenge. Riding South America, for example. That would be amazing! I also want to go on an African safari.

Do you think current motorcycle trends cater to you?

There’s something for everyone. What’s important isn’t to follow a trend but to discover what you love and who you are and to own that. 

What would you like to see in the moto community for gear, bikes, etc.?

I’d like to see nicer-looking protective gear tailored to women, like what Atwyld is doing. I dream of long, fashionable women’s gloves and the perfect rainsuit that combines comfort and technology with a great look!